This is an immaculately produced drama about the early reign of Queen Elizabeth II. It is very nice to look at and it is well-acted. But half way through season 1, I don’t really care.
I don’t know that I have a lot to criticize about this show: It is well-made in the technical sense, as the sense of place is excellently rendered through costumes, sets and CGI, and the incorporation of the odd bit of historical footage, and the shots, lighting and editing are nothing but competent (and, occasionally, really well done as there are some sequences that are pretty outstanding in creating tension where there isn’t that much). And the acting is uniformly excellent – I don’t doubt the performances for a second, everyone is believable in their roles and a number of the actors really appear to inhabit their historical personas in a way that it’s hard to imagine someone else playing these parts. It’s a good show in how it is made and acted. I don’t mean to say it’s not.
But at some point during the episode about the potential “scandal” around Princess Margaret marrying a “commoner” I stopped giving a shit. This is yet another show about rich people with problems. These rich people may be based on real rich people, and the show that has been assembled around these characters is quite impressive as a showcase for acting and is quite well made. But these are still people I cannot relate to worrying about things I don’t care about. I am, as you may know, opposed to having a monarchy here in Canada. It is shit like this – where people lose their minds over whether or not to honour a meaningless tradition – that adds to the ridiculousness of having hereditary heads of state. Most of the problems depicted in this show are the problems of prominent rich families. So far, it’s only the occasional episode that actually deals with a real historical crisis – such as the early episodes dealing with the death of Elizabeth’s father or the great episode about the poisonous fog – and so much more of the show is now dedicated to, essentially, managing the family. And I just don’t care.
I feel like this show is worth of an 8/10 for technical reasons but I cannot give it that because I’m just not drawn into it. 6/10 I guess