Reviews

The Crown the Jewel of Television

THE CROWN

Netflix has truly given us a jewel.

0a5c641e7e2e7050b86ff0dc5d55c7b9acd65ebb

 

The Crown is a ten episode original Netflix series. It is the story of Queen Elizabeth II from her beginnings of ruling the monarch all the way through to modern times.

Netflix held back no expense when taking on The Crown. In the first ten episodes released last fall it is reported that Netflix spent a cool 125 million. At least the money was not squandered on a show that would ultimately disappoint. For all of you deciding whether to watch the show or to wait for more seasons to be released the second season of filming is already under way. And apparently there will be a total of six seasons.

Highest Recommendation

When I first saw the trailer for The Crown I knew this would be a show for me. I have long loved history and royalty of any kind is always fascinating to me.

 

 

The show is truly a treasure. A jewel of a series shinning brightly among all other series which merely only have the appearance of shine and gloss but no substance. This show delivers on what it promises with the trailer.

Beginning with the ultimate heartache for a family, the loss of a loved one. For Elizabeth though this means more than only grieving the loss of her father it also means taking his place on the throne.

The show intertwines the inner workings of a government, politics, traditions, all within  family drama, the history of a past king who gave up his royal heritage, a scandalous love affair, a weather crisis in London, foreign policy issues, any many more events.

Elizabeth handles all of these Queen duties while she trying to raise a family, be a wife, sister, daughter and friend. It takes a close gaze as to exactly what it would feel, and look like for a young female ruler.

Many of us do not know the inner workings of the British Government. Or at least I don’t. Which makes the series all the more interesting because I am learning about events through an entertaining avenue.

quote-if-history-were-taught-in-the-form-of-stories-it-would-never-be-forgotten-rudyard-kipling-103039

For some it may be hard to understand all the policies, different words, the accents but press through you may not grasp every nuance but you will understand the story.

You could also even watch the series, if only for the beautiful locations, and the costumes. I personally, have always wanted to wear clothes from this time period. Seeing all their outfits leaves me devising a plan to steal them all.

BEST CHARACTER

My favorite part without question of the entire series is none other than Sir Winston Churchill.

While almost all the characters are interesting and bring their own flare to the screen none of them are as dear to my heart or spark my curiosity to get to know them more than Winston Churchill.

Winston Churchill is played by actor, John Lithgow, whom I do not know anything about other than at one time he was on a sitcom about aliens, I think. But to me he was perfect for this role.

He is magnificent. Truly, mesmerizing. A few weeks ago Mr. Lithgow was nominated for a Golden Globe, I watched the entire show waiting for his category hoping and crossing my fingers for the win. As if his win would bring me some sort of good fortune. Either way to my disappointment he lost out to another actor. But all hope was not lost as award season has only begun. Fingers staying crossed for future wins.

Churchill was so enchanting a character. Enough so, that I am purchasing a book of his to read for these next few months.

For me this is the greatest achievement of any writer to make the story so interesting and a character so engaging that we the audience seek out to find a way to know more about the character and to find more information about the story.

SEASON TWO

The only episode of the series I felt was less than the rest was: the finale. Which could have been solely based on the fact that I am not as interested in Princess Margaret’s story as others may be.

A great many things take place in this final episode, which cause it for me to be going in too many different directions. But this could be to serve the purpose of preparation for the forthcoming installment in the series.

I can’t wait to see the next seasons and for a story where we already know the outcome, it truly keeps you on the edge of your seat.

PLEAD

Watch the show. All in all, watch this show. It is fairly clean and nothing seems to be over the top scandalous as so many other shows are. Support a show that makes you use your brain. The beautiful brain we all have been given. This is a show where it is difficult to do anything else other than watch. So, go and watch it.

Favorite Parts

From here I am going to discuss my favorite parts of the series which when boiled down really is amazing dialogue. There will be a few spoilers but in the grand scheme of things since history has taken place am I really spoiling anything?

Either way if you wish to enjoy the show without my highlights of the best parts here is where you finish reading and get to watching. Do hurry up with it so we can discuss all the best parts. 🙂

It is only available on Netflix, so hopefully you are already a member or can borrow someone’s membership. Or join us all and become a Netflix junkie.

What I learned.

Most people think I am a little obsessed or over the top when it comes to my passion for television shows.

But I love them.

If I love a show I will watch it over and over again.

Sometimes I’ll even watch it over again when I don’t much care for the show but I think there could be something good in there. I will watch it again to see what my actual opinion is, disclaimer I am a thinker and possibly over analyzer. But I swear I am fun, too. Maybe it is because I myself am a writer and love to understand, and speculate as to why the writer made this choice instead of the one I think is better. Either way I love watching a show and then discussing it with others.

First thing I learned.

 

Marriage is Challenging.

1475059446923
Queen Elizabeth II (Claire Foy) and Philip (Matt Smith)

This is highlighted in almost every episode.

The strain of the marriage between Philip and Elizabeth shows even today how it is hard for a man to not be in charge.

Not a big revelation but even the royals find it challenging. One of the things that was interesting in the series is that Phillip is portrayed for the most part as a jerk. Which was actually surprising to me the writers went this way.

But as I watched the show and looked at the differing situations he was placed in from his perspective I sympathized with him. I sympathized with both of them.

For Philip life wasn’t exactly what he expected. When he married Elizabeth, she was a Princess who would be a Queen one day but that was years away. But as life goes it is never predictable only in the fact that it will change. She became Queen a few shorts years after their marriage.

For a man who I believe was a strong, leadership type this transition would be difficult, he had to give up his own royal heritage to marry Elizabeth. Then after she became Queen their children would carry her name not his own. I don’t know much about the male way of thinking but I can imagine this would be a blow to his pride. And to think this took place many years ago so it would be extremely rare for your own child to not bear your name.

Elizabeth was doing the best she could in making him happy and including him in the duties of her rule but as tradition goes certain subjects and policies are only accessible to the Queen. At parts it even seemed like he was making it harder on her and bucking her power at every possible opportunity.

To sum up what I said before: marriage is hard. I am unmarried and know this to be true.

But through the hard and challenging times is seems like they will pull through as history has proven to us.

LESSON

Always look at if from both sides of the coin. There are always two sides to everything. Be understanding. Nothing is more disappointing than thinking your life is going to go one way and it completely goes a different direction. It takes time to adjust. But for those of you pouting about the fact it has not gone as planned. Get over it. No sense wallowing in it; the past is the past.

Episode 4 “Act of God.”

Queen Mary’s Speech gave me goose bumps. Since this story was in a time where there were not cell phones or Internet it was all about letters. Queen Mary wrote a letter to her granddaughter upon the death of her son. Giving her advice after a lifetime of watching monarchs rule.

In this particular scene Elizabeth is asking her grandmother if she really meant what she wrote in the letter and this is her response,

“Now in your letter you sent me you said, ‘Loyalty to the ideal you have inherited is your duty above everything else, because the calling comes from the highest source, from God himself.’ ” Queen Elizabeth II

“Yes.” Queen Mary.

“Do you really believe that?” Queen Elizabeth II

“Monarchy is God’s sacred mission to grace and dignify the earth. To give ordinary people an ideal to strive towards, an example of nobility and duty to raise them in their wretched lives. Monarchy is a calling from God. That is why you are crowned in an abbey not a government building. Why you are anointed not appointed. It’s an archbishop that puts the crown on your head, not a minister or a public servant. Which means that you are answerable to God in your duty, not the public.” Queen Mary

LESSON

The scene goes on for a little bit longer but to me this was the best part. It was powerful. How amazing would it be if we lived our own lives this way? In a way that we are only answerable to God and not to the public. How many times in our lives do we try to justify or explain the reason we live our lives by a certain standard, but the reality is we are only accountable to God.

Many times in my life when people ask me questions about my faith or what I believe or how can I believe this particular thing or that. I think about how to say my words or how to make them understand why I believe what I do, but the reality is I am not accountable to them or anyone else, only to God. Each of us will be judged on our day and He is the only one’s opinion who matters.

I thought about this episode for awhile afterwards and to me it was also interesting to think about living my life as an example. Rather we are in a leadership position or not, in the spotlight or the person in the back where you think no one sees you.

But the truth is people are always watching. Always seeing what you are doing, if you are going to take the high road or the little bit shady way. We have to realize rather we have a spotlight or a position of influence we are still in the position of being highlighted, because we are God’s children and we must live our life by a different standard.

 

Same episode. New Lesson.

By far my favorite episode.

gallery-1478557135-thecrown-107-00066r

Fog had set in London, which was causing the pollution from the coal mines to stay grounded. It was not only halting life in London as they knew it, but it was leaving poison in the air, causing many to become ill and ultimately led to their deaths.

Winston was getting backlash for not providing other ways for the harmful steam to escape the city but while everyone was calling for his head in the news he saw it completely different.

Weather.

When his other members of the party asked him what his response was about the fog he said,

“It is weather it will pass. Sometimes we have sunshine. Too much sunshine and they call it a drought. Then we have rain. Too much rain and they call it a deluge and find a way to blame us for that too.”

“It’s an act of God! Its weather.” Winston Churchill

First off, a great takeaway from this series for me is from here on out being able to mimic Lithgow as Churchill saying again and again, “It is weather!” From now on, whenever anyone is complaining about the heat, or cold, or a storm or anything else pertaining to weather. They will hear my best impersonation of Churchill saying, “It is weather!”

LESSON

Next point. An act of God, this made me think about my life. Many times in life things happen rather they be good or bad. I don’t want to get involved in the debate weather everything is predestined or not but rather to say. Change what you can. There are circumstances that come in our life and we can’t change them much. In life we can’t choose who are parents are, where we were born, what color skin we have, but we can change some things. So, instead of focusing on what we can’t change let us spend our energy on what we can change.

Episode 8 “Pride and Joy”

In this episode there are quite a few special moments but the one I am highlighting is on the boat. Tensions are running high between Philip and Elizabeth as they are on a world tour. Margaret is taking care of affairs at home and is not exactly representing the regal way. Hours of traveling and unrest in one particular country they are about to embark on leads us to one of the greatest speeches Elizabeth makes in the series.

After being advised to not go on the tour in this country for fear of their safety. Elizabeth said,

“I say we go.”

“I say we don’t.” Phillip

“I am aware that I am surrounded by people who feel they could do the job better. Strong people with powerful character, more natural leaders, perhaps better suited to leading from the front, making a mark. But for better or worse, the Crown has landed on my head. And I say we go.” Queen Elizabeth II

One thing came to my mind instantly while watching this scene. A chorus really, “Haters, gonna hate, hate, hate.”

I know. It is silly. But it is true.

Lesson

Whenever you are in the spotlight everyone thinks they can do better. Everyone thinks they are more suited, more talented, prettier, anything and everything. The truth is maybe they are, maybe they aren’t. Either way it is you who is there. It may only last a moment or it may be forever. But all you can do is your best. Your duty.

So many times in my life I have avoided the spotlight because of these thoughts. I am not good enough or other people are better or they will think badly of me.

Now, mind you I never had the responsibility of a crown. But how silly it was for me to worry. All I can do is what I think I am supposed to do and do it the best that I can. It may be amazing it may not. I do my best, and that is my duty. It is enough.

Episode 9 “Assassins”

xldhijfsreo3vymdnbhtvpzxdvy

In this episode we see the more vulnerable parts of Churchill. Also, his competitive side, I think all politicians have a very competitive side.

Churchill is being honored and in doing so a portrait has been commissioned for him. Churchill and the painter, Mr. Sutherland, get to know each other during this time of posing for the portrait. A friendship blooms, but once the painting is revealed Churchill is unhappy. Terribly unhappy with the results shown in the painting, here are his words,

“It is not a reasonable truthful image of me!”

“It is, sir.” Mr. Sutherland

“It is not! It is cruel!” Churchill

“Age is cruel! If you see decay, it’s because there’s decay. If you see frailty, it’s because there’s frailty. I can’t be blamed for what it is. And I refuse to hide and disguise what I see. If you’re engaged in a fight with something, then it’s not with me. It’s with your own blindness.” Sutherland

“I think you should go.” Churchill

The friendship is over as quickly as it began. Churchill felt betrayed by Mr. Sutherland,but the reality is we all get old.

LESSON

Getting old is not for the faint of heart but the alternative is not any better. My mother always said about aging, “It is hard because in your mind you do not feel like you are getting any older. But you are.”

Sometimes we can’t accept certain things about ourselves and it can hurt a relationship when someone points out our flaws. We must take the words friends say to us, listen, think, examine them. Our friends could be pointing out a flaw within ourselves to examine and change. We must listen.

No one likes to be reprimanded but it is needed to grow. To change. I remember I have had a few friends do this in my life. It stung in the moment, but after thinking it over, I realized they were right and I did my best to make the change.

 

Closing

Well, yet again I set out to write a short quick review of The Crown and didn’t even come close to making that mark. After writing a few blogs, I have learned something about myself.

I am much more long winded then I ever believed about myself. Or long typist or very wordy not sure what the correct term is. Either way. I am what I am, I guess.

Call to Action 

Watch the show. For goodness sake watch the show.

Let me know what you think. What was your take away? Did you learn something? Tell me in the comments below.

Thanks friends.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s