I seem to be in a frenzy of watching historical drama. Hopping from one series to another I stumbled upon reign. I picked up right after finishing Tudors. Reign is primarily about Mary, Queen of Scots. Mary was crowned the Queen of Scots at the age of six after which she was in the care of ‘Catherine de Medici’. She was later promised to French prince Francis II.
The series begins with Mary retuning from the shelter of nuns to the French court. She is swiftly married to the heir of the French throne. After her husband’s death Mary goes back to Scotland to claim her throne and Elizabeth I is threatened so much as to capture her and keep her in tower for twenty years before beheading her. This should have been the ideal plot. And while superficially the plot remains the same, the subplots change drastically.
Mary is about to marry Francis but she runs away to marry his bastard brother instead. The French king goes mad and kills a number of people during the course of seasons. People just make out and die at random with modern day music playing in the background. There is also a witch hunt for pagan worshippers going on at the background somewhere.
Overall, Reign seems like an everyday gossip girl drama of the elderly people with royal blood. The costumes look like the prom night getups and hook ups and breakups are part of everyday life.
The acting is, to say the least, dull. The Queen of Scots possesses only a few expressions that keep rising her face like the placards in the air- one for each state of mind. There is a tributary of story that connects the queen of England hoping that she may save the story but it does never happens.
With all its shortcomings I still enjoyed watching the series. I watched all four seasons and liked it for the same reason that I liked gossip girl. The pretty clothes and world full of drama.
Reign lacks anything regal. It is a good drama series to watch but does not run parallel to any history.
Book reference: Mary, Queen of Scots by John Hale