- The Crown season 6’s low Rotten Tomatoes score has left viewers wondering what went wrong with the once critically acclaimed series.
- The decline in quality may be attributed more to the narrative choices in season 5, particularly the portrayal of the feud between Princess Diana and the royals.
- The decision to end the series with season 6 seems justified, as the portrayal of Princess Diana’s tragic death has faced criticism for being in poor taste and the show’s ability to tackle current events has faltered.
Previously touted by Netflix as the streamer’s must-watch prestige drama, The Crown season 6’s comparatively awful Rotten Tomatoes score has viewers wondering what, exactly, went wrong. Created by Peter Morgan, who previously penned the 2006 feature film The Queen and the 2013 play The Audience, The Crown centers on the reign of Queen Elizabeth II (then Claire Foy), starting with her marriage to Prince Phillip (then Matt Smith). Known for its commitment to historical accuracy, impeccable casting, and powerhouse performances, The Crown has always been a critical darling — until now. And it’s not The Crown season 6’s cast that’s to blame.
With hundreds of awards to its name, including a near-record number of Emmy Awards, The Crown‘s first two seasons were remarkably well-received. As the series progressed, swapping out its actors as the characters aged — including Foy for Olivia Colman — it only got better. Its third and fourth seasons hit all-time highs in terms of both critical acclaim and streaming success. While The Crown season 5, which notably switched up its cast yet again, had a noticeable dip in quality, it wasn’t awful. Now, The Crown season 6 has achieved a feat no other season has: it boasts a “rotten” score on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.
Why The Crown Season 6’s Rotten Tomatoes Score Is So Low
The first two installments of The Crown have respectable 88% and 89% aggregate scores, respectively. The third season, which saw the introduction of Colman’s Queen Elizabeth II, climbed to 90%, while the fourth season, which featured both Gillian Anderson’s Margaret Thatcher and Emma Corrin’s Princess Diana, hit a series’ high at 96%. Unfortunately, the series’ reviews slipped dramatically in season 5, with the aggregate score coming in at a comparatively low 71%. Seemingly, this shift was less about the cast changes and more about the narrative at hand, with the feud between Diana (now Elizabeth Debicki) and the royals reaching a breaking point.
Broken into two parts, The Crown season 6’s first batch of four episodes doesn’t inspire faith in a satisfying series finale. The sixth season has an incredibly low 57% — a huge shift considering the series’ legacy of massive critical acclaim (via Rotten Tomatoes). The first volume serves as a Princess Diana miniseries, culminating in her tragic death. More than ever, the subject matter poses a litany of challenges, often forcing The Crown to veer into melodrama. For some critics, chronicling a moment of such pain and grief for the sake of bingeable TV has come off as in poor taste, leading to the season’s split reviews and middling score.
The Crown Season 6’s Bad Reviews Confirms Netflix Made The Right Choice Ending The Show
The Crown season 6 marks the series’ final episodes, and that’s probably a good thing considering the mixed reaction from viewers. Retelling the tragedy of Diana’s passing was always going to be a tall — if not impossible — order. Unlike other crucial moments and historical events chronicled throughout The Crown‘s other seasons, the death of Princess Diana, and the surrounding circumstances, are still very charged. With modern-day perceptions of the royals shifting in real life, the series struggles to tell stories about its subjects across the board. As The Crown nears current events, the issues plaguing it are only further exacerbated, reiterating that Netflix made the right call.
Source: Rotten Tomatoes