Friday, November 22, 2019

What I’m Watching: The Crown (Season Premiere)

The Crown: Season 3, Episode 1 “Olding” (B+)

I’ve neglected to watch the most recent seasons of many streaming shows that I like a lot because there’s just too much television on right now, but I felt like I had to try to keep up with some of the major awards magnets, especially since I only watched season one after it already collected its first few prizes. I had forgotten how slow this show sometimes is to start, but fortunately this opening hour proved to be very memorable and worthwhile by its end. The big change, of course, is that the entire cast is now portrayed by older actors, a gamble that wasn’t too risky given the enormous talent involved. Olivia Colman does a superb job of playing a completely different regal presence than the one she took home an Oscar for in “The Favourite,” and I’m very excited to see more of Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret and Ben Daniels from “The Exception” as Tony. Since I’ve never seen “Outlander,” I’m not familiar with actor Tobias Menzies, but he seems like a good fit to play Philip. I was also impressed by Samuel West as Anthony Blunt, whose story took us to the closing words printed on screen that always inspire an eagerness for further research into what actually happened. Seeing John Lithgow in an episode with an entirely new cast was trippy also because I just saw him in “Bombshell” as a far different public figure, Roger Ailes. He might well earn a deserved guest Emmy nomination for a fitting farewell. Seeing Elizabeth apologize to the new prime minister for misjudging him was an effective way of showing who the queen has now become, and even if this isn’t the fastest-moving show I’ve ever seen, I’m looking forward to experience this new season over the course of the new month or two.

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