This is a review of episodes 4-6 of Harry & Meghan. You can read my review of the first three episodes here on Vocal.
I said in my review of the first three episodes of Harry & Meghan, the documentary by Liz Garbus on Netflix, that I was more interested in the media aspects of their story than the royalty, though the two are of course intertwined. The same is true of the final three episodes -- 4-6 -- which I just saw on Thursday.
But the media play a very different role in this part of their story. In the first part, we see Meghan in control and on top of the media, able to use them to her and Harry's advantage, and good for her, I say. Now we see her become the victim of their incessant intrusion into their lives, to the point that she and Harry and their son and daughter need to go into a kind of hiding. Tyler Perry, the rich American actor who gave them shelter and peace in his beautiful home in California, deserves a lot of credit and becomes a real hero in this story. And shout-out for Chris Bouzy, for providing some savvy research which shows that the avalanche of vicious tweets aimed at Meghan were the work of a small group of well-organized racists.
Both Harry and Meghan, of course, are understably focused on what happened to Harry's mother Diana, and making sure Meghan doesn't suffer anything close to the same fate. I would say that the ultimate culprit, in both cases, both then in the 1990s and in the past few years, is fame itself. When you don't have it, you pursue it relentlessly, and often desire it above all else. But when you have attained it, especially if it's a lot of fame, it suddenly is pursuing you, and your task changes from seeking it to avoiding it. The problem is that fame unleashed becomes incompatible with basic human privacy.
And here the royals do come into play. Whatever we may think of them, they have figured out a way of dealing with the flames of fame, including keeping it at bay when necessary. Although their corporate-like decisions may rankle -- and certain did bother both Harry and Meghan -- the "firm's" endless decisions on what information to dole out to the public, precisely where and when, were and are designed to give the media what they want in a way that doesn't burn or singe any member of the royal family, or the concept of royalty itself.
Ironically, the very forces that drove Harry and Meghan to leave the royals -- the decision being more Harry''s, and being made to protect Meghan -- left them even more vulnerable to the media sharks. Why the royals didn't do more to protect Harry and Meghan, even then, after they had left the royals, remains an open question and indictment of the royal family. After all, Harry and Meghan were and are members of their family, literally, as are their children, aren't they. Prince William's responses, in particular, don't show him in a very good light in this documentary, though in all fairness, this documentary doesn't show, or purport to show, his side of this complex story.
But life goes on, and now that Charles is King and William is next in line to be King, there could well be time and occasion for a rapprochement between the brothers and the family. None of that is talked about in the documentary, because its story concludes with Elizabeth II still on the throne. But it does lead us to believe -- or, at least, it does me -- that Harry and Meghan are good, thoughtful people, wonderful parents, and they and their children deserve a happy life.
my audio review on YouTube
About the Creator
Novels The Silk Code & The Plot To Save Socrates; LPs Twice Upon A Rhyme & Welcome Up; nonfiction The Soft Edge & Digital McLuhan, translated into 15 languages. Best-known short story: The Chronology Protection Case; Prof, Fordham Univ.