By: Lily McElory, News Editor
What could have become one of the CW’s hit new shows will most likely flop due its oh-so-familiar teen drama. “Reign,” a “historical” drama, quickly proved that it is just another silly young adult soap opera with neither real substance nor factual history.
With the right execution, “Reign” could have been a teen version of “Game of Thrones” without the awesome dragons. However, the inaccurate timeline, costumes, and accents (why does every character sound British?) make this show more comical then dramatic.
The series showcases the life of teenage Mary, Queen of Scots (Adelaide Kane). Mary has been living in a convent since she was nine. After a failed assassination attempt that didn’t seem to scare her one bit, she travels to the French court and meets her future husband, Prince Francis (Toby Regbo). Francis is quite attractive and looks oddly strong for a boy who was so sick and frail that he died when he was 16.
Immediately upon Mary’s arrival at court, we meet her four out of place and much too modernized B.F.F.s, whose costume designers seemed to think that 16th century women wore glittery strapless dresses from Forever 21.
Mary and her posse of gossiping teenage girls act like high school freshman: giddy and informal. Enthralled with popularity and boys, like Francis and his half-brother Bash (Torrance Combs), who is a completely fictitious character. Mary is presented as an immature, dim-witted girl, instead of the highly educated, sophisticated, and charming queen that she was.
The only character that showed the slightest bit of promise was Queen Catherine, (Megan Follows), Prince Francis’s mother, and that’s only because she seems to dislike Mary almost as much as the show’s viewers do. She does not want to see the marriage between Francis and Mary occur, especially after Nostradamus (Rossif Sutherland), who is her young, handsome, and mysterious seer, tells her “she will cost Francis his life.” If he does die then at least one accurate historical fact will play out.
Even if viewers aren’t history buffs, there are little things, like the informal conversations and greetings between royalty and non-royalty, or the scandal that is created due to Prince Francis’s promiscuity in court (because apparently it was unheard of for men in 16th century Europe, especially royal men, to have multiple friends with benefits. Right.) These all make it hard to sit through and watch. If the CW had been a little more historically accurate, “Reign” would have been a pretty good show. Instead, they took a great idea and butchered it.
The worst part about the show is that the CW has made a mockery of an intriguing historical character by portraying her as a frivolous little girl. In actuality, Mary became Queen of Scotland when she was six days old. She became Queen Consort of France when she was 16 by marrying her first husband, Prince Francis (she married twice more after Francis’ death). She finally fled to England when she was 25 where she was imprisoned for 19 years until her execution for allegedly plotting to kill her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I.