Saturday, September 2, 2017

What I’m Watching: The Crown

The Crown: Season 1, Episode 8 “Pride and Joy” (B+)

The three most important supporting players on this show had very prominent spotlights in this episode that revealed what most composes their character. Elizabeth taking charge and giving the speech at the unveiling of the statue was a sign of her leadership, and though she was appalled at the number of dresses, hats, and pairs of shoes required for her multi-country tour, she understands what her role is. It didn’t take Philip long to whine about all of the showboating that he personally had to do while on the road, while it was Elizabeth who actually experienced a physical response to all of the smiling she was doing. Elizabeth telling Philip to shut up when he lashed out at her after she admonished his smoking brought out an anger we hadn’t previously seen, and them running straight into the newsreel cameras while in the midst of their blowout was an unfortunate result that was easily tamed by Elizabeth’s poise and charm. Back at home, Margaret was eager to assume the regal duties though not inclined to be as stuffy or professional as her sister, leading to a great night of entertainment, something that Martin told her is not the sovereign’s place. Saying on camera that she missed Peter but not the queen was not smart, and Churchill took swift action to chastise her and summon her mother back to take over. This episode was full of great quotes, including “For better or worse, the crown has landed on my head” and “The monarchy should shine, not the monarch.” The queen mother had a blissful time away with a kindhearted man who couldn’t figure out where he knew her from and wanted to sell her his home for only 100 pounds, showing the true power of a rarely-experienced anonymity.

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