(CNN) The top lips remain admirably stiff in “The Crown,” but Season 2 takes what was an excellent Netflix drama and polishes it to a higher gloss — presenting its stories more crisply, while providing a more powerful showcase for its regal core cast.
Chalk it up, perhaps, to the time and stories that series creator Peter Morgan provides at his disposal, picking up the 10-episode run found in 1956, with one hour that chronicles the strained marriage between Queen Elizabeth II (Claire Foy) and her hubby Philip (Matt Smith), with her asking, “what needs to change to make this marriage work.”
The series then proceeds, chapter by chapter, via an assortment of fascinating interludes in the later 1950s and early ’60s: England plunging into an ill-advised war with Egypt over the Suez Canal; the Royal Relatives criticized to be out of feel; John F. Kennedy visiting along with his glamorous wife Jackie (played by Michael C. Hall and Jodi Balfour, respectively); Elizabeth and Philip sparring over what’s best regarding educating the small Charles; and the federal government being rocked by the Profumo affair, in which the Secretary of Talk about for War, among others, was undone by a sex scandal.
“The Crown” likewise continues to record the travails of Elizabeth’s youthful sister, Margaret (Vanessa Kirby), who meets and takes up with a dashing photographer (Matthew Goode, previously noticed wooing Woman Mary on “Downton Abbey”). On the other hand, when it comes to romance, if Margaret didn’t have lousy good luck, she’d have positively none at all.
Foy was terrific found in year one aswell, but at times risked getting overshadowed by the larger-than-life statistics that surrounded her, you start with Winston Churchill. In this article, she’s a firmly ensconced queen, albeit one nonetheless grappling with the indignities connected with that role in an increasingly modern era, such as her resistance to providing her annual Christmas message via television.