13 January, 2014

Television Review: Reign

Series Logo for Reign.jpg

Run Dates: October 2013 - Present
Producer: The CW
Run Time: 60 minute episodes
Number of Seasons: 1
Number of Episodes: 8

Summary: Set in 1557 France, the series follows the life of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots at French court while she awaits her marriage to Francis, France's future king, to whom she has been engaged since they were six. At court, Mary has to contend with the changing politics and power plays, as well as her burgeoning feelings for Francis and the romantic attentions from Francis' bastard half-brother, Bash. Francis' mother, Queen Catherine de' Medici, is secretly trying to prevent the marriage due to a prediction from seer Nostradamus, that the marriage will lead to Francis' death. The series also follows the affairs of Mary's Scottish handmaidens Kenna, Aylee, Lola and Greer, who are searching for husbands of their own at court. (borrowed from the Wikipedia article.)


I have a terrible problem when it comes to television shows, namely, I fail to be able to remember the time and day of the week they're coming on. It's rare that I'll watch more than just an episode or two before I simply get too busy with life to remember what show is on which day. I had originally started Reign back in the fall when the first episode aired on October 17, and I was instantly in love with it.

Fast forward a couple of weeks where everything seems to be happening at once from working multiple 'double' shifts a week (I tend to refer to myself working a double shift if I happen to have a shift at both of my jobs on the same day) without days off anywhere in sight. As you can probably imagine, it was a very difficult thing to just keep up with where I needed to be and what work needed to be done, let alone keep up with a television series that holds little more than entertainment value in my life. Therefore, I believe I caught episodes one, two, and five before giving up on trying to stay in touch with what was going on in Reign.

Let's skip forward to this past weekend. I tend to spend a fair amount of time wandering on the social media website Tumblr and happened to catch on my dash a gif set (snippets of a show or video that move in a loop) of Mary and Francis from the show. This brief reminder of the show had me setting out on a quest to find all the episodes and catch up again in hopes I might be on top of things when the show starts back up in the next week or so. 

Reign details the life of Mary, the child-queen of Scotland who's rule started when she was only six days old with her father's death. By the time she was six, Mary has already been engaged to the Crown Prince of France (Francis) and sent to live in French court. After a time it's determined that she's not safe in French Court either and eventually is sent to live in a convent until she comes of age. When we first meet Mary it's 1557, and after a botched attempt on her life, Mary is sent back to the French Court where she's joined by four ladies in waiting. Love and fear run rampant in the court, leading to a potential love triangle between Mary, Francis, and the King's bastard son Sebastian. Throw in some blood-thirsty pagans, illicit affairs with one of Mary's handmaidens and King Henry, and a very long drawn out saga of "we will marry when it is right for both of our countries" and you get the idea.

I've only watched the first six episodes of the series, left with two more to watch before the midwinter premier happens, however I'm completely enthralled with the series. The politics at court are far more than enough to make up for some of the love-based angst and to add fuel to the fire for Mary and Francis's relationship. It also shows a good depiction of the English monarchy and need for expansion, the building of what later become the British Empire. Add some historical accuracy on things, and you've gotten a silver lining to watch for.

All in all, I'd recommend Reign if you enjoy a good historical drama. It's fairly fast paced, each episode leaves the watcher with questions and the need to know what's coming next.

1 comment:

  1. Oh. My. Gosh. I LOVE this show, seriously love it!!!