Review of "Reign" on The CW From The TV MegaSite

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"Reign" review by Sundi 10/21/13
Thursdays 9/8pm on The CW

What if The Tudors met Gossip Girl and then had a baby like looked like Game of Thrones? Youd get the CWs new show Reign, thats what. The show takes place in 1557 France, and focuses on the life of Mary Stuart (also known as Elizabeth Is first cousin) played by Adelaide Kane, and her fianc Frances, played by Toby Regbo, the future king of France. This show holds true to the CW demographic and performs inside the genre really well, setting the stage for so much teenage angst and melodrama, that we wont even notice how historically inaccurate it is.

Mary returns to French court after being sequestered with nuns for most of her life. An attempt on her life in the convent leaves the royal taster face down in the gruel, so she is sent to live with Frances and his family for her own protection.  While they serve out the remainder of their betrothal, Frances must decide whether or not the political implications of the marriage are worth it, if he wants to sacrifice his philandering ways, and even if he loves Mary at all (although I think weve seen enough CW dramas to know the latter is kind of a given). All these decisions play out against a back drop of political double-crossings, romantic indecision and international intrigue.

The CW can really milk a love triangle, and Reign is no different. Here, Frances has a bastard half-brother, Torrence Coombs as Bash, that promises to deliver on the above mentioned romantic indecision. While Frances is busy working out all his royal theatrics with the ladies of the court and visiting dignitaries, Bash is wooing Mary by finding her dog and offering wise advice on life at court. This is going to get very  messy, which is exactly how I like my teen dramas.

This show is so visually rich, and the accents are so seductive that we must ignore some of the silliness and fact-based blunders. Nostradomus, appearing as a young, savvy seer to the Queen is one of the most glaring mistakes, but we will forgive it due to our preoccupation with the supernatural.

That being said, the supernatural element may prove to make the show too busy for its own good. There are so many plot points introduced in this first hour, that there is enough subject matter to maintain this season and four more. The pace will have to slow down to really keep us on the hook, but I have a feeling the gorgeous costuming and steamy sex scenes will be enough to sustain us until they can work out the pacing and history problems.

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