It’s a Drama, Not a Documentary

I forgot how bad things went for the monarchy in the 90s. While watching The Crown, I remembered bits and pieces about Charles and Diana’s marriage implosion. I remembered Andrew Morton’s book and the sensation it caused. The Panorama interview with clips sent worldwide, especially the famous quote, “There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.” I saw it on CBC National News and thought, really? That guy had another woman? Then came the following quote heard worldwide, the one Netflix had to remind me of after burying it in the oubliette of my trivia mind-the tampon quote.

Oh, Yikes!

I often had to treat The Crown like Succession, a drama about wealthy families and their dynamics. I love the production, the costumes, and the cast during each of their respective seasons. Season one had me chanting, “Phillip is not a timelord,” as Matt Smith took on the role. Seasons one and two made me look at Margaret differently after relegating her to the background as Diana took centre stage. However, spoilers here, folks, Lesley Manville had a scene created for a dramatic effect that broke my heart for Margaret. Seeing a niece who has an almost identical situation down to a princess and an equerry marrying above his station, get what Margaret always wanted leads to emotionally unload on her sister, the Queen. Did it really happen? We don’t know. Drama-wise, it showcased the conflict between the crown and the heart, between being a queen and a sister.

However, as the series winds down, season 6 will be the last, and there are demands for a disclaimer. Dame Judy Dench leads the charge for separating fact and fiction in the Crown. Sure, as long as there is the same thing for Her Majesty, Mrs. Brown, Victoria and Abdul. Nobody batted an eyelash until the upcoming Diana seasons. Strangely, the younger set will see something “historical,” but for some of us, it was a newcast ago.

Perhaps The Crown needs a disclaimer like what’s used on another Netflix show, a limited series called “Inventing Anna.” Each episode starts with a statement in a variety of creative places:

This whole story is completely true. Except for all the parts that are totally made up.

Much like The Crown, Inventing Anna deals with a contemporary story, except this subject is very much alive. Anna Sorokin, aka Anna Delvey, was released this year from prison and under house arrest. As usual, only the best accommodations for this woman, even under house arrest. “Inventing Anna” took viewers to the upper crust of the Big Apple pie made of fashion designers, patrons, entrepreneurs, hedge fund firms, banks, and luxury hotels out of the budget for blokes making a good living as actors/audio narrators. Delvey/Sorokin struck me as bizarre, a character nobody would believe until you read more articles or hear her interviewed. She would definitely classify me as “poor,” and I would reply, “whatever, bitch.” Between this, Succession, and Billions, the saying “more money, more problems” applies over and over. In Delvey’s case, no money and plenty of problems prove true.

The fear of taking things at face value speaks to the lack of discernment among viewers. While people do Google after a broadcast, I remember after the Aberfan disaster episode on The Crown, searches increased about the event itself; nobody will ever know the inner life of the Queen beyond what Peter Morgan writes in the series. It’s drama at this point, with Claire Foy, Olivia Colman, or Imelda Staunton giving their best interpretation as actors in a scene. It’s a dish best served with a pinch of salt sometimes and others the whole shaker.

3 thoughts on “It’s a Drama, Not a Documentary

  1. I enjoyed Season 3 and 4 for self indulgent reasons ( new crush 😉) more than S5 although both Emma Corrin and Elizabeth Dobricki are enchanting as Diana. If nothing else The Crown is well written, acted, directed and entertaining.
    P.s. I thought you were going in Harry and Meghan direction at the beginning of your post

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am not touching Harry and Meghan with any-sized poles. I had watched Inventing Anna after watching the latest season of The Crown and it brought up so many things best left forgotten. (Yikes! Tampongate!)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah Inventing Anna I cannot believe how dumb these banks were and apparently she’s living the high
        Life again awaiting deportation. I don’t get the allure of her at all although Julia Garner was great as Anna in the show 😁


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