The Crown: A Drama That Needs to Balance Its Personal and Political Stories Better

By Maria Bregman

The Crown is one of the most popular and acclaimed shows on Netflix, with millions of viewers around the world captivated by its portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II and her family over six decades. The show has won multiple awards, including Emmys, Golden Globes, and BAFTAs, for its writing, acting, directing, and production values.

But as the show approaches its end with its sixth and final season, some critics have wondered if it has lost some of its charm and edge in recent years. In an opinion piece published on CNN, Louis Staples argues that The Crown has gone back to what it always did best: incorporating both personal and political dramas into its storylines.

Staples writes that he enjoyed watching the first five seasons of The Crown for their balance between showing the royal family’s private lives (such as Charles’ affair with Camilla Parker Bowles) and their public roles (such as Margaret Thatcher’s rise to power or Prince Philip’s naval career). He says that these episodes were “humbling” moments for Queen Elizabeth II (played by Imelda Staunton), who started to question her own role as a monarch in a changing world.

However, he says that in season six, which focuses on Tony Blair’s premiership from 1997 to 2007, The Crown has shifted too much towards politics. He says that Blair (played by Josh O’Connor) becomes “King Tony” in episode six, after he wins a landslide victory over John Major (played by Jonathan Pryce). He says that this episode is “a reminder of what has been lacking in the more recent seasons” of The Crown.

Staples says that Blair’s popularity makes him a threat to Queen Elizabeth II’s authority and legitimacy. He says that Blair challenges her views on issues such as devolution, human rights, Iraq War, media scrutiny, and public service broadcasting. He says that Blair also tries to modernize the monarchy by introducing reforms such as opening up Buckingham Palace to visitors or creating official portraits.

Staples says that these changes are “ridiculous” because they undermine the monarchy’s tradition and dignity. He says that Blair is “a known skeptic of the monarchy” who does not respect or understand its role in British society. He says that Blair is “a man who rose from humble origins” but does not appreciate or acknowledge his own privilege or luck.

Staples also criticizes The Crown for losing some of its sense of humor and irony in its later seasons. He says that he used to enjoy watching scenes where Queen Elizabeth II would make sarcastic remarks or witty comments about her family members or other politicians. He says that these scenes were “funny” because they showed her intelligence and personality.

However, he says that these scenes have become less frequent or less funny in season six. He says that instead of being humorous or ironic, these scenes are either dramatic or sentimental. He says that these scenes are “boring” because they show her vulnerability or sadness.

Staples concludes by saying that The Crown still has some potential left in it before it ends with season seven. He says that he hopes that season seven will be more balanced between personal and political stories than season six was. He says that he hopes that season seven will also be more humorous than serious about Queen Elizabeth II’s reign.

He writes: “The Crown is still a compelling drama about one woman’s life at home & abroad over 70 years — but it needs to balance its personal & political stories better.”


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