Nora Dominick ’17/ Emertainment Monthly Executive Stage Editor
Last night, Netflix’s The Crown took home two major awards at the 74th annual Golden Globe Awards. Leading actress Claire Foy took home Best Actress in a Drama Series while The Crown won Best TV Drama. It’s one of the most amazing Netflix series from 2016 and it’s the one you may have missed.
The Crown takes you through the early reign of Queen Elizabeth II (Foy). The series effortlessly documents Elizabeth’s relationships with Prince Philip (Matt Smith), Winston Churchill (John Lithgow) and Princess Margaret (Vanessa Kirby). Although the wisdom from her father, King George VI (Jared Harris), motivates a great deal of the series.
After The Crown and Foy’s big Golden Globe wins, Emertainment Monthly breaks down the ten reasons you should binge watch The Crown right now!
10. It’s like Downton Abbey (But dare we say better)
Last year, Downton Abbey closed its doors for the last time and we weren’t sure if anything would fill that void. Then Netflix gifted us The Crown and dare we say it’s better than Downton Abbey. It takes the best things about Downton Abbey– scandal, family, British high society– and somehow improves upon it. If you are looking to fill the void, The Crown is the perfect filler.
9. The Score
From the opening theme montage by Hans Zimmer to every piece of music crafted, the score gives another layer. In every episode Rupert Gregson-Williams creates a score that elevates the already incredible acting, cinematography and pure production value of The Crown. Don’t believe us? Just take a listen.
8. The Production Team
Peter Morgan is no stranger to the story of Queen Elizabeth II and her reign. He’s the genius behind The Queen and the hit play The Audience, both of which tell her story. It’s no surprise Morgan knocks it out of the park yet again with The Crown. Penning every episode, the attention to detail Morgan puts into every aspect is astounding. There is no one else we would want to tell Queen Elizabeth II’s story. Also alongside Morgan is Stephen Daldry, who executive produces, but also directs. The entire production team shines very bright on The Crown.
7. The Locations
In order to pull off a stunning portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, the setting is very key. The Crown re-creates some extraordinary locations throughout the entire first season. From inside Buckingham Palace to the streets of London during a smog outbreak, The Crown uses its locations to paint a vast portrait of Elizabeth’s reign. With every episode, fans learn more about the history of the British monarchy just from the locations alone. From the opening episode when The Crown recreates Elizabeth’s wedding to Philip, the locations are astounding.
6. The Scandals
Every good historical drama includes some scandals, but very few pull them off as well as The Crown. In season one, one of the biggest scandal involves Princess Margaret and her relationship with Peter Townsend (Ben Miles). A real-life love affair of the century, Margaret and Peter’s relationship drives a lot of the conflict between Elizabeth, Margaret and their mother Queen Elizabeth (Victoria Hamilton). The second biggest is the pure presence of former King Edward VIII after his brother’s death. The Crown brilliantly blends together these storylines and gives us enough political gossip to last all year.
4.The Love Story
In previous tellings of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, very little is told about her marriage to Prince Philip. The Crown offers an intimate look inside their love story as Philip struggles with Elizabeth’s ascension to the thrown. The series kicks off with Elizabeth and Philip’s wedding, but that is just the beginning. In particular, Matt Smith brings his A-game as he portrays a man who is conflicted by the amount of power his wife has over him. Smith portrays Philip in a way that makes you hate to love him, but also love to hate him. Foy and Smith have beautiful chemistry as they bring to life this complicated, but ultimately loving relationship.
3. The Fashion
Reportedly one of the most expensive TV series to make EVER, The Crown certainly shows it in the fashion. With costume design by Michele Clapton, The Crown brings the British monarchy to life with each and every outfit that comes across the screen. From Elizabeth’s coronation outfit to basically everything Margaret wears, your jaw will be on the floor from the sheer elegance. Honestly, we suggest watching The Crown at least twice. Once for plot and the brilliant acting and the second for every single piece of fashion.
2. John Lithgow
Playing the booming, ever present Winston Churchill is a daunting task, however John Lithgow does so with ease. Although he’s taken on many roles in his storied career, Lithgow’s work as Churchill maybe career defining. Opposite Claire Foy, he delivers breathtaking monologues and conversations. He’s a powerhouse and only adds to the remarkable work present on The Crown. Lithgow commands every scene, even with Churchill’s declining health. If you think you know Lithgow, you don’t. Not until you watch him tackle this historical figure. It’s simply breathtaking.
1. Claire Foy
2017 Golden Globe WINNER Claire Foy allows The Crown to soar to the heights it has. Her breakthrough performance as Queen Elizabeth II is nothing short of career-defining. Foy brings her A-game in every single episode and it’s hard to imagine anyone else taking on the role of a young Queen Elizabeth II. Her work opposite Smith and Lithgow is astonishing as she portrays a political figure that is genuine, kind and tough. With every episode, her portrayal only gets better and better. 2017 is the year of Claire Foy and we can’t wait to see where it takes her. Long live the Queen!