We’ve got sucked back in to watching the Crown. We watched series 1, but didn’t really get into series 2 and ignored series 3. But apparently the lure of Diana is too much for us and we’re back. My wife commented how weird this is. We’re not the kind of people who would watch choose to watch a Diana biopic of any other kind and yet here we are, following the herd. Is it what we wanted all along? Do we somehow have an excuse because it’s slighter classier actors and includes more lingering porno shots for people who get off on sunlight glistening off bodies of water or countryside packed with heather.
There are some slightly dubious bits of expositional dialogue, such as the Queen essentially reading out the first paragraph summation of Thatcher from off of wikipedia when her and Phillip see her on TV, but it still sucks you in. And its skill is to make you feel empathy and pity for the various billionaires and their ridiculous cushy lives. And the affable, but insane beast of the royal family suck the teenage Diana into their dysfunctional stomach, and we all know how she’s going to end up shat out the other end. I’ve always been sceptical about the need for a Royal Family because it’s clearly insane and I thought unfair on the rest of us that we’re propping up these people who happen to have plopped out of the right vagina. But I now think the monarchy should be abolished to protect those unlucky vagina ploppers. What kind of a life is it? Just having to be with your family at such close quarters well into adulthood is weird enough. They can do what they want and yet can’t do anything that they actually want. Poor unloved Prince Charles, his father jealous of him because he will get to be an actual King (though, the great irony is that he might never actually get to or for such a short time that it’s meaningless - and yes, it’s pretty meaningless anyway). Poor Margaret Thatcher, brought up to believe that work is play, unable to relax or sleep - a reminder that we are led not by the extraordinary or humane, but by broken weirdos. Who then don’t fit in with the broken weirdos of the monarchy.
And I suppose this is what elevates The Crown above the average biopic, because you are left thinking of people who have prejudged in a different light. And not necessarily a positive one. But it is at least tinged with some empathy.
Would Charles have led a happier life if he wasn’t supposed to be king? Or would he have been an unexceptional man who wouldn’t have got to bang his way through the minor nobility whilst killing woodland creatures and living in palaces?
I think he’d stick with what he’s got. But I am not sure that anyone in their right mind would want to swap places with him.
And if, after all that he’s never actually king…
The actor playing Dennis Thatcher is ace. I only recognised him after a few scenes as the actor Stephen Boxer, who you will have seen in loads of things over the last 40 years and never thought - “Wow, he looks like Dennis Thatcher.” They may have aged him up a bit, but it’s weird to be reminded that as we get older we all get the opportunity to play Dennis Thatcher. I am doing a film role next month where I get to play Nick Helm’s dad and I am also up for another part in which I play a real life person who in my mind is considerably older than me, but in actuality is pretty much exactly my age in the period that this thing is set. It’s not quite Dennis Thatcher, but that’s just round the corner. Why am I being chosen to play dads and overweight middle-aged men? It makes no sense.