It’s very depressing to me that Entertainment Weekly has now gone monthly. To me, that’s the first step toward all-digital; I hope I’m wrong, but it feels like we should at least get to keep SOME real, tangible things in this world, and EW is one of the magazines I enjoyed getting every Thursday or Friday and then devouring over the weekend. But, as weird as it is, I’m glad it isn’t changing its name. Entertainment Monthly sounds so barren, like we’re only allowed to amuse ourselves ONCE A MONTH and the rest of the time it’s just tumbleweeds, so CHOOSE WISELY, SADSACKS.

Ahem. Anyway, Olivia Colman sits atop the September EW, timed with the release of the preview. It’s a great photo. She’s giving me superb Queen Elizabeth II vibes, and — even though it picks up where season 2 left off, so there isn’t REALLY any aging happening — the effect is of a more layered, worn-in queen than Claire Foy’s Elizabeth, which is the stated intent behind changing casts every two seasons.

I also need to note that I misread the top as “The Secrets of FRIENDS: THE MURDER,” and I was EXTREMELY interested in the idea of resurrecting that show as a murder mystery (otherwise, hard pass). I don’t understand why we’re digging up secrets about Friends at this point in our lives, but much like People is compelled to run a Kennedy cover every six months to a year (bonus points if they can make it about JFK Jr., and triple-bonus if it involves a never-before-known friend of his and Carolyn Bessette’s, and QUADRUPLE bonus if they can advertise a photo you’ve never seen before), so too I guess does Entertainment Weekly have to remind us of Friends. Check! Noted, y’all. Thanks.

Here’s some of what the story says about the development of season three:

The notable historical subjects covered in season 3 of The Crown include the 1964 discovery that the Queen’s art adviser Anthony Blunt was a Soviet spy, and Labour leader Harold Wilson’s rise to prime minister that same year. The show will also detail the 1966 Aberfan disaster, when an avalanche of coal waste buried a school in Wales.

That paragraph is not doing much to convince me that Peter Morgan has changed his outlook to include an actual interest in, say, The Queen. While I’m sure those were all important to Elizabeth — the latter for sure — I hope the actual Queen features in Labour Leader Harold Wilson’s storyline as more than just someone who hears about him while in her salon. Oh, and:

As for the intra-family issues explored, Morgan says the show will deal less than previous seasons have with the marriage of Elizabeth and Philip — which he believes became more settled in the ’60s after the early years of turmoil. Instead, the upcoming episodes will detail the breakdown of the union between Margaret and her photographer husband, Lord “Tony” Snowdon (Ben Daniels).

Margaret is fascinating, it’s true, but guess who else is? THE QUEEN.

The season examines Charles’ youthful relationship with his future second wife, Camilla (Emerald Fennell), which began in the early ’70s, years before he met and married Diana.

Well, her child’s marital future is relevant to her, so that’s… something? But if Olivia Colman doesn’t get more to do than just look concerned about other people’s lives, I will be very bummed out. Queen Elizabeth II has an inner life, and you know our pet peeve is Peter Morgan’s reluctance to explore it. YOU HAVE OLIVIA COLMAN. Surely there are nuances to her marriage and her parenting that can be explored, and WILL be explored, and this is just a bare-bones minimalist explanation? SURELY, PETER.

There isn’t actually much from Colman herself; the interviewer seems to want to talk mostly about Claire Foy, and filling Claire Foy’s shoes, and Claire Foy Claire Foy. He is Clairefoyant. But good old Helena Bonham-Carter, our new Margaret, did supply this gem about meeting the late princess:

“She was pretty scary. At one point, she met me at Windsor Castle and she said, ‘You are getting better, aren’t you?’” The princess was referring to Bonham Carter’s acting abilities. Well, “I presume that’s what she meant.”

That is a mic drop from Margs if ever there was one.

[Photo: EW]