The first episode of this new series of The Windsors was a slightly disappointing affair, it was still funny in places but it was a rare example of the show reflecting reality and so we saw their take on William (Hugh Skinner) and Kate (Louise Ford) and Harry (Tom Durant-Pritchard) and Megan (Kathryn Drysdale) falling out, which was amusing enough but not the show on top form. Fortunately most of the rest of the series has been a little stronger with the crazier it became the funnier it was, as Charles (Harry Enfield) getting possession by the devil and Princess Anne (Vicky Pepperdine) and David Beckham’s “friendship” showed.
It does feel like it might be time to bring everything to a close however as this series finale is the weakest of the lot, and though the plotlines mentioned above made me laugh a fair bit there’s been a few which have been on the lacklustre side of things. Harry and Megan’s antics have been vaguely amusing though the joke that Harry’s an utter idiot while Megan’s a vapid hypocrite has been a well they’ve dipped in to too many times now to the extent that it must almost be empty, and the rivalry between Kate and Pippa (Morgana Robinson) is another aspect of the show that’s be running out of steam throughout these most recent six episodes.
The way this episode wastes it’s attempt at savaging Donald Trump (Corey Johnson) suggests the show’s satirical teeth aren’t as sharp as they once were too, as Trump tries to persuade Charles and Camilla (Hadyn Gwynne) to be King and Queen of America, with it all being part of a plan to make Britain the fifty first state of America. There’s the odd funny line but it’s a story which isn’t exactly captivating, and the jokes surrounding it are only okay and nothing more than that, while Trump comes across as a silly buffoon rather than the disgusting loathsome cunt he is in real life.
The subplot with Beatrice (Ellie White) struggling with her wedding is also a mixed affair, as she can’t decide whether to have a big wedding without her father Andrew (Tim Wallers) present or a small one with him attending, this year writers George Jeffrie and Bert Tyler Moore have been delightfully cruel when it comes to Andrew but in this episode the joke’s starting to feel a bit stale, and losing it’s shock value as he comes to the realisation that “All that privilege you’ve had, you could have made the world a better place but instead you’ve hung about with tin pot dictators, arm dealers and a paedophile…I’m going to change, I’m going to be a better man”. Of course he lets everyone down in the end, but it’s not in a particularly amusing way and feels like yet another sign that the show’s not what it once was.
It’s not all bad by any means, most episodes still have some decent lines, Hadyn Gwynne continues to be an absolute delight as Camilla and though she’s underused in this episode she gets the majority of the best lines, and some of the commentary about Megan giving a speech about climate change despite her use of private jets is sharp and very funny, but most of the time it’s either not as pointed as it usually is, or it lacks the inspired idiocy of the very best episodes of the show.
At the end of the episode it kind of feels like they’re aware this could well be the end, what with Wills big speech where he explains “Though we Windsors may seem a needless drain on the countries finances and lack the expertise, charisma and the basic intelligence that goes with leadership we are still Britain’s royal family. It’s the law”, and if it is the end it’d be a suitably amusing one. But if it’s not they really need to either up the satire and tear in to the royal family more, or make it even sillier and dafter than ever, as if it continues along in the vein of the majority of the third series it’ll be increasingly disappointing and only fitfully amusing.
Our review of The Windsors Series 3 Episode 1.