The story of Crown Princess Märtha, who fought for her country and her marriage during the tragic events of World War II.The story of Crown Princess Märtha, who fought for her country and her marriage during the tragic events of World War II.The story of Crown Princess Märtha, who fought for her country and her marriage during the tragic events of World War II.
The same approach should probably be taken to this series, which plays fast and loose with World War II history. But that's hard to do, because we're so much closer to the real events that this series rewrites than Shakespeare's audience was to minor figures in Medieval Scottish and Danish history. (Did they know anything about those fields at all?) It was very hard for me to sit through the depiction of the female lead, the Crown Princess of Norway, inspiring Lend-Lease, for example. I can imagine that Swedes don't particularly enjoy seeing their former king portrayed as a Nazi sympathizer. But if you don't know anything about World War II history, then I guess that wouldn't bother you. Just as I am not bothered, in reading Hamlet, by the discrepancies between the play and Medieval Danish history.
What we are left with is imitation Downton Abbey - lots of nice-looking aristocracy and their homes, not too much concern with unglamorous commoners.
Also a story to inspire timid women: a timid young princess - think Princess Diana - comes into her own and eventually grows a backbone. She even helps to save Western civilization. A story lots of timid women could relate to.
If you're a World War II history buff, or a guy, or a woman who does not need fantasy history to feel inspired to develop her potential, this will probably seem like a long-winded costume drama, which is what it actually is.
But if you're part of the intended audience, you might enjoy it. And so long as you don't mistake what happens for history, I don't know that there is any harm in that. George Washington didn't chop down that cherry tree, after all, yet Parson Weams' tale of how he did but then did not lie about it provided moral courage to countless young Americans of a previous era. If this series helps timid women develop moral strength, that wouldn't be a bad thing.
I just watched Episode 6. When FDR, having learned of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, goes first to see the Crown Princess to find courage to deliver an address - what becomes the *A day that shall live in infamy* address to the joint houses of Congress - I almost puked. The rest was pretty much the same thing. FDR turns out to be a lover who finds strength and inspiration in an initially timid Norwegian princess. It's sort of like bad old-fashioned Disney applied to World War II history. Bad imitation old-fashioned Disney.
- May 4, 2021