Wednesday, November 27, 2019

What I’m Watching: The Crown

The Crown: Season 3, Episode 2 “Margaretology” (B+)

Now this was a great episode, one that all but assures that Helena Bonham Carter will provide a fierce challenge to Meryl Streep in “Big Little Lies” at next fall’s Emmy Awards. I was excited to see Carter in this role, and her awards chances are considerably stronger than Vanessa Kirby’s simply because she has a much higher profile. She was also terrific here, acting in exactly the way that her onscreen sister dreaded. Interestingly, Margaret’s behavior in front of President Johnson probably made him more sympathetic to the crown since she represented the opposite of the fancy stuffiness he so despised, and he got to take a shot at Kennedy in front of an audience because she did it first. I recognized actor Clancy Brown from “The Shawshank Redemption” and “Carnivale” by his voice, and I think he was a great choice to play Johnson, who has little affinity for much of what his office requires, not all that dissimilar from Margaret. Tony continues to be a miserable presence, constantly negative and selfish, giving Margaret a run for her money. I remember actor Ben Daniels from the film “The Exception,” and he’s a good fit in this part, taking the role over from Emmy nominee Matthew Goode. Elizabeth getting the play-by-play about Margaret’s misdeeds was entertaining, and we got a more serious look at the history of the two sisters with the flashback to their childhood, when Margaret tried to buck traditional inheritance and take charge of what she believed was rightfully hers. Let’s see more of Margaret this season, please!

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