Fri. Jul 19th, 2024

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for The Crown Season 6, Part 2, Episode 10, “Sleep, Dearie Sleep.”]

When it comes to true stories, The Crown has played fast and loose with the concept of creative liberty by plucking moments from the Royal family’s history and delivering them in… unique ways for Netflix viewers to consume.

Let me first begin by saying The Crown has been one of my favorite dramas in recent years, and I’ve always sung its praises, but as the show reached its final episodes, it had strayed so far from the confines of reality, it no longer felt like a joy, but rather a chore, to tune in. This criticism in no way condemns the fantastic performances delivered by the talented ensemble of actors who have brought this series to life.

Despite the less-than-perfect material provided to them, the actors still delivered captivating performances until the final minutes of the show’s finale, “Sleep, Dearie Sleep.” Unfortunately, Season 6 felt like one of those term papers that starts strong and gets progressively flimsier as the author races toward the end goal.

(Credit: Netflix)

What began as a look into Queen Elizabeth II‘s rise to power through the youth and inexperience of Claire Foy‘s portrayal turned into a hit-or-miss ending with unsubtle messages and unusual narrative choices. It isn’t a secret that the final season went through some alterations following the death of the Queen in real life; along with pausing production, it was also teased before the season’s release that a tribute to the monarch would include Foy and Olivia Colman alongside Elizabeth’s most recent portrayer, Imelda Staunton.

As the series raced toward its conclusion, the creative choices became more apparent and less elegantly executed with the inclusion of Princess Diana (Elizabeth Debicki) and Dodi’s (Khalid Abdalla) ghosts. For all of the time spent leading up to Diana and Dodi’s deaths, I look back on Season 6’s first half believing much of that story could have been condensed into one or two episodes, especially with so much time spent on conversations that likely never happened.

A particularly egregious example is the moments leading up to Dodi and Diana’s deaths as she turns down a proposal. As they comfort one another, Dodi gives Diana advice to “slow down,” a bit of advice that feels very forced and pointed in terms of the message series creator Peter Morgan wants to convey.

(Credit: Netflix)

When the ghosts step in for the fourth installment, “Aftermath,” Diana’s presence feels like a way to ease the pain and guilt of the Royal family as she speaks with Charles (Dominic West) and the Queen. Undeniably emotional, these moments must also be recognized as manipulative, because that’s what it is. Her ghostly apparition absolves Charles and Elizabeth of any blame they may have had regarding her death and allows them a closure the real-life figures may have never had.

It’s a scenario that blends a dream world with real-life tragedy in a way that feels a bit strange. As Season 6’s second half picked up, Diana could not be left to rest. Instead, she returns for a completely fictionalized flashback meet-cute with her future daughter-in-law Kate Middleton (Ella Bright) that is completely mind-boggling as Middleton never met the late princess at any point in time.

As the season progressed, even more confusing elements were included, like Prince William (Ed McVey) spending most of his grandmother’s Golden Jubilee with Kate (Meg Bellamy) and her family but making it back to London in time for the big balcony wave. In reality, he was there for the balcony, but to presume he spent the day with Kate feels silly.

And Episode 8, “Ritz,” recalls an evening in which the Queen (Viola Prettejohn) and her sister Margaret (Beau Gadsdon) went to the titular establishment in celebration of VE Day. Loosely based on real events, viewers follow then-Princess Elizabeth into the basement, where she dances with soldiers from Harlem. In reality, she was accompanied by guards and likely not let out of anyone’s sight.

The night is meant to be a secret between Elizabeth and Margaret (Lesley Manville), remembered on the verge of the latter’s death. While sweet in theory, the flashbacks feel much more like a dream sequence than anything else. These are merely some examples of some of the more far-fetched scenarios presented to viewers, not including the manifestations of Elizabeth’s younger selves convincing her to remain on the throne in the finale episode.

Perhaps it’s the influx of information viewers have about the Royal family in more recent years that makes such deviations and creative choices feel even more apparent, but for a show that opened so strong, these decisions came at the expense of sticking the landing. But do you agree? Change My Mind in the comments section, below.

The Crown, Seasons 1-6, Streaming now, Netflix

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The post ‘The Crown’ Strayed Too Far From Reality for Its Own Good appeared first on WorldNewsEra.

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