Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown (Photo: Netflix)
Reviews are for The crownis the long-awaited fifth season, and it seems critics can’t seem to agree on the award-winning drama’s latest outing.
Yes, while many have said that the netflix The original’s return is a great start for its third cast – led by Imelda Staunton like Queen Elizabeth II – others have absolutely ripped it.
So far, the polarizing show has already been described in different reviews as ‘boring’, ‘dull’, ‘tawdry’ and ‘addictive’, with some calling it a low point for The Crown, while others hail it. as strong. like always.
Meanwhile, one headline claims The Crown is “struggling to stay relevant”, while another says the new series proves the show is “as relevant as ever”.
Plot? U.S. too. Here’s just a selection of what critics have to say about the new series:
The Guardian (2/5)
“Season five of The Crown now arrives as the first to air since the death of its protagonist – and the series itself feels like its time has come and gone. […] these new episodes are small and often just boring, with Morgan looking for subplots to hide the fact that everything he has to say about the Windsors has already been said.
“The new fifth season of The Crown is the show’s weakest outing to date: a generally scattered and hazy series is less disciplined than ever. The fact that the divorce between Prince Charles (Dominic West) and Princess Diana (Elizabeth Debicki) being so obviously the most interesting point for contemporary audiences has forced the series to slow its pace and linger.
“The Crown faces the same problem as the Queen; Diana, with her voracious eyes and her need to be cherished, consumes all the oxygen. But even after being given the gift of a momentous scandal with two hugely charismatic and imperfect contestants as grist to the grind, The Crown finds it has nothing to say.
Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana in The Crown (Photo: Keith Bernstein)
The Telegraph (2/5)
“It was once a superior costume drama, moments of 20th-century history wrapped up in a high-end soap opera. But as the storylines catch up with the present, the series heads into a trashy telenovela […] It’s ridiculously heavy.
“This is a season that already seems too far in the past and too far in the future to be worth going any further.”
The Independent (2/5)
“The reality is that the Crownran out of steam some time ago. It was intended as a piece of historical fiction, playing on how the early days of Elizabeth II’s reign had faded into the fog of history.
“The longer it lasted, the more it took on an exhaustive, soap opera quality – not to mention that by now devoting two seasons to doomed lovers Charles and Diana, it has become increasingly vulgar.”
“Season Five sees the magnetism that previously surrounded The crownThe central figure of begins to fade […] A recurring narrative theme is the question of The Firm’s place in the modern world, with a more dynamic and engaging next generation waiting in the wings.
“This push-and-pull dominates much of the Queen’s character’s interactions with her heir Prince Charles, and one could argue that sentiment permeates the wider season as well.”
Elizabeth Debicki and Dominic West as Princess Diana and Prince Charles (Photo: Netflix)
“The mimicry can be gritty when you’re more familiar with the real thing. The pacing and cast aren’t as finely tuned as the previous series either, though the good times are still really, really good. […] The Crown still captures something fundamental and immensely observable about the royal family – their constant struggle between duty and individual happiness.
“At this particular juncture, and especially in the run-up to what the sixth and final season is likely to address, it remains to be seen whether The crown will wrap things up on a high note – or, like the monarchy itself, it will fight to maintain its relevance until the end.
The era (4/5)
“Despite the thousands of indignant words that have been written accusing him of turning the Royal Family into a cheap soap opera, I’m afraid the first three episodes are boring. But here’s the good news. It’s getting better. A lot better.
“And the absolute star is Elizabeth Debicki, whose performance as Princess Diana is incredibly good at times.”
Premiering two months after the real Queen Elizabeth died at 96 and bringing in a brilliant new cast, Season 5 of The Crown is thrilling, messy, bitter and not very kind – perhaps inevitably, given that the 90s have been a difficult time for the Royal Family.
“This season would pique royal sensibilities, whatever the memories of the late Queen, as the show has now reached the low point of the reign.”
Evening standard (4/5)
“Elizabeth Debicki has the most delicate appeal as Diana, but she comes close enough: her way of doing Di is always to look up from under her lashes, which Diana did. She conveys something of her grace, his bewilderment and his humor.
“For most of the actors, especially Imelda Staunton, the faces are all fake, but the demeanor and diction are so plausible you don’t mind. Dominic West channels Charles’ mannerisms so effectively that he renders the original unsatisfactory.
Imelda Staunton and Jonathan Pryce as The Crown (Photo: Netflix)
The Hollywood Reporter
“At a time when seemingly every tabloid sagas of the past half-century is being adapted into an Emmy-bait miniseries, The Crown stands out for doing what it’s always done best: combining lucid empathy, savvy commentary, and curiosity. refreshing intellectualism in 10 elegant one-hour episodes.
“Had the show been forced to compress seasons 5 and 6 into a single season, details like Dodi Al-Fayed helping produce the Oscar-winning Chariots of Fire might have been lost in the editing room. Which would have been a shame, because the hyper-specificity is often where this show shines: not in the sweeping recreations of coronations, weddings, and political moves, but in the smaller moments.
“A husband telling his wife he hates her new haircut, a mother scolding her son, two sisters saying ‘I love you’ on the phone. Netflix can now make a point of calling this show fictional, but in those moments, it feels real on a truly human level.
“Crown’s fifth season is as supreme in quality as any of the other seasons. Casual viewers may find some parts a bit slow, certainly compared to season four, but things are getting serious now.
“We all know what’s to come in season six and if season five had any duty it was to tell Diana’s story properly. Debicki, through a fabulous scene-stealing performance, achieves this and Moreover.
Radio schedules (4/5)
“It’s all the addictive, edgy, character-packed drama fans have come to know and love. […] it’s fair to say that if season six lives up to that standard again, then the king and queen of historical dramas will retire after having had quite the reign.
The Crown returns to Netflix on Wednesday, November 9.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.