If one were to do an overview of human history, they would note that for every three or four men who sat on the throne, there is one woman who sat on the throne.
The television series Reign (2013-2017) is a loose (and I mean very loose) retelling of the story of the life of Mary, Queen of Scots (Adelaide Kane). When she is a teenager, she is sent to the court of France to marry her betrothed, Francis de Valois (Toby Regbo). Along the way, she will encounter both sexual and political innuendo.
I wrote about this series back in 2014, defending its merits. Looking back, I can now see the major flaws in this program. It is nothing but a teenage soap opera set in the 16th century. In the beginning, the initial draw was Megan Follows (Catherine de’ Medici). Her portrayal of Anne Shirley in the Anne of Green Gables series from the 1980s and 1990s is still my favorite version of the character.
But even that was not enough to keep me watching to the very end.
Writing a historical drama for television is like walking a fine line. One hand, there has to be a certain level of accuracy. But on the other hand, the story should be engaging so as not to feel like a documentary.
Premiering last fall, Reign is the story of the teenage Mary, Queen of Scots (Adelaide Kane) who is betrothed to Francis, The Dauphin Of France (Toby Regbo). Publicly, Francis’s mother, Queen Catherine (Megan Follows) is all for the marriage, but will do anything to protect her child, including finding ways to secretly undo the betrothal. Added to the mix is Francis’s half brother, Sebastian (Torrance Combs) and Mary’s ladies in waiting, Kenna (Caitlin Stasey), Greer (Celina Sinden) and Lola (Anna Popplewell), who are dealing with their own issues.
Keep in mind that this show is on the CW. There are certain similarities to the Tudors, but given that this is a basic channel show and the aimed for audience is teenagers, there are also differences. Does that mean it is entirely historically accurate? No. But it is fun show and sometimes after a long day, I just want to watch TV and relax.
“Love is the answer to everything. It’s the only reason to do anything. If you don’t write stories you love, you’ll never make it. If you don’t write stories that other people love, you’ll never make it.” Ray Bradbury