Is The Crown tainted?

Sarah Posted by Sarah at August 12, 2019 19:53:12 August 12, 2019 19:53:12

Netflix’s royal soap opera, The Crown, returns on November 17. To date, it has been one of Netflix’s biggest success stories, though probably more for awards than ratings. (The Crown’s audience is comparable to traditional cable hits like Big Little Lies. season  It’s nothing to sneeze at, but Netflix also houses Stranger Things, which is comparable to an Avengers-level pop culture event. Always distrust Netflix’s shady “ratings” because they’re not transparent and only release numbers when it suits them and usually to entice new talent into their fold, but Stranger Things is undoubtedly one of the biggest shows going.) Netflix is hyping the new season of The Crown with a brief teaser revealing a first look at Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II. Not pictured: Prince Andrew.

In its first two seasons, The Crown has been a very beautiful, detailed, delicious soap opera, turning one of the world’s premiere live-action soaps into a fictionalized universe that we are supposed to be able to enjoy guilt-free. After, these aren’t the REAL royals, they’re heightened versions of them, caricatures drawn for our enjoyment. But now the real royals are embroiled in one of the ugliest scandals of the decade, and Prince Andrew’s name, despite the Queen’s love shield, is still out there in connection with Jeffrey Epstein. It is easy to ignore Prince Andrew in the first two seasons of The Crown—he is such a non-entity I can’t even find the kids credited with playing him. But season three is entering the Seventies, when Andrew was a teenager. The focus will undoubtedly be on Charles, as Camilla Parker-Bowles will enter the story this season. But will we see Andrew lurking in the background of the family?

And even if we don’t, if Andrew remains a non-entity, how are we supposed to react to “the Queen” when the real queen is actively engaged in protecting her possibly allegedly shady as f-ck son? The last 20 years have been kind to QEII, turning her into everyone’s grumpy grandma, but the Epstein scandal is a reminder of some real nasty sh-t THAT IS NOT NEW, and that behind the Gruff Gram exterior is a savvy woman who has survived nearly an entire goddamn century of political maneuvering. The Crown has not ignored politics but, especially in season two, it has focused largely on the drawing room drama of royal life. How are we supposed to process that when the news is full of reminders that the real drawing room drama could possibly allegedly be protecting a prince who was friends with a predator? 

The line between art and artist is personal, and your mileage may vary with The Crown as its vision of opulent drama conflicts with our real-world reminder that there is some really ugly sh-t going on behind those closed doors. I watch this teaser and instead of being excited to see Olivia Colman as QEII, and the inevitable fireworks between the queen, Charles, and Camilla, I think about the real QEII and what she might be  doing to shield Andrew from scrutiny. I can’t focus on the fake drama because of the real drama. Will Andrew’s scandal have an impact on The Crown? Will it keep you from enjoying the show, or even from watching it altogether?


YouTube/ Netflix

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