The Crown by Peter Morgan Season 5 [7/10]

Peter Morgan has tied up hours of my life, entertaining me with his exquisite talent at storytelling, while telling a story that revolts me, that of the British royal family. “The Crown” has been stellar viewing, with perfect casting and fine acting, with dramatic stories ripping the best out of the royal saga, with soaring cinematography. The earliest seasons were the most dramatic, enriched by the emergence of Great Britain out of WWII into the Cold War, but recent seasons have entertained (my reviews of Season 3 and Season 4). And Season 5, the most controversial one so far because it messes with the unknown truths behind the recent decades of regal turmoil? I see this season as a mixed bag, with a couple of mildly intriguing standalone episodes, a brilliant story about the Russian Revolution and Yeltsin, and a multi-episode, slow burn dramatizing Diana’s schism with the Queen and family. Elizabeth Debicki does a splendid job as Diana but the abiding issue is that Diana herself was largely vacuous, so two episodes dragged. That said, Episode 9, the culmination of that narrative strand, is vintage Peter Morgan, stately and tense. Overall, Season 5 works well enough but rarely lifts above highly competent and watchable.

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