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ltownsend's Avatar ltownsend
03:57 PM Liked: 25
post #1 of 7
10-20-2013 | Posts: 656
Joined: Jan 2004
The CW’s ‘Reign’ Is the Guilty-Pleasure Period Drama You’ve Been Waiting For
By Michelle Dean on Oct 17, 2013 12:15pm

The CW’s ‘Reign’ Is the Guilty-Pleasure Period Drama You’ve Been Waiting For
Tonight the CW premieres a new series called Reign. It’s effectively The Tudors, filtered through a CW sensibility — lots of pop music and a candy-colored palette — and transposed onto the slightly more recent story of Mary, Queen of Scots. Everyone in this show is surpassingly attractive. There’s a great deal of sex, and a girl in one of those tattered burlap masks, and also a really hot Nostradamus. And then there is its genius casting of Megan Follows, best known as Anne of Green Gables, as Catherine de Medici. Basically I just like the idea that Anne grew up to be queen, and also that I can now nerdily mention that Anne directed the Mary, Queen of Scots play at the boarding school where she taught in Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel. Intertextuality is a great and wondrous thing.

The truth is, someone like me was destined to like this show. It’s pure fantastical princess-wish fulfillment, a guilty-pleasure type of thing that is deeply relaxing to watch, and effectively bait for any woman who was obsessed with royalty as a teenager. The pilot does not display any kind of extraordinarily intelligent writing, but it’s competent. And a great deal of fun.

It isn’t terribly authentic, of course. Mary herself was indeed considered a beauty in her day. But Francis, the dauphin of France whom she was engaged to marry, was short and apparently stuttered, a far cry from the beautiful blond specimen here. Mary did have four ladies-in-waiting, but they were known as the “four Marys,” because they all shared that name. The CW decided to clear that up by naming them Lola, Greer, Aylee, and Kenna, names that don’t exactly shout “authentic 16th century.” And, uh, Nostradamus was rather older.

But much as in the novels of someone like Tracy Chevalier or Philippa Gregory, historical veracity is sublimated to fun. The pseudo-goth dresses with see-through panels and the heavy-handed soundtrack are at least wielded without the kind of heavy self-seriousness that plagued The Tudors. There is something about abandoning all pretense of authenticity that gives this story a lightness it badly needs; dead-seriousness just isn’t something that plays all that well at the moment.

Reign has already made some noise for cutting a longish masturbation scene featuring one of Mary’s ladies-in-waiting. It still exists in the pilot you’ll see tonight, in truncated form that makes it less than clear why it was cut at all. It’s not like the message isn’t still there. And of course they still left in the part where an older character happens upon her, and decides to, er, asisst.
DuaneAA's Avatar DuaneAA
05:04 PM Liked: 18
post #2 of 7
10-20-2013 | Posts: 645
Joined: Mar 2001
I watched it and I'll admit I enjoyed it.

I wonder where it was shot. The exterior shots of the castle were beautiful. The interior sets were equally gorgeous. And I thought the music worked well.

Of course, being on the CW the cast was all very attractive, but I don't have any problem with that. I thought of the four ladies in waiting, Lola had the most interesting face. It wasn't until later that I went to IMDB and discovered why she looked sort of familiar. She was played by Anna Popplewell from the Narnia movies.

I enjoyed the story line well enough to at least give the show another sampling or two.

Roger Lococco's Avatar Roger Lococco
05:51 PM Liked: 23
post #3 of 7
10-20-2013 | Posts: 985
Joined: Nov 2005
I also thought the show is shot extremely well, apparently those amazing exterior shots were done on location in Ireland, and interiors in Toronto.
jjeff's Avatar jjeff
07:34 AM Liked: 105
post #4 of 7
10-21-2013 | Posts: 10,013
Joined: Nov 2007
Teen daughter loved it, enough eye candy for me for now, I'll keep watching for a while. Agree even if I hadn't known this was on the CW I could have picked it a mile has all the tellings of a CW piece(including the fact that my daughter loved it) wink.gif
I kind of liked that fact that it was a period piece, kind of gives it a different twist.
ss9001's Avatar ss9001
04:56 AM Liked: 353
post #5 of 7
10-22-2013 | Posts: 8,750
Joined: Jun 2003
I truly believe you when you say your teen daughter liked it smile.gif

After just finishing The White Queen about the key women-in-power during the time of England's Tudor-York wars. I thought Reign might be another interesting piece of historical/period drama....boy, was I ever wrong!

I could only stomach about 18 minutes of Ep 1, turned to my wife and asked her if she was "getting" this. She said NO, so it was delete. I deleted the series recording on the DVR. Done & gone.

Silly, insipid, cutesy girlie stuff. Poor acting, poor plot, poor depiction of 1500's, poor silly dialog, poor use of modern music which spoils trying to suspend disbelief that you are watching things going on in 1500's France.

Eye candy? Not nearly enough to warrant wading through girls giggling at the drop of a hat. I thought I was watching a bunch of Valley Girls in a castle! I was half expecting them to start whipping out cell phones and texting or chewing gum rolleyes.gif

I'm not alone...
"Wrong as 'Reign': CW ignores history, insults viewers"
"It may be too much to hope that CW would help educate our children, but we could at least ask the network to avoid making them stupid.",0,5413011.story#axzz2iRgf8H98
"a disservice to young viewers and one fascinating queen."
"'Reign' at several points is laugh-out-loud funny. Too bad it's not a comedy."
“Reign” is nowhere near as good as “Thrones” — how many shows are? — but it’s enough fun to tide you over until the Lannisters & Co. return to HBO."

IMO, to even mention this piece of silly pap in the same sentence as Game of Thrones is an insult to GoT and George Martin's novels.

In all fairness, here's several slightly more positive reviews -
“Reign” is kept from being a true camp classic by the strong house style of CW, whose young-adult soap operas have an overriding strain of melancholy (catnip to angsty 18- to 34-year-olds). That, and the network’s quality control: none of its shows are great, but none of them are entirely laughable, either. “Reign” looks good (the pilot was shot in Ireland), moves smoothly and features CW’s characteristic bland but competent performances. Alas."

You 4 carry on. Just so you know, I do faithfully watch Arrow and Nikita and enjoy both. So I do like guilty pleasures, eye candy, superhero stuff, scifi & action shows, young adult actors.

And I couldn't even imagine this making it to a 2nd season rolleyes.gif but strange things do happen.

Glad there are some who enjoy it but I'm not one of them.
DuaneAA's Avatar DuaneAA
09:14 PM Liked: 18
post #6 of 7
10-25-2013 | Posts: 645
Joined: Mar 2001
I enjoyed the second episode. But as I was watching it, I thought this show could be so much more. Since they are bending reality anyway, what I think they should have done is made this a reboot of the old Highlander show. It would be so much more fun if Mary was immortal with mad sword-fighting skills. Instead of feeling like a helpless victim, I would like to see her kicking some ass.

And, well, I just miss being able to watch a show with awesome sword fights every week.

jjeff's Avatar jjeff
07:12 PM Liked: 105
post #7 of 7
11-02-2013 | Posts: 10,013
Joined: Nov 2007
Well just finished ep 2 and all I can say is WOW. Gorgeous scenery, girls and picture quality, what else can I say, oh the acting is OK too but mainly the first 3 things biggrin.gif and the sword fight was kind of good too smile.gif I like this show in the same way as another CW show with similar lighting and HD quality, the Hart of Dixie and on that vein I'll be sticking around for a while.
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