THE CROWN: ALL IN
December gave us many things. Cold weather, the Christmas season, the end of the fall semester, and the second season of "The Crown." Whether it was strategic on the part of Netflix, to release this delicious work of art with its gorgeous wardrobe, accents, and fantastic acting, when everyone was still talking about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's engagement, we will never know. But one thing is certain, it was great timing.
In season one, "The Crown" moved along at a slow pace. We saw Elizabeth's father, King George VI, who suffered from lung cancer, eventually die, leaving the crown to Elizabeth. We saw the reason why he became king (I must admit, I became a bit obsessed with Wallis Simpson) and Elizabeth's marriage to Philip. we saw the struggles Elizabeth faced as a young Queen, especially in her sister -- Princess Margaret's personal life.
Season two begins in February 1957 in the middle of a fight between Elizabeth and Philip, which we soon learn happens after his five-month grand tour. At first, I sympathized with Philip. Being constrained in any relationship is not ideal but he knew what he signed up for. When he pursued her, he knew that she was going to be Queen of England one day! So why all the whining, infidelity, and anger? Episode one also manages to include the Suez Canal crisis, which began after Egypt nationalized the Suez Canal.
"The Crown" is expensive to make. There are 10 episodes per season -- costing an estimated $130 million, a substantial amount for a show with no special effects. But even at 10 episodes each, season two has proven that this amount simply isn't enough. The rest of the season feels rushed. Margaret, a favorite of mine, who I would've liked to see more of, did not get enough screen time. I was eager to see the development of her relationship with Tony Armstrong-Jones but instead, they meet and fall in love in one episode, then they get married in another episode, and finally we see them together, several years later in what appears to be a toxic marriage.
Despite feeling as though too much was being crammed into each episode, I thoroughly enjoyed binge-watching this season, especially episode eight when the Kennedy's visited Buckingham Palace, or what I call When Elizabeth Met Jackie. Watching these two powerful women, the same age, with the same experiences was truly a treat. It touched me greatly. Especially when Jackie spoke of how shy she was.
"A shy person will seek out someone strong to protect them," Jackie said to Elizabeth while she gave her a tour of Buckingham Palace during the visit. "And a strong character is often one who enjoys public life, who thrives on it. Then, before you know it, the very person you've turned to in order to protect you is the very reason you are exposed."
If there's one thing I learned from "The Crown," it's how, as women, we often suffer emotionally in our relationships. Some of us don't suffer as much as others, and there are those who are lucky enough to say that they can't relate. But for those of us who love great, complicated men, Elizabeth and Jackie show us that the world never gets to see our vulnerable side unless we let them in.
The season ends with Philip discovering that he still loves Elizabeth. He joins her in Scotland where she has gone to rest because of a difficult pregnancy. Elizabeth reveals that she's known about his affair with a famous ballerina all along -- which she discovered in episode one before he left on his grand tour.
"There are two types of people in life," Philip responded. "Those whom one imagines to be trustworthy and reliable, who turns out to be treacherous and weak. And those who appear to be complex and difficult, who turns out to be more dependable than anyone thought, like me...I'm yours. In. And not because you've given me a title, not because we've come to an agreement. But because I want to be. Because I love you."
To say that I am "In" for another season is an understatement. I can't wait. I am a bit sad that Claire Foy won't be playing the role of Elizabeth anymore, but I understand that "The Crown" has to move on. It's a new chapter. A new era. A new Queen. And I know that Olivia Colman will deliver.
Oh and let's not forget about the music!