The review of the pilot by The New York Times described Reign a strong candidate as a "camp classic", calling it fun and acknowledging its historical inaccuracies. The reviewer of The A. Club described the show as "an alternate-universe fanfiction than anything pretending to approach history", calling the show camp and fun. The Miami Herald describes the show's opening episodes as "surprisingly entertaining", with Adelaide Kane's portrayal of Mary as "a teenager with a dawning realization that her royal caprices can have unexpectedly grim consequences offers an interesting take on the traditional coming-of-age story".
USA Today is also critical, describing the show as anachronistic and "dumbing down" history for the sake of entertainment.
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Reign was announced on The CW's autumn line-up on May 10, , placing it in the Thursday timeslot following The Vampire Diaries, its biggest hit in young women demographic. The show had its series premiere on October 17, , in the U.
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- "All It Cost Her..."!
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"All It Cost Her..."
Categories :. Greer of Kinross. This was the first instance in which Reign demonstrated that it could evolve past its for lack of a better phrase CW-drama origins. Its ultimate embrace of the political story at its heart was another.
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The three women at its center are smart, strong and independent. They love ferociously, and are incredibly loyal. Catherine is selfish and greedy. And Elizabeth is reckless and rash.
These are women who make mistakes, embrace poor choices, and behave as vengefully as any of the men in power who came before them did. And this is a good thing, honestly. All three of these leading women must make difficult decisions and live with the consequences—to protect themselves, their crowns, or their subjects.
Each of them—even Catherine, who admittedly spends a good portion of the series pursing her own personal agenda—puts the good of her nation first when it comes down to it. Instead, it embraced the depiction of women as powerful political players, in a world where history is generally written by men.
How much power can these women hold on to? And how much of their humanity will any or all of them sacrificing to wielding it? And Catherine, who now finds herself struggling to protect her own legacy in the twilight of her power, becomes a kind of cautionary tale. At first, it leaned hard on the built-in tensions of a love triangle—Mary betrothed to Francis but seeking comfort from his bastard brother Bash—as the entry point for the high-stakes power brokering going on amid the monarchies.
The occult sorcery was its own problem. After Francis died, Mary slowly became unmoored, returning home to political unrest and the inevitability that Elizabeth was better at statecraft than Mary was. Some of its historical fudging was trying to ameliorate this: how much older and impassioned she and Francis were, how much more pragmatic she was with Darnley. Downfall is one thing; foolishness, no. At its best, Reign used all this to tackle legacy, and the complications of power and responsibility. Catherine was obsessed with legacy; Mary was trying to use it to advantage without vanishing inside it.
But this sort of plot worked best with genuinely thorny problems—say, plague in the countryside preventing the movement of grain supplies, and trying to fix it so the fewest people died. With more sensationalist plot twists, things could go sideways in a hurry. And every time Mary triumphed—particularly in moments where history was slightly askew already—there was always the question: Will this be what saves her? Elizabeth was always going to have that much more foresight, that much less compunction; she was out to make a legacy for herself.
Greer, Bothwell, the Valois line: Plot Pit. This coda is just a grim stamp on the proceedings. It threw itself utterly into the travails of someone we knew was going to come to a sorry end. Though Catherine quickly became the most interesting character, and Elizabeth became a parallel presence, we were never meant to sympathize with them as we did with Mary. Full marks to the mournful strings, though, which momentarily make her execution feel more earned than it is. As the final song rises—the Lumineers, of course—the show reaches a bizarre poignancy.
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