THE CROWN A Near Mid-term Report
Again, let me compliment Daniel Ogawa on his excellent review and take of Season 5 of the popular Netflix series. Dan's insights are valid and explain the detached feelings of watching Leslie Manville continue to have her heart broken; Phillip's obsession with relevancy as the Queen's consort; and Charles' and Diana's lousy marriage . . . which was a lousy marriage . . . before it was a lousy marriage.
But after four episodes, the casting of Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II is a complete whiff. There is NOTHING royal about this accomplished actress. NOTHING. She is a poor follow up to the Not-Yet-Overwhelmed-But-Quite-Competent Claire Foy, and the Matronly-But-Don't-Fuck-With-Me Olivia Colman.
And in a complete irony, the prime ministers of England started out strong with John Lithgow; virtually disappeared under Jeremy Northam and Edward Heath; resurrected due to the brilliance of Gillian Anderson; and have once again vanished at the wan request of Johnny Lee Miller.
This might be an indictment of the Brits, who elect strong, polarizing leaders to bail their tea-addicted behinds out of a bind, but put in the Caspar Milquetoasts of the world at the slightest hint of actually having to work for a living.
No matter. The character of John Major is the least of the series' problems.
Those begin and end with Queen Elizabeth II, who comes off as a wealthy couple's nanny. She's only mildly interested in the marriage compromises by Princess Margaret and Princess Royal Ann. Claire Foy and Olivia Colman would have LITERALLY bitch-slapped those two sluts into chastity belts and informed them if they keep fucking around, they're going to end up on the Isle of Manx, chattering away from the cold.
You want to play the Queen of England? Fine. You don't play it as some Banana Republic figurehead whose main interest lay in which castle to spend the night, or how to come up with the dough to repair the barnacle-encrusted royal yacht.
You spank your children (Don't care if Andrew is middle-aged. Smack that kid on his keister and send him to bed without a scone.); lock your skank of a sister in the London Tower; and get your frat boy husband to stop thinking about knocking boots with Natasha McElhone.
To paraphrase Hugh Grant in Love Actually, "You're the Queen of England. Get a grip."