Besides the actors, locations, and the chilling opening sequence, when I first watched Netflix’s new show, The Crown, I was blown away by the scale of it all. The sets were directly in the palace, there was no lack of people, and the acting was classy and stiff, yet intriguing.
But something was missing.
There was little which made me want to watch the next episode. Which surprised me, as I was fully expecting the epic scale of the show to be enough. I love British period pieces so I looked into why it didn’t stick.
The more I watched, searching for something special, it hit me: the show is all, well… show.
There’s no heartfelt connection. The plot is interesting, but there was no emotional substance in it with which I could relate. Talking with other people about the show also supported the idea it was missing something.
Here are some things I think need to be included in the next season.
Now in regards to the lack of attachment I felt towards the characters, one could argue it was an artistic choice on the side of the writers, who wanted to display the detached and stiff life of someone of royalty.
Problem is, they could show the detachment between the characters more and less between the characters and the audience. It’s difficult to feel for Elizabeth, when we see a very detached version of her.
What I mean is, we see a couple of instances of her breaking, but most of what we see is a stillness and a staring off into the distance.
On the one hand, this is good in showing the weight of her job and responsibilities, but on the other hand it doesn’t focus on her human nature. The focus is on the grand scale of the many problems she faces.
If you want a show which moves people and captures their attention, you need to make the main character relatable in some way.
I think this is a crucial part they miss in the first season of The Crown.
Tighter focus on relationships
The show presents some interesting relationship dynamics, but not enough in my opinion.
They could take a leaf out of Downton Abbey’s book, a show which won three golden globes and over fifty other awards. This brilliant show knew how to balance the relationships of the characters amidst the massive weight of their royal lives.
When the relationships play second fiddle, we miss out on the things which makes shows so good– the everyday dynamics of the characters.
If the focal point is on the scale of their lives it will result in a hollow show and the audience will feel as though it is lacking something. It should be about the characters.
Funny thing about real people, we all have various weaknesses. A lot of us share the same kind of weaknesses, it’s one of the ways we are able to relate with people.
In a show where weakness is rarely shown, what is shown is mostly stiff upper lips, which makes it harder to relate with them.
As a member of the audience, I want to see the weakness of Elizabeth, Winston, and Philip, and the others characters and I want to see more of their struggle.
We see glimpses of conflict throughout the show, but the intimate internal struggle the audience needs to see, just seems to be missing. Which if the show included more struggle, I bet it would be even better than it is now.
To sum up, I love The Crown, I think there’s so much potential for this show. The acting is incredible, the plot is interesting, but weighed down by focusing too much on the wrong things.
With the right adjustment, I think the show can become even more innovative and heartfelt than it is right now.