TV Review: The Crown

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The Crown is a Netflix exclusive drama series surrounding the early events of Queen Elizabeth II’s (Claire Foy) reign. After marrying Prince Philip (Matt Smith), Elizabeth learns that King George VI (Jared Harris) has only months left to live, due to his declining health from years of smoking, and that she will soon be the queen. Following the royal lady’s life from the day of her wedding in 1947, to what we know about her in the present day, The Crown explores the life and events of a post-war Britain and the leaders in charge of the turmoils that come with one of the rockiest times in Britain’s existence.

Claire Foy’s performance as a young Queen Elizabeth II is what shines brightest about the production of The Crown. Her rendition of one of history’s most noteworthy queens is thankfully in the spotlight of most of the show’s run, giving Foy plenty of time to strut her stuff and exude a likable performance in the process. Notwithstanding the surprisingly effective performance out of John Lithgow as the ever important Winston Churchill, thanks to the effective direction of Pete Morgan. All backed by an engaging amount of drama from raising children during queen-ship, the audience will see a new light on the struggle of leading a country past one of the worst wars in global history.

In addition, The Crown is bolstered by its interesting subject matter of what lies beneath the curtains of royalty. It’s safe to say not that many Americans know a lot about the history of Britain’s monarchy, as we’ve been fixated over our own elections the past year and a half, so The Crown may serve as a spring-board to those curious about foreign powers and those leading the charge. Aside from the actors, however, what manages to be the best aspect of this new Netflix series is the excellent cinematography that crafts each scene like it was a painting. The different palates of colors and lights greatly help liven a scene or drown it in dismay when necessary, and it’s what makes The Crown one of Netflix’s best looking shows to date.

That’s not to say the show is entirely without fault. Its biggest problem is a bit of a slump towards the middle of the season, where stories and dialogue begin to especially drag in familiarity and repetition. Sure, the performances, direction, and cinematography are completely on point, but at times the story begins to struggle with keeping things engaging and fresh, instead settling for more of what was already addressed beforehand. It’s what keeps an otherwise great show from being a superb one.

If you’re a fan of historical dramas that exquisitely portray the highs and lows of post war royalty, you’ll definitely be pleased to discover that The Crown is right up your alley. Admittedly, it’s not something I’d recommend binge watching in one sitting like many other Netflix programs, you may need some breathing room between episodes, but it’s still an interesting perspective that you’ll want to stick with from beginning to end. The Crown defiantly deserves to sit itself high among the royalty of fellow Netflix programs.

Rating: 8/10

​Donald Strohman is a Pennsylvania State University film graduate currently residing in Metro Atlanta, Georgia. Before being a part of The Young Folks team, he contributed to GameDeck and the satire website The Black Sheep. He also writes for the game journalism site GameSkinny. When he's not trying to fulfill his life long dream of becoming the "Hash Slinging Slasher", Donald enjoys watching movies, playing video games, and writing; sometimes all at once.