Student Voice


May 23, 2024



'Reign' gives a super dramatic take on famous European royalty

March 21, 2018

This week we are not reviewing a movie, because the Brony documentary I watched was super depressing.

It’s an open secret that I spend almost every moment of my free time watching soap operas or heavily drama-based shows. I live for the moments when someone’s secret brother is revealed, a heart is broken, songs by Ed Sheeran play in the background as someone cries and awkwardly long hair brushing scenes. But the depths of my soul lay in the paranormal drama and historical drama.

Today we’re going to talk about the latter, in the form of one that’s already on Netflix/over and done with.


"Reign" is like a heavenly rain of horribleness that I want to soak the organs of my soul in. Most of the men are okay looking but not great, most of the women are only mildly whiny, but the costumes are like 10/10 "Gossip Girl" level excellence.

"Reign" is about Mary Queen of Scots and therefore super freaking messy. Basically, all of the first season is about how Mary has to marry Francis. The second is about people being dead and stuff, the third is about what you do when everyone around you has died and the fourth is about hoping for death.


Mary is a beautiful, kind soul who cannot see social barriers. Whenever she comes into shot, there is a light directly behind her making her look kind of like the Virgin Mary.

Since the paper usually includes a photo of the poster, which in this case includes her face, I’m not really sure I have to do this. However, I'll tell you that Mary looks like Cher mixed with baby face Madonna with a side of Blair Waldorf from "Gossip Girl." If her face is on the poster, you’ll see that she looks like an angel and that the sky opens with how perfect she is. Call Victoria’s secret; this lady could be a model.

Mary doesn’t really have much of a personality other than being really nice and super about Scotland. So nice that she doesn’t care when people are poor and ugly.

Which makes sense, because she is, like, the princess and junk.

Also, everyone and their mother wants to do Mary.

Mary is supposed to marry Francis and later become the queen of France and Scotland, which seems a bit much but okay. So in real life, from my understanding: Francis was super young, kind of puffy, and definitely short. Real life Francis was also really clumsy and from my understanding basically just the most ugly and embarrassing guy in the world. This is okay, though, because Mary is hot as heck in real life. At least history did something right.

In the show he is average. When you compare him to other guys on the show, he looks a bit better than them but, you know, fancier clothes. Francis looks like the type of guy who has a man bun. Francis is also a petulant child, which I imagine would be true to his real life. He’s constantly having fits because he can’t have sex with everything, Mary wants to save her own country every once and a while and also no one wants to give him power.

Which, I mean, don’t go stomping around denying people soldiers and ships (you know, killing Mary’s people occasionally) if you want romantic attention from the hottest babe in the land.

Throughout the show, Francis has several side pieces and pumps them full of dreams. All of these dreams are lost on side pieces because Francis knows that you look out for your main lover and keep side pieces on the low. His favorite occasional thing to say to these side pieces is that they could be queen, which is gross because Mary is so good at being princess and later queen.

Like so good.

Francis has an illegitimate brother who, depending on the poster the paper uses, might be visible. His brother Bash looks like a toe with a face and head drawn on it. He also has really displeasing, creepy blue eyes. Like, strong and would stare right at you. Bash is the last part of the love triangle is season one. He’s supposed to be the bad boy type who rides ye old motorbike and stuff. He’s more about rules and order in a way that makes him even less of a babe. Also, Bash is connected to some pagan people who are hanging bodies in the wood.

Which is cool and all, but no one cares about Bash. That's because he is literally the worst. He makes me want to bash my head into a wall. All he does is whine about the opportunities that were lost on him due to his mom being a mistress. Like, boo-hoo, go do something else.

Bash and Francis have a dad named Henry, who straight up does everyone. Almost every single episode we are treated to a picture of this man’s face moaning, and it is not great. He does visiting nobility, Mary’s friends, his mistresses, servants; everyone but his wife. This is okay because he is an 8/10 babe. He looks bald, but I guess that’s okay. He is so good at doing everyone that he rarely does his actual job: running the country. This is okay because the country is run by someone better.

Henry’s wife is Catherine, who I would be willing take several buses for. While Henry is off doing ladies, Catherine is off doing murders. No spoilers because it starts in legitimately the first episode, Catherine thinks that Mary is going to be the reason her son Francis straight up dies. So Catherine is like, “Get out of le house and into le street ye old child murderer,” for all of the first season. Catherine finds throughout the first season that the best way to save her son’s life is to kill everyone else, earning her a body count that is in the low "Game of Thrones" numbers.

Somewhere across the channel, having temper tantrums of her own, is Mary’s cousin, Elizabeth. Elizabeth is actually a horrible person in every single way, even a bit historically. Throughout the show Mary gets upset because her cousin Elizabeth (an illegitimate child) is ascending to the throne, a throne which could have easily been Mary’s.

At some point Marry has a fit because she could have feasibly ruled four kingdoms (France, Scotland, England, and Ireland), but now she has to spend time with a blonde guy with a middle part.

Poor Mary.

This show has it all: love triangles, something, something, something and politics. Some politics. However, what I really enjoy about this show is that everyone dies all the time. Like everyone. All the time. Sometimes their deaths are different than in real life and just maybe around the same time as when they died historically.

No spoilers because the whole first season is about it, and I’m not going to tell you how it happens. Francis straight up dies, which is great and all and makes my day. The way he dies, however, is not historically accurate because in real life he got killed by an ear infection or ear … thing. Since modern people would think this was lame, they were like, “Yeah let’s just forget about that part.” Which is a freaking service. Every death that is altered is a freaking dramatic service.

Your girl did not want to watch some guy die as his ear leaked grossness - heck no.

This show is like a babe wonderland, because everyone but the main two guys look great. Maybe they were trying to bargain brand with picking those two, but everyone else is casted straight out of the Target catalog. They have pretty and very detailed clothes, pretty and very detailed hair and pretty and very detailed makeup. What a service.

Here are the weird bits about this show:

No one has accents, at all. They all speak this perfectly articulated English that is only slightly changed when a guy from Portugal comes. He has a diet Spanish accent. Mary is from Scotland and they live in, you know, France. There’s not a hint of any of that, or of Mary’s heritage. Mary left Scotland at like six years old, but as the queen you think she wouldn’t be all, “Screw the customs of Scotland."

Also, everyone is super forgiving.

Like too forgiving. Francis be putting his finger in all of these pots and Mary’s like, “Okay but true love.” Like, true love? The man is all up on every calendar girl he can find when you make him mad. True love can bite me; you got to have standards. In the first season Mary talks about how she hopes not to end up a queen with mistresses on the side, but ...

At one point Mary even hints that she is going to forgive Elizabeth, who does some straight up messed up stuff to her. She doesn’t love herself.

But, I mean, it’s tacky. It’s a tacky show and I love it. You can watch it without knowing the history, with knowing the history, alone, together, whatever. It’s just a show that is super dramatic.

I didn’t have to watch leaking ears or bear Francis for the whole of four seasons, so 8/10.