The Crown did indeed live up its own name of god and prestige at the Golden Globe Awards. The Netflix original series, which debuted last November, took home the Award for Best Television series for Drama. Considering the competition – Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, This Is Us, and Westworld – that’s quite a feat.
And yet, The Crown has mostly flown under the pop culture radar over the months since its release. How did it rise above the competition on Awards night? If you’re only catching up with it now, let’s take a closer look at the show.
No Magic or Sci-Fi – Just the Real World
Most of the show’s competition had some element of fantasy or sci-fi, but The Crown is rooted in history as we know it. It stars Claire Foy as non other than a young Queen Elizabeth II. The show follows the early days of her rule in England, delving not only on her time on the throne, but also on her relationships and struggles.
At heart, The Crown is all about everything but the crown itself. It shows the split between the Elizabeth as a royal and as a woman; between the monarchy and the monarch. Most of the time, we see her in regular clothing, not in royal vestments or formal wear.
There are very little action sequences here; no chases through alternate dimensions, nor armies led by bastard sons. Instead, The Crown sets itself apart through an intelligent, often-snappy script, punctuating long armchair discussions between the characters with sudden outbursts or tense exchanges. The beautiful cinematography is also worth a look for some breathtaking shots and lighting, as is its value for exploring Elizabeth’s life. The series certainly takes liberties, with actor John Lithgow (who plays Winston Churchill) calling it “a piece of speculative history”. But the public events portrayed in the series are pieces of reality.
Perhaps, the strongest part of the show, however, is its acting. Claire Foy’s portrayal nabbed the series a second Golden Globe for the evening – Best Actress for Television-Drama. Playing a figure who has been beloved in England for over sixty years is certainly no small task, but her quiet-but-strong demeanor is perfect for one called the Queen. Foy mixes a young monarch’s hesitation and inexperience, with her will and conviction – often seen in her interactions with Lithgow. Lithgow, for his part, portrays an elderly but stubborn Churchill with all the bite you expect from a Prime Minister refusing to step down.
Veterans like Matt Smith (Prince Philip), Vanessa Kirby (Princess Margaret), and Eileen Atkins (Queen Mary) star as well, each bringing in their own flavor to the drama. There’s not a single weak performance in this cast, even from the supporting players such as a bitter Edward, played by Alex Jennings, or a world-weary Graham Sutherland, played by Game of Thrones alum Stephen Dillane.
A second season has already been commissioned. Perhaps, this one will raise the standards to greater, royal levels. Any thoughts on the Golden Globe win? Share them with us below!