It has many things to recommend it. But the highest honor I can bestow upon it is to say that I'm pretty sure that Helen Mirren made a study of Miranda Richardson's Queenie to get the Mad Queen Bess bits down just right. And I'm completely serious about that.
This version of the Virgin-Adjacent Queen centers on her relationships with the two Robins (Dudley, Earl of Leicester and Devereaux, Earl of Essex). Given that much potential for bawdy French Farce, Mirren is faced with Liz's 19th nervous breakdown about 10 minutes in. And apparently neither Mirren nor Tom Hooper (who, I see, also directed Daniel Deronda; methinks I'm not the only Dancy stalker) shied from making her as thoroughly ridiculous in her moments of human weakness as she is awe inspiring in her moments of political greatness. It's an interesting choice and the right one to keep the story from descending completely into soap opera territory.
And does it even need to be noted that the entire cast is stellar? Jeremy Irons, Emperor Palpatine, hosts of folks from Cracker, and MI-5, etc. Hugh holds his own with some powerhouses of acting and hardly ever has to fall back on his fundamental cuteness in tights. And shallow as I am, I couldn't help thinking that I wouldn't mind shagging Hugh Dancy (or Jeremy Irons, for that matter) at Helen Mirren's age, nor would I mind shagging Helen Mirren at Hugh Dancy's age.
I love it when a plan comes together.