Top 10 Highly Biased Reasons Why Reign is Great

Fair warning: We tried to avoid spoilers in this list, but we may hint at things pretty strongly. Nothing major, and nothing you wouldn’t see in the first episode, but you will get a general sense of things. Also, we like drama filled shows. They let us gossip about things without, y’know, ACTUALLY GOSSIPING ABOUT REAL PEOPLE. If you don’t like drama and you’re trying to decide whether or not to start a new TV show this list is probably a waste of your time, because this one is not for you. But if you have been hearing a lot about this show and don’t want to commit to watching an episode without knowing that we approve (aww, we’re flattered!), read on.

See below re: pretty people and costumes.

  1. Pretty People. Seriously, everyone in this show is drop dead gorgeous. It depends on what your “type” is, but there is someone who you will find drool-worthy. And they aren’t all twenty-somethings, either! The King and Queen of France are quite attractive, as are most (ok, all) of the courtiers and minor characters, who vary in age.

  2. The Actors. First of all,  Anne of freaking Green Gables is in this, as Catherine de Medici, Mary’s main antagonist. Honestly, all of the actors pretty great. And if occasionally someone chews the scenery a bit, tonally it fits. Adelaide Kane as Mary stands out as especially thoughtful and passionate. And Susan from the new chronicles of Narnia movies even makes an appearance as one of Mary’s friends/ladies in waiting. Though I gotta say, Nostradamus’ husky 3-packs-a-day prophet voice gets pretty annoying, though he does a good job generally.

  3. The Sexy Times. Things get pretty sexy, people. This comes in both the fruitless-sexual-tension and steamily-realized versions. Both are great. Even better, the one tends to precede the latter, so after you watch a healthy dose of everyone having the (understandable) hots for Queen Mary, you tend to get a scene of somebody else actually having a sexual encounter, though they are generally more PG than HBO scenes of a similar type. Better still, sexual encounters tend to be well thought out by the characters involved, and are without exception (so far – let’s keep that batting average high, CW bosses) consensual! Possibly my favorite thing about this show so far is that it has a wide variety of sexual involvement between characters without sinking into slut-shaming. While some characters may have issues with the sexual morals of other characters, I haven’t gotten the feeling so far that the creators of the show want you to think negatively about a character as a person for their sexual actions. Which is pretty cool!

  4. Awesome Anachronisms. If you think you are going to watch this show to find out what happened historically to Mary Queen of Scots (or worse yet you ALREADY KNOW) this show may not be for you unless you can check that at the door and just go with it. From the top down, the decision has clearly been made to rely less on making things accurate and more on making it pretty and fun. This shows in everything thing from zippers in dresses, to the fact that Mary sleeps in her bed/bedchamber solo, even though there is a lot of hoopla about OMG her Virtue. Practically, this results in the story being more about the characters and less about the actual reflection of every power play and battle skirmish. And there is even a wink, wink, nudge, nudge here and there about how history won’t record the events that take place in the Reign storyline.

    What, you mean these sleeveless mesh dresses weren’t worn in the 16th century? And llllladies didn’t do informal group dances?! BUT I THOUGHT THIS WAS ALL REAL!

  5. BASH. The show invented (ahem, speaking of historically freewheeling) a bastard son of the King of France, a recognized bastard brother of Francis, the crown prince Mary has been engaged to since she was 6. The show’s creators named him Sebastian for the very good reason that it gives him the awesome nickname Bash. It was a great choice. And so far, Bash and Mary have SMOKING CHEMISTRY. Obviously, to make it a love triangle, Mary and Francis are also pretty darling together, it’s just cuter and emotional and less about how sexy it would be if they would just bang.

  6. The Power Plays. Specifically, how nuanced they are. Characters make tough decisions, and get this, they devote screen time to showing the characters THINKING ABOUT THEM. As in, it’s not just all action-reaction. There’s a lot of weighing various options and trying to make the best decision possible. Which is something we can all relate to (I hope). I get a little bit sick of decisions on TV always being “THERE IS AN EXPLOSION/CRISIS NO TIME TO THINK, JUST ACT, DAMN IT!”, because (surprise) life is generally not like that. In Reign, decisions that are made in one episode may come back around to haunt people episodes later.

  7. Lady Friendships! Mary has four ladies in waiting that came from Scotland to be with her in the French court. And while much of why they are there is to find husbands and solidify their own family alliances, they also came because they love Mary, their Queen. And even better, all four of them have distinct personalities, from rich non-titled Greer needing to marry into nobility for the sake of her family, to Kenna and her sexy and ill-advised attraction to someone, ahem, important in the French court.

    This show passes the Bechdel Test with flying colors.

  8. Costumes. You know how people get really into couture fashion shows? The clothes! The music! The sense of drama! And let’s be honest, fashion shows would be even more awesome if there were ALSO a plot, and if the models had more than one body type/smiled/did things other than walk. Basically, Reign is that imaginary fashion show; every major character is wearing couture 100% of the time, and they are in gorgeous settings to boot.

  9. The Music. It’s modern! This takes away some of the distance you might feel for a show like this, and while other similar shows do have beautiful historically accurate scores, the music here makes it feel like Mary’s problems could be your own. Also, it’s gorgeous and thoughtful. This element could be hit or miss, but I think it adds to the overall ambiance of the show beautifully.

  10. The Drama. Because that is what the CW (and TV generally, let’s be honest) is all about. Period dramas are called dramas for a reason – the creators get to choose a time period that has a LOT going on and exploit that, and Reign does a really good job of exploiting a rich time period. By selecting Mary, Queen of Scots, they set themselves up for success by choosing a time and place that is full of political and personal intrigue, sexual bargaining (if you have to marry someone to make an alliance/get ahead, that’s a pretty big deal), and serious power struggles. And they don’t shy away from any aspect of that, which gives you a well-rounded plot that is full of juicy, juicy drama.

Yea verily, we are the most badass family thou hast ever beheld.

-Obviously Charlotte enjoys this show, as it sometimes billed as Game of Thrones meets Gossip Girl.

-Kate’s only major issue with this show is that usually she crafts while watching TV, and she can’t with Reign or she’ll miss something pretty.

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2 thoughts on “Top 10 Highly Biased Reasons Why Reign is Great

  1. Oh man, those are definitely some of the top reasons I’d choose. I keep saying that Reign is probably the prettiest/most visually stunning show on television right now (though Dracula trends in that direction at times).

    BASH is a BAMF. He is definitely my favorite, and his relationship with Francis is becoming more and more interesting. Do you think the name thing could also have something to do with “Sebast(ard)ian,” or is that just a coincidence?

    It’s wonderful to see Adelaide Kane in a starring role, as she’s been a nice addition to Teen Wolf, where she plays a badass lllllady of an entirely different sort. Glad she has a venue through which to show off her considerable acting talent! I only hope this means they won’t have to get rid of her on Teen Wolf–this already happened with an actor that Arrow stole from them. Networks can be jerks like that!

    I digress. Bottom line: Reign is steadily becoming one of the shows I most look forward to every week. Great job with the list!

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