Friday, November 11, 2022

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

The Crown: Season 5, Episode 1 “Queen Victoria Syndrome” (B+)

It’s hard to process this episode’s plot since there are so many new cast members to comment on, but I will say that it’s interesting to see events that I feel like I know more about from other Diana-centric projects or even just recent history since I was actually alive (if only three years old) when this show is currently set. Having repairs to the royal yacht as the center of the drama was an effective and simple anchor, reminiscent of POTUS’ bike accident in the pilot of “The West Wing.” I do hope that Claire Foy doesn’t win another guest acting Emmy for a seconds-long nostalgic appearance, even if seeing her was meant to show just how different she now is as played by the wonderful Imelda Staunton, an Oscar nominee for her terrific turn in “Vera Drake.” I’m equally excited by the rest of the cast, with Dominic West as Prince Charles, Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip, and Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret. I was pleased to recognize Jonny Lee Miller in a much different role than the ones he’s played on “Elementary” and “Dexter” as Prime Minister John Major, and it’s always good to see Natasha McElhone, who here is playing Penelope Knatchbull. The best casting decision is Elizabeth Debicki, a breakout star from “Widows” who didn’t get the attention she deserved and then appeared in “Tenet.” Hopefully this role will make it so that she has many fantastic follow-ups in her career. I’ll be reviewing episodes of this show’s fifth season on a weekly basis, and I look forward to savoring this new ensemble.

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