Prince Harry’s Netflix project faces an uphill struggle after his Apple TV+ series received a critical two-star review from a TV critic, calling it “cloying” and “well-meaning but sanitized.”
Last year, the Sussexes signed a lucrative deal to produce content for the streaming service’s platforms. So far, they’ve revealed two projects: a documentary on Harry’s Invictus Games and an animated family series named Pearl. In addition, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have signed a deal with Spotify to produce podcasts for Daniel Ek’s company.
Harry, on the other hand, faces a battle to succeed after his Apple TV+ series ‘The Me You Can’t See,’ starring him and Oprah Winfrey was critically lambasted when it premiered in May.
Lucy Mangan, the Guardian TV critic, said at the time: “I have been knocking back the anti-emetic medicine since the trailer dropped, and the series itself is as cloying as expected.”
The duke talks about his mother’s funeral, while celebrities like Lady Gaga open up about their traumas, which the Poker Face singer characterizes as her way of acknowledging privilege and “giving back.”
Ms. Mangan said there are “rare moments of authenticity” within the series that pierces “the smooth surface of the rest”. Much of this authenticity stems from Harry’s discussion of his childhood. The duke said that his major memory of his mother is her driving him and his brother William away from the media despite “almost being blinded by tears”.
Throughout the story, Harry’s emotions of helplessness towards his mother are evident.
And that happened every day until the day she died,” he said.
When Harry thinks about Princess Diana’s funeral, the sound of horses’ hooves “on the red road” and the hundreds of people who lined the procession’s route come to mind. He remembers greeting these people while “showing one-tenth of the emotion they were… It was my mum! You never even met her!”
Other celebrities’ experiences with depression, anxiety, OCD, and other mental health issues are interspersed throughout Harry’s conversation – according to the source. However, Ms. Mangan pointed out that the series has a “two-tiered system.”
She said: “Only Harry gets Oprah.
“Celebrity chef Rashad Armstead, champion flyweight boxer Ginny Fuchs, Lady Gaga (though she had her turn last year when she kicked off Oprah’s 2020 Vision tour) tell their stories to some nobody and the camera.
The two-tier system makes the creeping distrust of the enterprise harder to ignore.”
She added: “However real and affecting their experiences and difficulties are (and all those in Say It Out Loud are genuine, passionately articulated and frequently deeply moving), celebrity offerings valorize simply “telling your story”, not judging yourself and others, refusing to accept stigma and so on.
Ms. Mangan stated that this does not help in the least in addressing how “ordinary people” can do so with waiting lists stretching “to infinity”. Last year, more than twice as many young people in England were referred to mental health services, as cases hit record highs.
Ms. Mangan said, the series also fails to “acknowledge any deeper, more intractable forms of mental illness that need even more urgent attention, and to which all ancient stigma still attaches.” Ms. Mangan stressed, while it is evident that everyone’s contribution with The Me You Can’t See is pure, she questioned: “one might ask whether sharing stories always means giving back – or whether it can sometimes mean taking away.”
According to the report of Express, Harry and Meghan’s Netflix deal is a clear indicator that they want to live an independent life and earn their own money. The Sussexes issued a statement following the announcement of the pact, stating that they planned to make “powerful” family content.