Netflix’s The Crown: Wolferton Splash

Not quite a “recap” of The Crown Episode 1

In one minute and thirty seconds, this is what you (not just Prince Phillip) need to know:

 

But watching TV on a need-to-know basis is not really the point.

  • Netflix has typically written it’s binge-driven, drop-all-the-episodes-at-once dramas as though the chief goal of a pilot is to get you to stream the next hour almost reflexively.  The Crown is compelling but lacks that tug. Like eating a slice of cake that you’ll gladly have another piece of tomorrow but, no thank you, a second bit just now is more than required.
  • As with the above clip, foreshadowing is the overall flavor here–a work performed most often by King George (Jared Harris looking more like his father who originally played Albus Dumbledore).  He gets to say things like, “A sick king is no good to anyone. There must be no weakness, no vulnerability.” Clearly this sort of dialogue is not just set-dressing for George’s demise…
  • Yet for all its broadcasting that soon (soon!) things will change for Princess Elizabeth (and forever!), the pilot is strangely satisfying.  I’m particularly impressed at how little dialogue Elizabeth is given and the lovely effect it has on her characterization: So far the princess is a blank slate upon which both the people around her and the viewers project our expectations.  Well done.

Sidebar: Matt Smith blond and sometimes shirtless as Prince Phillip is conveying a jocular, mid-century, traditional masculinity that seems its own sort of fantastical detour into the past.  No Don Draper misgivings here, not yet anyway.  And to my happy surprised, The Doctor has not fettered Smith in the role, even when wearing bow ties–no small thing.

Matt Smith as Dr Who Bowties are Cool

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Praise Odin for that Catholic Priest

Two things are official:  I am hooked on Vikings.  And, the preview for next week has me concerned. 

The trailer for next week’s episode implies that the Anglo-Saxon Priest–Ragnar’s prisoner-of-war cum house slave–will see his end.   I feel like we have really needed that priest.  Here’s why: Continue reading Praise Odin for that Catholic Priest