TV 411: Reign, Season 1

Spoiler Alert: Just letting you know now.

Created by: Laurie McCarthy & Stephanie Sungupta
Premiered: October 17, 2013
Network: CW
Watched: Entire season March 2015
Hook: History buff and pursuing a degree in European History so … call me intrigued.

I know I’m late to the game, but in my defense I was still nursing the heartache of loosing two of my favorite shows ever. Regardless of my tardiness, I’m glad to join this fandom. The appeal is just … amazing. I just finished two semester of Western Civilization from ancient to present times and since this show is zeroing in on Mary, Queen of Scots, I couldn’t resist giving it a go.

Story arch 1: Mary’s betrothal to Francis, the Prince of France and the next heir to the throne.
This pair has been engaged since they were six (or was it 8? At any rate, it was when they were children) and Mary lived in France in Francis’ castle until an assassination attempt sent her to convent for protection.

This overall story arch intrigues me. I’ve always been interested in royalty and the politics behind it. I don’t understand everything behind it, but I hope to wrap my head around it one day. The fact that Mary was betrothed to Francis to secure alliances is harsh, but I understand that was the way of the world back then. And even though their marriage was planned from childhood, they are both willing to give loving each other a shot.

Of course it’s not that easy since they haven’t seen each other for about ten years. Times change, things happen, life goes on, especially when your childhood friend and future wife is sent off to a convent for her safety. Seriously, that sucks. And the fact that they are rulers in their own right, to their own countries, complicates things.

And Mary is already a Queen while Francis is just the next heir. That’s gattah be difficult. Anyway, they have issues to deal with and massive challenges if they want the marriage to succeed in love, not just as a business transaction.

Story arch 2: Nostradamus’ prophecy
Enter the Queen of France and her personal seer, Nostradamus, whose visions of Mary being responsible for Francis’ death sets of a chain off events that could have lasting repercussions for all involved. I mean, it’s because of this Catherine tries everything she can to cause problems between Francis and Mary, it’s because of this Catherine tries to kill Mary, and it’s because of this Mary breaks off her engagement to Francis and enters another engagement to Sebastian, Francis’ half brother and illegitimate son of King Henry. Yep, love triangle. Again. And yep. Love triangle between brothers. Again. But it works. And I tell you why in this post here.

I don’t mind a good fortune-telling and can accept the fact that Nostradamus saw what he saw, but to go about it as if the future is set in stone isn’t wise. I understand Catherine will go through great lengths to protect her children, but to treat this prophecy as the be all, end all to Francis was … disappointing. Disappointing on a personal level, but makes for an entertaining and interesting plot line. So I get it. And I enjoyed the subplot of a romance between Bash and Mary. I really did. I really hoped they would end up together, even though actual history dictates differently. But hey, it’s fiction right? So … what’s to say it won’t happen. Further down the road.

Subplots:

The Darkness
Is a completely interesting plot line for me because I’m intrigued to see how this will be handled. Bash’s mother was a pagan so he’s aware of some of the rituals behind pagan practices.

King Henry’s madness
Also interests me because you can see the change in him and you can’t help but wonder how? Why? Where?

And a lot more, but I won’t get into them in this post because it could turn into a 1000 word entry.

But I will say a few things about the cast because they rock.

Adelaine Kane (Queen Mary) is awesome. There are times when I’m not sure, but overall, I think she’s doing such a great job. As the season progresses so does her confidence in her role and I love seeing it unfold. The same can be said for Toby Regbo (Prince Francis). The two have great chemistry on screen so it makes for good entertainment.

As do the surrounding cast. Megan Fellows rocks as Queen Catherine, but she always does a superb job. Loved her as Anne in Anne of Green Gables and now I love her as Queen Catherine. Terrance Coombs is excellent as Bash. Mary’s ladies in waiting are entertaining as well: Celina Sinden (Greer), Caitlin Stasey (Kenna), Anna Popplewell (Lola), and Jenessa Grant (Aylee). They all keep the story moving and they play their roles well.

Overall, I’m interested in seeing how this series progresses. I hear they’ve been renewed for Season 3, so yay! Season 2 seems to have some … ah, well. Another post, perhaps.

So, definitely a series I’ll continue to watch.

Photo Credits: http://reign-cw.wikia.com/wiki/Season_One (in post) & PixShar.com (feature image)

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InfoJunkie

In a 140 characters or less: I'm an easy going, movie geek, TV buff, book-loving, melancholy/phlegmatic, Scorpio kinda gal.

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