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Carson underwhelmed by “The Crown”


     The Windsors are a world renowned family rooted in deep history from their name and status brings questions, as many people watch them with a close eye in an attempt to uncover their earnest facade. As their stories unfold, movies and shows about their existence have been produced in heavy numbers. One of the most popular productions made on these English royals however, is Netflix’s “The Crown”. This series made its streaming debut in 2016 and has been critically acclaimed due to accuracy in terms of the lives this show portrays. “The Crown” focuses on Queen Elizabeth II and her ascension to the throne, as well as

The Crown Season 5.jpeg

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the sacrifices she made to carry out this duty. However, as these seasons progress, the story has branched beyond the life of Queen Elizabeth, and into the lives of her surrounding family. 

     On Nov. 9, 2022 “The Crown” season five was released which covers the royal family as they enter the 1990s and face several challenges. The 1990s were believed to be the darkest times for the royal family due to events such as the horrendous fire at Windsor castle, ongoing scandals and 

the end of three royal marriages. Throughout the course of this season, we see how the Queen interacts with these challenges. In addition, we see how the people who are affected or cause these events, handle their hardships under public scrutiny and fit into modern society. It is a solemn yet powerful season. 

     A majority of the events covered over the season were crucial in the royal family’s life. Therefore, it made sense to incorporate them into the story. The media battle between Charles and Diana after the divorce was captured perfectly. In most events, the writers did a fantastic job at showing how these moments made them feel and how they affected one another. However, there were some parts that could have been cut down into a few simple scenes. For example, the origin of the Fayed family did not need a whole episode. A few simple scenes would have sufficed and done the job to cover this family.  

     Every two seasons, “The Crown” has a new cast portraying the royal family. This is due to the differing time periods that “The Crown” covers. This season had a good casting list and the most interesting casting choices were for Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles and Princess Diana in season five. 

In this new season we meet an older Queen Elizabeth played by Imelda Staunton. Staunton brings forth a much more self-assured Queen with more confidence from being on the throne for such a long time. She is a drastically different queen than the one seen in past seasons. She is stern, yet also caring and loving. Staunton puts on a magnificent job at capturing the Queen in her later years, but she is nowhere near my favorite version of the Queen; no one in my mind can truly capture the Queen as well as Claire Foy did in season one and two. Foy did a remarkable job at capturing the Queen’s likeness and mannerisms, something that I did not see from Staunton this season. 

     We also saw an older Princess Diana, played by Elizabeth Debicki. This casting choice was perfect. Debicki had the same style and looks of Diana, while also depicting her iconic doe-like stare and sweet smile. When you heard her voice, it sounded like Diana was right there speaking. The same cannot be said for her co-star; an older Prince Charles was played by Dominic West. The main issue with West’s performance was that he looked nothing like Charles. Charles from seasons three and four played by Josh O’Connor was absolutely stunning and looked like Prince Charles, so it was a disappointment to see them drop the ball on Charles this season.

     As always, the costumes and settings of this show are spot on. If you were to do a side-by-side of the real thing versus this recreation, you may not be able to tell the difference. “The Crown” is great at keeping consistency and that is one of the reasons I love this show. This season, though, felt off. It was the same show that I loved, however it missed some of its intrigue. Some story aspects were unnecessary or too long and felt like fillers. This is disappointing due to the anticipation many fans had for this season. This period of the royal family’s life is full of scandal, but the writers did not cover it as well as they could have. “The Crown” is set for a sixth season to continue the lives of the family into the late 90s, and hopefully they will come back stronger and with better execution. 

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