I Hate That I Love ‘The Crown’
Stanley Murphy-Johns hates just how much he loves The Crown
‘Why do you adore a show which focuses on and to some extent glorifies the monarchy if you don’t actually like the monarchy?’ Well, thank you for your question dear reader, please allow me to explain in ridiculously unnecessary detail.
Despite the show being called The Crown, a rather cold and almost documentary style name, the truth of the show could not be more different. Each episode provides the viewer with a distinctly human story, filled to the brim with every emotion under the sun. It is the ability to drag this historically deified position to our level, along with a plethora of excellent actors and some beautiful visuals, that makes The Crown work so brilliantly.
On top of all that it follows a correct historical timeline hitting many important events and making them key story beats which, as a history student, is a joy to witness. I’m not the only one who thinks so either. The reviews have been consistently excellent throughout every season and the fact it’s had awards thrown at it since it burst onto the scene in November 2016 shows how very common my opinion is.
Emma Corrin embodies Diana brilliantly, striking the balance […] between trying to be true to this person who existed without veering into an impersonation
I think in addition to all of the above, one of the impressive things about this show is the regimented concept to which they seem determined to stick. After receiving the reviews that they did with Claire Foy and Matt Smith at the helm, many showrunners would have surely been tempted to adapt the ‘two seasons and you’re out rule’ to ensure that the reviews remained positive. Yet they stuck to their predetermined decision and in my opinion managed to one-up themselves with the cast for seasons 3 and 4. On that basis, the showrunner, Peter Morgan, along with his talented cohort of writers must be commended.
The release of season 4 brings me onto the reason I’m writing about my favourite show. I loved it. I might even go as far as to say it’s my favourite yet, although it would do well to knock season 2 from the top spot. This season went for it with the ‘we want to make you feel things, even though our characters are all emotionally stunted’ vibe which I certainly wasn’t mad at. Nothing exemplified that vibe more than the relationship of Charles and Diana, a key plot point throughout the season. Emma Corrin embodies Diana brilliantly, striking the balance that the whole cast of The Crown must strike, the balance between trying to be true to this person who existed without veering into an impersonation. She is immediately the most human character on screen which I’m sure was the aim, Diana having been ‘the people’s princess’ after all.
Her humanity also allows for other plot threads such as the Queen’s colder parental approach being brought into question. Charles (Josh O’Connor) who in season 3 was one of my favourite characters quickly became one of my least favourites in this season. His whiny self-importance became so much more evident when played off against the pleasantness of Diana. This is of course a testament to both actors, who had brilliant moments across the season. I would advise looking out for Episode 6 ‘Terra Nullius’ in which they really get to show off their brilliance.
If this article has achieved anything I hope that it makes you go and watch The Crown; because it’s great, even if it is about the monarchy.