I'm sure you've all head of the Netflix drama The Crown, which is chronicling Queen Elizabeth II's 60 year reign over 6 seasons. The second season dropped on Netflix back in December and over the holiday period I finally got a chance to binge watch both seasons, which was a terrible idea because now I have to wait for what feels like forever for season three. But, I fell in love with show instantly and I thought I'd continue my series of '7 reasons why you should be watching [TV show]'. But, as you may have noticed, it's not seven reasons I'm giving you, it's five. That's because you only need five reasons to watch this amazing drama - read on and find out why you need to watch this show if you've been living under a rock and haven't already!
1. The Amazing Casting
If you do a side-by-side comparison of the cast with their real life counterparts, you'll be able to see how eerily similar they are. The casting for the first two seasons is so on point that it's so easy to forget that these actors aren't actually the people they are playing. Claire Foy (Queen Elizabeth), Matt Smith (Prince Philip) and Vanessa Kirby (Princess Margaret) in particular are amazing and do a phenomenal job at portraying these iconic royals. Just look at how the show has recreated iconic photographs and paintings - it's mind blowing at how similar they are. And hello, Matt Smith with a beard is something everyone needs to see! Seriously, check out this article from Elle to see how amazingly accurate season 1 and 2 casting is!
However, as amazing as the cast is, most roles will be recast every two seasons in order to age up the characters. While I am sad that this is the last time we will be seeing this amazing ensemble, I am excited to see how the new actors bring to life the older versions of the royal family. The new actors, which includes Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth and possibly Helena Bonham-Carter as Princess Margaret, certainly have big shoes to fill, but I'm sure they'll be just as amazing as their predecessors. After all, there is so much more to this show than just the amazing casting, as you are about to read.
2. The Costume Detail
Just like the casting, the costumes for this show are phenomenal. Not only are they very true to some of the iconic outfits worn by the royal family, but they are very true to the time period and the station of characters. The amount of time and detail that have gone into getting the costuming just right is incredible, and it's here you can really see how important accuracy is for production. Just check out this article from Harpers Bazaar to see how fantastic the outfits are for our leading characters.
In a lot of period dramas, the costuming is not always accurate to the exact time, place or rank that the story is set. A good example of this is in The Tudors, where a lot of the costumes are Elizabethan, rather than early Tudor. But with The Crown you can really see how much research has gone into making the costumes as spot-on as possible. Even with outfits that have been slightly altered from the original, they aren't drastic changes that can be perceived as inaccurate. They still fit with the character, and alongside the amazing casting, you really do see how much the actors actually resemble their real life roles.
3. The Settings
The close attention to detail just keeps going! With Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, Clarence House, the Sandringham and Balmoral estates, and 10 Downing Street, just to name a few, there's so much setting and scenic detail to see behind the cast. These iconic locations have been really well recreated in studio or at similar locations around the United Kingdom.
If you spend just five minutes of an episode looking at the background, rather than the drama unfolding in the foreground, you will see just how much work has gone into making the settings as true to the real thing as possible. Even the smallest thing, like photo frames on a side table featuring the cast in iconic photo recreations, where you'll only see them for a moment show how important these small details are to production. And although some settings are not the actual locations, like Balmoral Castle which actually uses Ardverikie House and it's estate (flashback to my Monarch Of The Glen obsession days), they are fantastic stand-ins that are very similar to the intended locations.
4. The History
Obviously, a big draw for this show is the history that it is telling. And here, again, you can see how much time and research has gone into trying to make the show as accurate and true to history as possible. If you look at a lot of television dramas surrounding English monarchs - like The Tudors and Victoria - you can see where history ends and the fiction begins, but The Crown has stuck to history so well, that you actually learn a lot from the show.
As I've watched, I do look up points here and there to see the real and extended history surrounding a certain person or event, and although it has been a little condensed and summarized for the show, it's actually very accurate. Where a lot of historical dramas will add fiction to sensationalise the story, The Crown only really relies on real events to create the show's drama. There have, of course, been a few stories that have been slightly altered, but they still stick pretty accurately to the real story. Of course, there are liberties taken with how characters react in private and behind closed doors, but creator Peter Morgan has said that he tries to portray these unknown details as accurately as possible with the information he does have about the Royals. If you are someone who is a stickler for historical accuracy, you won't be too disappointed with the show.
5. The Drama
The amazing thing about The Crown is that it doesn't need to fictionalise much of the drama - it's all there in the history books. Between our three Windsor monarchs Edward VIII, George VI and Elizabeth II, there's no end to the drama for the Royal Family. You've got flashbacks to Edward's abdication in order to marry the twice divorced Wallis Simpson and his dealings with Germany during the war; George's final months and his determination to keep his poor health a secret; and Elizabeth's struggle with taking over the throne from her father.
And it's not just our leading Monarch's bringing the drama. You've got Margaret's partying ways and her controversial relationships; Winston Churchill's determination to remain in power despite his age and ailing health; and Philip's struggles to find a role four paces behind his wife and his possible infidelities. It's like watching a soap opera, made even more enjoyable by the fact that it's all based on true and historical evidence. There's romance, tension, heartbreak, twists and turns in every episode so you're not going to get bored while watching the show - you'll be hooked and keep coming back for another episode!
Trust me when I say that you'll be hooked on this show from the very first scene and you'll fly through all twenty episodes. Unfortunately, we do have to wait until season 3, which will probably be released at the end of this year, if they stick to dropping new seasons in November/December (although, it could be early next year). But, this long wait just means there's plenty of time to watch and rewatch!
If you're a fan of the Monarchy and period dramas, The Crown is a show you can't go past.
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