One television series that I’ve been watching is Reign. Reign depicts the life of Mary Queen of Scots and her time on the throne with her husband, King Francis II of France. I’m not sure just what we will see throughout the run of this series but that’s what we’ve seen so far. If you’re a historian or just someone who has to see accuracy, then this show is not for you. This show is not entirely accurate to the historical events that it covers or the atmosphere of the time frame. I mean to pull a Dr. Sheldon Cooper, but I will.
I do enjoy this show, but there are few details that I’ve seen that just annoy me. For starters, I’m watching a show that I already know the ending to. Spoiler alert: Mary gets beheaded by order of her cousin, Elizabeth I of England. Secondly, the costume department needs to rethink their designs and realize that, that is not what was worn in those days. They don’t even use the right fabric. The women on the show are supposed to be wearing corsets and hoops, not a form fitting dress. Third, maybe not everyone caught this but in one of the episodes, there is a band playing at a ball and the song that they’re playing is Lorde’s “Royals”… that just isn’t right! I haven’t paid close attention to all of the music played on the show but that song stuck out like a sore thumb. Play the right music! For those who are reading this and have watched the movie, yes it annoyed me when Marie Antoinette did it too. That movie was accurate about almost everything up until that point.
I’ve watched the Tudors and the Other Boleyn Girl so I’m not entirely upset at how much they’re stretching the story on Reign, but I at least expect the atmosphere to be in the right time frame. The Other Boleyn Girl was completely accurate when it came to the costumes, but the story was off. The Tudors lacked accuracy with costumes but they did come close and the story was accurate to the historical content. Neither The Other Boleyn Girl nor The Tudors played modern day music in their dramatization of the Tudor dynasty. Changing the characters up for the sake of the plot that the director is trying to bring to the table is different than changing the setting that the plot takes place in.
Now that I’ve stated my dislikes of this show, I will state what I do like about the show. I like the focus of the show and that is romance. Sebastian would have to be my favorite character and we’ve really seen his character change throughout season one a great deal. He starts off as the beloved first born who is the dominant sibling and clearly his father’s favorite, but his birthright prevents him from taking the throne, because he is a bastard child; which means he gets nothing. He clearly has feelings for Mary in the beginning of the series, but Mary chooses Francis. At one point you think that there might be something between him and Lola but his feelings for Mary get in the way. Finally he is forced to marry Kenna by order of his father, the king. Bash and Kenna clearly don’t want to be married but they find a way to work it out and both change for the better. I was on the edge of my seat during the scene where Kenna gets locked in the room that is infected with the sickness.
Another character that I like is Greer. I was shipping her with Leith last season, but of course the writers to don’t let us get what we want. Then with her fiancé wanting to leave her, I had hope, but she went after him. At first I was upset but Greer made a choice. She noted that had she stayed with Leith then she would be impulsive about her future, but by choosing her fiancé she is being smart about having a secure future. She is willing to make it worth even if Leith was the man that she loved. With Leith, Greer doesn’t have a secure future, because he is not a noble and even when he is given land and a title, it can easily be taken away from him.
The good thing about having shows like these is that it makes people interested in history. I remember watching The Other Boleyn Girl and The Tudors then becoming completely fascinated about Henry VIII and his wives. There are a few historical accuracies on the show, like King Henry dying from jousting and Diane being his mistress. I expect Francis to die by the end of this season considering the real Francis and Mary were only married for a year before his death. It will be interesting to see how they make it Mary’s fault like they’ve been hinting at throughout the entire first season. There is a lesson to be learned from all of these depictions of past royalties, girls pay close attention: You do not want to be a queen. If you want to find love and have a rich lifestyle, a king is not the person you want to marry. The same goes for wanting to marry a president because no matter how much you love them or do for them, they’ll still cheat on you. I’m glad I’m not a queen. There is also the pressure of having to have a son and we can’t always guarantee that we’ll push out a male heir. Just my thoughts on the matter.