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'Harry and Meghan' On Netflix Is Better Than I Thought, But Something Still Feels Off

If I'm being truthful, I wasn't that excited about this new series on Netflix all about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, telling the story of their own love and how they decided to get out of the Royal Spin Cycle. I'm not sure why, but something about it feels icky to me. As a Royal enthusiast, I of course had to watch it, and I was surprised by how interested I was in all of it. That being said, there's still some...weirdness to it? And by weirdness, I mean Meghan Markle is putting on the show of a lifetime and its kind of pissing me off. The first 3 episodes have been released so far, and I have a few thoughts:

- God bless Harry and everything he has been through. They show a lot of very old paparazzi footage of him as a child being forced to stand for photos in front of dozens of people while on holiday with his mother, as well as a lot of extremely uncomfortable snapshots and videos of paparazzi physically grabbing him and chasing him down on foot, just to get a glimpse. It's fucking disgusting. We've all known it was bad, but I've never seen this particular view of it and every single person who harassed those poor people should burn in hell. 

- The story of Harry and Meghan is cute. He saw her on a friend's instagram, asked his friend to set him up with her, and they basically fell in love at first sight. I should say, Harry's recollections of it are cute, Meghan's are....contrived? Is that the right word? More on that later. 

- We finally hear from Meghan's mother, who has an interesting perspective on the whole thing because she was the one who wasn't at all naive to the fact that Meghan would become a huge topic of conversation because of her race. Somehow, Meghan didn't anticipate that at all. Doria Ragland seems smart, sharp and weary of this entire thing; her honesty is refreshing. 

- I think I've decided that I don't like Meghan as a person. We just wouldn't be friends. I don't necessarily think she is bad, Harry clearly loves her SO MUCH and it's hard to argue that she helped him have the confidence to push past his family and into the real world, but something about her is so fake to me I can't get past it. She says at the beginning that she grew up nerdy and brainy, and that makes a ton of sense for how she is as a person. She's just...kind of lame and is trying REALLY HARD to be respected and "cool" no matter how many times she pretends she isn't. Before the interviews even start, Meghan and Harry are shown a old clip of Meghan being asked "Who would you rather be with, Prince William or Prince Harry?" and she rolls her eyes and pretends not to care about them. This clip is from less than a year before she met Harry. Like, we get it Meg, you want to be taken seriously. It's also clear that she wants to be recognized for all the good that she does, but she wants it to come across like "oh, helping the orphans? Just another Tuesday!" Girl, please. 

- They both have done a TON of volunteer work in other countries, which makes sense as to why they get along so well. This is the most important part to remember I think - Meghan is an activist, and she very clearly wants to be the next Amal Clooney or someone similar. Not saying she is using Harry, but she is certainly taking advantage of his status to help herself make strides where she wants to. She is the megaphone, he provides the speakers. I don't want to say things like "manipulative" or "coercing" but the way she handles him is kind of...IDK. Harry will literally do anything and everything she says. He's been starving for guidance, love and trust for his entire life, and now he's putty in her hands. She absolutely recognizes that. 

- Meghan keeps trying VERY HARD to convince us that she's just some 'total novice' when it comes to dealing with the Royals and being in the public eye. Like she's some trashy bumpkin who doesn't even know how to curtsy or hold a conversation with a British person. Again...Meghan...you're an actress and a celebrity. Nobody thinks YOU are normal, either. 

- The paparazzi thing is still out of control, and I don't think Meghan helps Harry at all with this. There is a scene where they are driving in a car through NYC, a 20 minute drive downtown, and she continuously asks about and points out the paparazzi that are following them. I understand we're making a show here, but if anything it made everyone's anxiety a lot higher. You're not Diana, Meghan, you're not being chased down the FDR like you're on the Autobahn. It just all seemed so...performative? That might be the word I've been looking for all along. It feels like Meghan is performing.

Having said all this about Meghan, does this mean that I think she's a shitty person and what she and Harry have done is a mistake? No. I think it's clear that the media has ruined these people's lives, and Meghan Markle is a loud American who knows how to handle reasonable media members and is trying to change the narrative for Harry as well as elevate herself. They LOVE their kids, they LOVE each other, and so far all they've really said about The Institution is how stuffy it always was. It's hard to watch Harry learning about, and from, his past trauma but it's also encouraging to see that he will be okay. You can feel a lot of guilt from him through his words, how ashamed he is of how he had acted growing up (the Nazi costume, etc) and how embarrassed he has been in realizing the magnitude of the bubble he lived in. He says it himself, he is not normal, but he is trying to understand everything through the lens of the real world instead of the windows of Buckingham Palace. If Meghan is helping him with that, I'll just continue to roll my eyes at her self serving attitude while appreciating that she is actually not that bad.