The Crown, Season 2

SPOILER ALERT

Netflix          Creator: Peter Morgan

The second season covers the post-war years through about 1963 and focuses on the impact the changing social mores have on the royal family and the British government. We get some great episodes which take us far from London, and see the impact John and Jacquie Kennedy have on the English people, and especially on Elizabeth.

For me the most interesting episode (Matrimonium) centered on the relationship between Margaret and her rebound love interest Tony Armstrong-Jones. Vanessa Kirby as Margaret and Matthew Goode as Tony are fantastic, and the episode juxtaposes Margaret’s frustrations with her love life, especially how it is inexorably intertwined with Royal Traditions, and Tony’s oh-so-modern attitudes and lifestyle which pushes the envelope on accepted behavior including touch-stoning the burgeoning sexual revolution. It is emotionally powerful and a sharp look into a moment in society, and one of the best TV episodes of the year.

I found the first season better than this second, but Claire Foy’s superb acting in what is the final year for her in the role, and that of a very fine cast with very good storytelling throughout most of the episodes, makes this a strong Should See.

Relatable Reviews

  • David Wiegand in the SF Chronicle gave it highest marks. “Two seasons in, it is decisively clear that “The Crown” is on track to be an important work of historical literature. The fact that it’s one of the best shows in town is just the jewel in “The Crown.”
  • Alan Sepinwall in Uproxx was disappointed that this season was not as good as the first. ““Her Majesty has a seemingly impossible task,” one of the queen’s critics suggests in that fifth episode. “She has to be ordinary and extraordinary, touched by divinity and yet one of us. But being ordinary doesn’t have to mean being bland.” In its first year, The Crown captured that impossible task in a way that never felt bland, even to an agnostic for this type of show like myself. This season is a notable step down from that, and too often I found myself thinking of my usual indifference to the subject matter, rather than what (show creator Peter) Morgan and company were doing with it.”

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