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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Grimm is back. And I have mixed emotions…

Image credit: Scott Green/NBC
Image credit: Scott Green/NBC

At the start, I was prepared for Grimm and I to go steady, appointment television style. Fringe was ending. And I have a weakness for almost goofily supernatural fiction that would need sating…

But it never quite happened for us. I have a more grudging relationship with the series, often streaming it on demand on nights I can’t find something else, a sci-fi booty call Continue reading Grimm is back. And I have mixed emotions…

One less writer might do wonders for The Following

Somewhat retouched and with transparent backgr...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After last night, I am more convinced than ever (and this has been on my mind since the jump) that Fox’s The Following would be better off if they could just Edgar Allen Poe references. Continue reading One less writer might do wonders for The Following