Hugely anticipated, heavily trailed – but could Harry & Meghan have made good television?
Warning! You will be disillusioned if you thought Harry & Meghan was going to be a hugely-promised new series on Netflix.
Except if you’re a member of the Royal Family individually, then you may be opening champagne. This is a beverage that Harry, according to this show, doesn’t normally enjoy.
This is not slow-burn TV, to put it mildly. Volume One was released in three episodes Thursday, as the title suggested.
Volume Two will likely contain the juicy details that were so temptingly mentioned in the trailers. Who leaked or planted stories about Meghan and Harry? Is there a war against Meghan? Which was the “dirty” game?
Over three hours, we got new details about their “great love story”, Harry said. Soft focus lenses, Nina Simone in the background, private photos and videos, and even a phone call between Meghan’s friend and her as she got engaged.
The first volume also discusses harassment by media. Harry says it is his responsibility to uncover exploitation and corruption.
Even more damaging is the perception that the programs promote a culture of structural racism in Britain, especially with regard to the Royal Family, and media.
David Olusoga, historian and television presenter describes the joy many Britons of color felt at Meghan’s entry into the Royal Family. There was hope that maybe we might have difficult conversations, which were pushed aside so many times. It was not to be. Subtext later.
These episodes, however, were not aimed at any one person.
Netflix has billed Harry & Meghan to be an “unprecedented, in-depth documentary series”.
Unsurprisingly, however, the program was highly selective and one-sided.
Meghan refers to the photocall and media interview Meghan gave after they were engaged as “orchestrated reality shows”.
Could that be what Netflix’s Harry & Meghan is, which was produced in partnership with the couple?
They began to record video diaries after they left royal duties in March 2020. This was several months prior to their Netflix agreement being announced.
Netflix has made this their reality. It’s a beautifully produced story about a couple that fell in love, but had to give everything in order to do so.
According to the beginning, the Royal Family didn’t comment on the program makers. Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace both confirmed that they had received an email purporting it to be from a production firm from an unidentified address. They tried to confirm its authenticity with Archewell Productions, and Netflix but were not able to get a reply, PA reported.
PA was told by a source that the content of the email didn’t address all the series.
We have carefully selected the right materials to support this couple.
Netflix has mastered the art of using modern television language to guide us through our story. They met through social media, making them perhaps the first royal couple to do this. It’s also a fantastic advertisement for Instagram. We see their early messages shared on social media, appearing in the same device that TVs use in this tech-savvy age.
Interviews with Harry revealed that his wife was the real heir to Princess Diana. According to him, Meghan is the one with the “same empathy and the same warmth.” As Harry fears history might repeat itself, the show frequently cuts to old footage of Diana.
We will also be entertained by narrative cliffhangers.
Harry describes how he tried to cope with his mom’s death “without any support, help or guidance” and describes the “second family” he has in Africa as a group that “literally brought me up”.
Were you his father? It’s a question we can’t resist asking.
We will find out more.
He speaks about the fact that male royalty tends to marry women who “fit in the mold” rather than for love. Does he think that his brother was guilty of this? Is Volume Two able to answer this question?
Meghan mentions that she met William and Kate for the first time when, as a “hugger”, Meghan was friendly and touchy. That is what she says makes it “jarring” for Brits. After all of the tales about broken relationships between couples, are we to read any further?
The teasers are a great way to keep the story moving along, even if it gets repetitive.
It seems that the programme was designed primarily to appeal to Americans. Harry is now comfortable speaking the West Coast language. He tells how they met up for one more secret night just before the news broke about their relationship.
It is common to hear of “lived experience”, and “cause driven work”.
If you wanted jaw-dropping information, Prince Charles on Dimbleby or Prince Andrew on Newsnight were the ones to watch. Princess Diana was on Panorama, Prince Charles on Dimbleby and Prince Andrew on Newsnight are also available.
The new Netflix series wasn’t Meghan and Harry from Oprah.
This was their last attempt to speak the truth.
They spoke out about the racism of a Royal Family member about their son’s future skin color. Over the three episodes, we don’t get any information about it. It’s still a mystery to who it was.
Harry also talks about his journey in understanding “unconscious bias”. Harry also discusses some past racism he was accused of and describes how he felt “ashamed” after wearing a Nazi-style uniform to a 2005 party.
He is shown in the programme on a continuous journey of self-analysis and discovery about racism.
Other contributors will be able to expand on Britain’s slavery trade history, and the Royal Family’s “skeletons in their closets”.
Will this program persuade anybody to reconsider their views?
The couple will have their “truth” out after the series and Harry’s book Spare is published in January. Is that enough?
As they wrestle with the law of diminishing return, their currency may start to decline. While they may continue to fight royal institutions and media, their true battle may be for ongoing relevance.