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Netflix has a new number-one show but critics haven't been kind

It may be a chart topper but it isn't without its critics...

Netflix has a new number-one show but critics haven't been kind
Marc Chacksfield
18 November 2023

It's back and this time it is the end. The Crown: S6 was available to stream from Friday 17 November and already it is a chart topper for Netflix, debuting at number one by some margin.

What was once the 'crown jewel' of Netflix's original programming, however, may well be a show that has now outstayed its welcome, if you believe the reviews.

The Crown first landed on Netflix is 2016. Written by Peter Morgan, who had already hit the big time with his retelling of Queen Elizabeth's story in The Queen and stage play The Audience, he was certainly the right person to bring the docudrama to the small screen.

Given the shifting timelines, there have been plenty of stars who have been in the show, too, depicting the royals at various ages throughout.

The Queen has been played by Claire Foy, Olivia Colman and currently Imelda Staunton. Prince Philip by Matt Smith, Tobias Menzies and Jonathan Pryce.

The action of The Crown began in 1947, with their wedding but the closer it has got to the modern day the impact of the show has lessened.

With the final season depicting the horrific events surrounding Princess Diana's death, some critics believe the show has gone from prestige drama to pure melodrama.

Netflix has a new number-one show but critics haven't been kind
Image Credit: Netflix

The Telegraph notes in its two-star review that: "Peter Morgan's final series shows flashes of the drama it used to be, but these first four episodes are intrusive and clumsy."

The Guardian agrees, writing in its one-star review: "This Diana-obsessed series is the very definition of bad writing. Despite the brilliant cast, it’s a crass, soapy dive into the abyss – not least in the atrocious scenes featuring Ghost Diana."

Forbes also is disappointed, reckoning: "Like many viewers, after six seasons I feel like I have to see this through to the end but man, what a decline."

Empire is one of the rare bastions for the new season, reckoning: "Some may baulk at a few stylistic choices made towards the end of this penultimate batch of episodes, but for the most part The Crown’s final season portrays Diana's death with admirable restraint."

The BBC, though, is with the majority explaining: "Morgan's elegant writing and penetrating, speculative psychology have been immensely intriguing, a joy to watch over the years. Too often in these predictable last seasons, though, we could have written the story ourselves."

Rotten Tomatoes has the entire series at a respectable 81%. Look at the Season 6 reviews, though, and they are currently languishing at 54%, such is the downturn in quality for the sixth and eventually final season.

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