Last December I devoured The Crown when it premiered on Netflix. You can revisit my review of season one here. After watching those initial episodes, I became obsessed with Queen Elizabeth. In fact, I made it one of my 2017 New Year's resolutions to read a book about her life. I ordered Sarah Bradford's "Elizabeth," which turned out to be 530 pages of total boredom. Though it wasn't a page turner, I learned a ton about the Queen and it made me even more excited for the second season.
On the morning of December 8, I woke up giddy. I knew I just had to get through one more work day before I could plant myself on the couch and start binging.
*SPOILER ALERT! Do not read on if you don't want to know anything about season two.*
Season two begins in the year 1957, with the hostile takeover of the Suez Canal. As Britain's global power continues to wane, Elizabeth finds herself demanding more transparency from her prime minister. Throughout the season I found myself missing John Lithgow's take on Winston Churchill. He really was one of the stars of the show. Thankfully he has his Emmy and Screen Actors Guild awards to keep him company!
Politics aside, a major focus of this season was Elizabeth and Phillip's marriage.
During a moment of extreme strain, Elizabeth sends Phillip on a five month tour of the Pacific. It was uncomfortable to watch him enjoy cheating on his wife. It became even more uncomfortable when he insisted on being promoted from the title of Duke to Prince, feeling dwarfed by his eight-year-old son, the heir to the throne.
Speaking of Charles, episode nine is centered around his first few weeks at boarding school. He is portrayed as weak and "delicate." Interestingly, in the book I read, Charles is spoken about as a ladies man in his twenties. When you learn about his early childhood, that seems impossible.
My favorite character this season was Princess Margaret. In season one we all became enthralled in her affair with Captain Peter Townsend. In this installment, we witness her accept a crappy marriage proposal (only to call it off) and then later accept a second proposal, this time from a passionate artist. Over the course of both seasons you really learn how being a member of the royal family stunted Margaret's personal growth. She was a prisoner to the rules of the monarchy, never able to achieve true happiness.
In episode eight, the Queen welcomes John F. Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy to Buckingham Palace. Michael C. Hall plays JFK, which shocked me! Dexter as the most handsome US president? Just doesn't seem natural.
I have always been enchanted by the cinematography, the sets and the incredible costumes. Each time they shoot those huge dinner party scenes I can't help but ask myself, "How long did that take to stage?" My one complaint about the directors' choices is that in each episode, at least two or three times they linger on someone's pensive face for several seconds too long. It's fine to zoom in on someone's face for one, two or even three seconds, but six or seven? That's just uncomfortable.
While I was flying through all ten episodes, I was ecstatic. I was so happy to be reunited with the royal family and learned more and more about their history with each episode.
Now that I've finished, I am already looking ahead to season three. Claire Foy and Matt Smith will be replaced in the third and fourth seasons. Netflix has announced Olivia Colman as the new Elizabeth, but we're still waiting to hear who will take on the role of Phillip.
Tell me, did you watch season two? Did you like it as much as the first?