Does The CW's New Drama Reign Supreme?

Reign Season 1 Premiere The CW’s Reign had its first appearance at court on Thursday (9/8c), but did it make a loyal subject out of you?

The drama, loosely based on royal goings-on in 16th-century France, follows Mary, Queen of Scots (Teen Wolf‘s Adelaide Kane) as she returns to the royal court and is re-introduced to Francis (Tony Regbo, The Town), the prince to whom she’s been betrothed since childhood.

Though the promised pair obviously like each other – the prince confides in Mary that his passion for metal work grows out of his desire to possess “a real skill” and therefore be more than a privileged, sheltered royal – Francis’ assertion that their arranged union is not good for France keeps him from falling for her completely. (Then there’s also the matter of the comely Natalia, who shows up unannounced in the prince’s quarters and purrs that even though his future wife has moved in, “Nothing’s changed here. Nothing has to.”)

RELATEDReign Cast Talks Corsets, Courtly Intrigue and the Carnal, Cut-Down Scene That’ll Surprise You

But Mary’s got bigger problems than a reluctant fiancé, which is made clear when a plot to slip her ye olde mickey (and then rape her, thus taking her “virtue” and nullifying her engagement) fails.

What the audience knows – and Mary does not, at least not yet — is that Francis’ protective mother, Queen Catherine (Anne of Green Gables‘ Megan Follows) is behind the violent attack on the young queen. By the end of the pilot, Catherine’s plotting already has a body count, but the queen is undeterred in her mission to take down the woman she’s sure will be the death of Francis. Good thing a mysterious, wraithlike woman, who slips around the palace like a ghost, seems to be looking out for the raven-haired young transplant.

VIDEO | Reign‘s Megan Follows Previews the Queen’s In-Law Drama, ‘Danger’-ous Mary

Elsewhere in the episode, Mary reunites with her girlhood pals/ladies-in-waiting, one of whom has a lusty moment to herself before literally stumbling into a hook-up with Catherine’s husband, King Henry. The king is no stranger to extramarital shenanigans – his mistress Diana and bastard son, Sebastian (Torrance Coombs, The Tudors) are far from hidden from the public eye. And the handsome Sebastian certainly catches a pensive Mary’s attention when he returns her missing pet dog and reassures her “You are not alone here.”

With a cast straight out of the Abercrombie & Fitch catalog and a modern soundtrack, Reign is a frothy, CW-style history lesson – which means you should sit back, admire the headbands (so many! so pretty!) and the eye candy (ditto!) and not worry too much about accuracy.

But enough about what we thought: What was your take on Reign? Grade the episode via the poll below, then hit the comments to back up your choice!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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89 Comments
  1. mac says:

    it was hard not to fall asleep over the monotone voices and overall uber-fake atmosphere. It felt like the show WANTS us to believe that its a period piece but uses costumes that look like they were made just 10 minutes ago.
    And ohhhhh how sweet is Mary ? And howww cute is Nostradamus and how oohh…..just stop it. In short: this is what you would basically expect from theCW. It’s overly teen-ish and aimed at shippers.
    Not going to talk about historical accuracy since its a show…

    of theCWs new shows this fall this is, in my eyes (not judging you if you liked it), the weakest, if theCW wants to get away from being branded a ‘teen network’ such shows shouldn’t be on its schedule
    Not going to tune in again.

    • david says:

      hated it from the promo but figured i would give it a shot. Still didnt like so i wont be turning in next week.

      • mac says:

        actually the promo looked decent, the final product on the other hand…

        • Elizabeth says:

          I thought the same. I loved the promo but the Pilot kinda sucked. I have it a D. I don’t think it will see it’s second season honestly. The only reason I watched it to begin with was because of Torrance Coombs.

      • Debbie says:

        The stars were on Innerspace to promote it. They were so annoying, I decided against checking it out. I don’t think I’m their target demographic anyway.

    • Dolvet says:

      Dude this show was amazing I don’t understand why you hate it so much cause a lot of people I know loved it its different, cool and its perfectly put together! It’s wonderful.

    • Courtney says:

      its because they modernized it. and if the wardrobe is ur only promblem with this show. well get over it.. if you dont like it dont watch it and dont dish it. it is a good show. the story line is interesting and the show is based on a time where many people wish they knew more things about it. so even if you dont like it, why talk about it. its ur opinon but some people actually enjoy the actually arctisity in tv. shows. so stop it and knock it off. ur pathetic for even dissing something that u clearly dont under stand.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Reign is a very wonderful show!! I understand why it would be called “teenish” and is that even really a bad thing? Teens watch much more tv than adults, and I find it suprising that many adults watch some the other CW shows. The costumes in reign are just that. COSTUMES. It doesnt have to be like history in any way ITS A TV SHOW! I think they’ve done a great job so far and im really enjoying it. I hope it gets renewed because it really is amazing. Its very interesting and has romance as well as other thrilling plots that all intertwine. Im not saying you should love the show, but dont dislike it. (to put it kindly). It has great acting as well. The slightly historical (not real historacal) setting brings a whole new group of watchers if you ask me. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THIS SHOW. STOP BEING PARTICULAR ABOUT COSTUMES AND HISTORY. IT DOES HAVE THINGS GOING ON TO MAKE IT DIFFERENT AND THERE IS NO REASON TO CALL IT HORRIBLE! That doesnt mean you have to love, but honestly none of the techincal things should be your reason for dislike…

    • dark_angel says:

      Mostly of the TV viewers are teenagers and beside most of us don’t like HISTORY so the accuracy does not matter a lot cause the viewers focus more on the characters and story. I am Asian so I don’t really care about their costumes and accents as long as they don’t wear Kimono and will be able portray the characters well. Their costumes maybe modernized but they still look as if from the Era.

  2. Tran 2.0 says:

    I give it a C. Don’t know if Reign is going to hold up in a tough 9 p.m. time slot on Thursdays.

    • J.W. says:

      I’d rather watch a Grey’s Anatomy marathon…at least they actually do their job from time to time. This is Gossip Girl in a Renaissance fair.

  3. Pati says:

    I loved it, loved pretty much everything the first commenter hated lol. loved the music throughout the episode loved Mary and that she was nice and sweet, the girls are all very pretty, Francis looks a little too young and his brother is not that good looking, a lot people are hating on this show but I really enjoyed, I’m not expecting it to be historically acurate or in the same level as the Tudors but I think it has potential

    • ABC says:

      Sits next to you. Just looked up Mary’s history, and I don’t want to see all that stuff happen on the show lol. I think Mary and Francis have nice chemistry, and Sebastian is meh. I loved the soundtrack. I plan on looking up all the songs later.

    • J.W. says:

      And there’s a reason for that: there was NO Sebastian in real life. Francis never had a half-brother playing Stefan for his Damon, I don’t know why the CW keeps dragging this love triangle nonesense.

      • JA says:

        Umm…cuz nearly every soap opera has a love triangle? It’s a classic trope. We’ve also got the evil mother-in-law, the frenemy entourage, the mysterious but helpful stranger. You’ve got to understand what you’re getting yourself into when you watch these kind of shows. There really is nothing new under the sun, just variations on the same thing. If you’re looking for new and different, it isn’t going to happen, at least not on this network with this target audience. Only the scenery changes, never the plots and conflicts.

        That being said, I actually liked it. It’s refreshing to have a historical anything, even if it’s incredibly far from real history. And although I wasn’t too happy with much of the casting as far as appearances go, I found something compelling in it. I hope it sticks around, if only for the novelty of it’s setting.

      • mariana says:

        Y’all TVD obsessed. Forget that show. It’s about time it’s done with to be honest. Reign is a lot better compared to TVD S5, and I don’t really see a love triangle here. Mary doesn’t really care for Sebastian, not in that way. So, whatever you’re rambling about — don’t stress over it.

    • Kaye says:

      I loved it too. It’s not historically correct but so what. If I want that, I’ll watch PBS. This is not survivor, or Amazing Race, or like any of the slew of stupid reality or singing/dancing shows and for that reason alone, I like it. The only problem I had was that is up against Grey’s Anatomy but that’s what DVRs are for. And anyway, I’m growing quite weary of Medical and Crime scene shows.

  4. teee says:

    LOVED IT!!! new fave

  5. Kevin says:

    pleasantly surprised! :D

  6. Depending upon how Reign does, there will be winners and losers all around says:

    I still believe this show will attract only half the available audience – 18-34/18-24 young women. Nothing wrong with that – that’s CW’s primary audience of interest. However, the time slot still has me puzzled – up against Grey’s and Glee, two other shows that are going after that same female audience, it is hard to see how the numbers will work for the CW at 9pm Thursdays. We’ll know more tomorrow morning when the ratings come out.

    Perhaps DVR+’x’ will help – we’ll see. I’m still betting ‘The Originals’ will be in this slot before Dec 1st, but time will tell. If Reign does well, the CW execs who have championed this show will and should get promotions. They may have hit upon something the rest of us (myself included) have completely missed. If Reign does poorly and bombs (which many of us still believe will happen), someone at CW has a great deal of explaining to do. It will be one or the other – great success or great failure. No room in between for this show – it’s too far out there to be any more or less than an amazing success or an unforgettable flop.

    • hannah says:

      December? yeah right. The Originals is doing great in their Tuesday nights. Theirs no reason to move it. If anything, they’d air repeats during that time slot on thursday. But Reign isn’t getting cancelled, at least not that soon. Didn’t you hear? They already ordered more scripts before it premiered bc they have faith in the show.

    • dude says:

      The Originals is the first show to make its Tuesday timeslot successful. I really doubt The CW will move it. Thursdays at 9pm will always be a pimp slot for a new show.

  7. alistaircrane says:

    It was decent. All of the actors were appealing, the sets and scenery are beautiful, the music was fun, there’s intrigue (assassination plots! attempted rape! poisonings!), a mysterious masked woman, kinky sex rituals, masturbation, beheadings, and a touch of the supernatural in Nostradamus’ visions. The friendship between Mary and her ladies in waiting should appeal to the younger set. I liked the scene of them using medieval makeup. I think this show would be better suited for cable with some more sex, nudity and violence and language, plus a shorter episode order might keep things more sustainable. Overall, I was left intrigued enough to check out another episode.

  8. alistaircrane says:

    And if we’re going to compare this to other newly-launched CW shows, it’s miles away better than Pretty People with Powers. That show’s pilot moved too quickly (I guess it was designed for our ADHD generation), and it lost me. I prefer a slower, more methodical pace, and I think Reign will have that.

    • liz says:

      “Pretty People with Powers” hahahahah! So right!

    • Marie says:

      Hahahaha Pretty People with Powers. Made my day! I totally agree. Didn’t like the Tomorrow People, loved Reign! I don’t care if it’s not accurate, and even if there is a love triangle, a LOT of non-CW shows have their own.

    • Alex says:

      With the beginning of the new TV season, I’m still not quite certain what shows I like better, but I have to admit, you put it quite eloquently there, also accurately, it is indeed better than The Tomorrow People. Just the thing about both shows is that they have somewhat big and bigger names on the cast, which in my experience is a reason decent enough to keep on watching until you’re completely appalled with one or other series. =D

  9. Francine says:

    I’m intrigued enough to give it another go… I’m still undecided. Off topic but will there be a Vampire Diaries recap this week? Last week there wasn’t one and I always look forward to it.

  10. Dee says:

    I liked the episode. Felt bad for Mary, poor thing, she really is alone, huh?

    It’s interesting that the Narnia girl has a supporting role in this. She looks really different from the movies.

    I liked this better than the Tomorrow People.

    • Kim says:

      Thank you! The entire time I was watching the pilot I was trying to figure where I knew that actress from. Susan from Narnia!

    • Alex says:

      You’re right, what’s up with that!? I mean Anna… I can only hope her character develops, or else I can’t see a reason behind her taking a supporting role.

  11. liz says:

    I actually liked it quite a bit! And I’ve found with most CW shows, its best to stick around a few episodes for the show to find its groove.

  12. I says:

    First one to get the boot

  13. woodyinho says:

    Probably won’t last more than 13 eps ala Emily Owens but I’m still sticking around.

  14. LOVED this! I hope they give it a chance.

  15. Lori says:

    I liked it. I hope it sticks around for the whole season.

  16. lynn says:

    Loved the change of scenery. Was very intrigued the whole episode. The characters were easy to like and identify with. Hope this show gets a good chance

  17. Ram510 says:

    The show was actually quite interesting. However in the future I will not watch Once in Wonderland before Reign because that’s show really wore out my patience and ABC needs to revisit the idea of using it as winter filler

    • Alex says:

      Oh, that was so annoying! GOD, Wonderland was so bad! It really doesn’t do any justice to Once upon a time. It’s so fake.

  18. Gregory B. Mettler says:

    After viewing the first episode, I read the USA Today review of this program and have to fully agree with it’s content. While I really enjoy historical era programs, I am constantly annoyed with the costume designers lack of knowledge in proper costuming for an era and their sacrificing of accurate for sexy. A high ranking woman of the time would never be seen in a sleeveless dress and with such a lacy revealing bodice as the main character was wearing in one scene. Also, men would always be wearing a hat of some type in almost all situations, especially when outside or riding as one scene showed nor would they be in court or out in public with their doublets unbuttoned. The sleeveless prom dresses on the ladies in waiting were atrocious and many of the background women characters were in clothes that were closer to the late 18th or early 19th century. The bath scene was also completely wrong, as the claw foot tub didn’t appear until the 1800’s.

    I think that anyone involved in the decision making of this production, producer, director and especially the set and costume designers, should be dumped in the nearest dungeon. It looks like it was put together by 5 year olds or people who failed every history course in school.

    During the Elizabethan Era which this occurs, there were set Sumptuary Laws of dress in England for clothing of the upper classes and straying from those could result in severe punishments. Even though this seems to be taking place primarily at the French Court, they also had standards that would be followed. I’m sure the Network Executives don’t really care at all about little things like this, but there are people who do pay attention. A little research goes a long way. It would be nice to see a program that tried to do a better job when portraying an historical period, rather than a medieval 90210. It would be nice to see someone get it right once in a while. I won’t even begin to comment on the story line or I’d be up all night.

    • do it says:

      The show isn’t in any way–ANY way at all–trying to be accurate. I think you’re pretty much on board with that going in, or else it’s not for you.

    • Kim says:

      You do realize this is a CW show don’t you? I’m sure their more concerned about appealing to their teenage audience who I don’t think care much about historical accuracy.

    • Tinemi says:

      Have you seen The White Queen? It is one of the best costume series I’ve seen of late. They tried to be as accurate as possible and it gave the story a lift, a sense of watching something from that era (15th century). I now Reign is a show from the CW and it is wrong to expect more from it… but I agree that it is not the show for those of us that like a bit of accuracy in our historical dramas.

    • James says:

      Well, we never knew if Henry VIII really had abs of steel either in real life like the one he has in the Tudors (before he became fat) so all is fair in love and historical fiction dramas.

    • Elizabeth says:

      ITS A TV SHOW GO FIND A DOCUMENTARY. NO CARES THAT REIGN IS ACCURATE OR NOT. IF YOU CONTIUE TO WATCH THE SHOW IT HAS A GREAT STORY LINE. I AM SO TIRED OF EVERYONE GOING OFF ON THE HISTORICAL ACCURACY. WHAT WOULD BE THE POINT? IT WOULD BE AS INTERESTING IF YOU COULD JUST FIND OUT HOW IT WAS GOING TO END…PLEASE EITHER ENJOY THE SHOW FOR WHAT IT IS OR STOP TALKING ABOUT. NO CARES ABOUT THE ACCURACY SO GET OVER IT. (feeling a bit annoyed)

  19. Penny says:

    By “loosely” you mean a lot of “barely recognizable to what really happened and omg she is wearing Urban Outfitters” then… yeah this is gonna be a drinking game of a good time. :3

  20. Traces of Sadness says:

    I absolutely LOVED this show. Already shipping Sebastian and Mary like crazy. So much chemistry there.

  21. Scott says:

    Its one of the better comedies of the new season. I certainly laughed a lot more than I have done in any of the real comedies.

  22. Ava says:

    I loved it. I know it isn’t historically accurate. I don’t expect the costumes to be like The White Queen or The Tudors (this airs on the CW after all). With that said, I did love it. Nice to see a historical show on network tv. Bold move CW. I’ll continue to watch.

  23. DavidSask says:

    The show is rather comedic which saddens me. If the CW wanted us to have a different genre of show for once and spent all the money on it for locations etc why did they not do it right? I know its a CW show but the music was so ill fitting and never let up, you can barely here the dialogue which is huge problem. This show won’t be around for long!

  24. Liz says:

    While I liked the music, it seemed to be overpowering the dialogue much of the time. I will give this series another episode or two to see how things go

  25. Tinemi says:

    The worst thing about this is they didn’t need to invent new characters or make up the story… the real history is better than any soap opera you can invent. Henry treated his mistress as a wife while leaving his wife in the shadows, his wife grew to be a jealous b**ch that gave him many, many sons and daughters. Francis was much in love with Mary as was his brother Charles, who, when Francis died, tried to marry Mary again… and so on, and so on.
    I couldn’t watch more than a few minutes, with all the hair down and the Gossip Girl look. With all the beautiful hairdresses that they can make and the teenage queen looks like a beggar with a tiara… seriously?

  26. Dane Muhlig says:

    This show Reign is moral garbage. Teenagers watch as a man an woman moan and have sexual intercourse. May God now curse this show and rebuke the creators and producers of this show!

  27. HaleSourWolf says:

    Die a painful death, reign

    We need CORA/Adelaide back on #TeenWolf. Derek baby wolf sister and Stiles love interest.

  28. Fangirl says:

    The king is no stranger to extramarital shenanigans – his mistress Diana and bastard son, Sebastian. . .

    Bastard son, Seriously? In this day and age, don’t we consider the term “bastard child” to be not just archaic but derogatory? It sure feels highly offensive to me.

    • brisbydog says:

      Show is set in mid 1500’s. Term was used then

      • Fangirl says:

        However, the author DID NOT quote any lines of dialogue from the show, in which case it would be acceptable (if it was absolutely necessary to make a point) and your comment would be correct. She used the term in 2013 to explain to us, the TV-Line readers, who Sebastian is. Would you feel the same way if the writer used the n-word to describe a character? I doubt that.

        • me says:

          I think you’re missing the point. She was recapping the episode by referencing things said in the episode – whether she was using quotation marks or not, her intention is obvious. She was ACTUALLY using it in an archaic sense like you suggested, though not in a derogatory sense.

  29. MG says:

    Way, way waaaaay too much background music. It never stops, it gets really annoying and it ruins the flow of the show. You don’t need to underscore every waking moment, not to mention the fact that it drowns out some of the dialogue. I actually really liked was I was seeing (historical accuracy be damned), but I can’t get past the incessant soundtrack.

  30. Wright says:

    Great show. It was so much better than I expected. Excellent casting. I’m glad it doesn’t follow the actually history of Mary. It’s on the CW, not the History channel.

  31. Nicky says:

    The music is horrible!

  32. Meg says:

    If anyone actually expected a CW show to be portraying history accurately, they were fooling themselves. I think they would have had less hate if they just changed the names and said that it was fictional. However, I really enjoyed this show! It was much better than the preview! Love the plot, the music, the scenery, the actors, etc!!! I could really care less if it was historically accurate with the times. Most movies or shows that are historical in nature are full of inaccuracies. It’s not the end of the world, people. Find a documentary to watch if that’s what you’re into…

  33. Elodie says:

    i love it!!! i dont understand why people care that it is not historically accurate!! if anyone has watched the second episode it has gotten amazing! who cares if they dont wear outfits that accurately represent the time, the outfits are gorgeous! its a fictional show not fact, so just enjoy it for the story coz it is a beautiful story!

  34. me says:

    I love this show!!! The second episode was as good as the premiere! I can’t wait to see where it goes, there are so many directions it can take. Although it may not be historically accurate, it least it’ll may peak the interest of their young audience and they may actually look into these types of stories. Better than have them interested in the Upper East Side or vampires. So what if its not 100% accurate, at least its a start. Geez.

  35. Amanda says:

    Oh my gosh people… if you want a historically accurate portrayal of Mary Queen of Scots, go watch a documentary and/or read a book on her. I do not watch the CW for history lessons, nor do I watch it for lessons on what women wore during that era. I watch it for escapism, and that’s EXACTLY what this show provides. The writers clearly do not care about the historical accuracy of it… that point is obvious! You history snobs need to step back a bit and enjoy it for what it is!

  36. Momof2 says:

    Love, love, love this show!!

  37. Kimia says:

    I really liked the show,It’s a historical drama
    I find it intresting.I’ve read that Fransic will die in 1600 ,I don’t know how much it’s going to keep up but i wish it doesn’t get that sad! As I learnd they have made Bash up.

  38. N. says:

    I absolutely love this show! To those complaining about it not being historically accurate: if you want a history lesson, go to the library and read a book. This show is incredibly entertaining, which is why people watch tv. And maybe if someone is intrigued enough by the show, they will research the real history of Mary, Queen of Scots. Either way, this gets an A+ in my book. I can’t wait for next Thursday night!

  39. akabecker says:

    With all the talk of historical inaccuracies and being in France but everyone has (more or less) and English accent, I figured that Nostradamus was tossed in for some fun. Then I skimmed the histories. He did end up an advisor to French queen near the end of his life. The rape attempt on Mary did happen, but with a later husband. She did have four ladies in waiting, though the names have been changed as all were actually also named Mary. Sure the costumes and hair are wrong, but they are gorgeous. I hope they win an Emmy for costuming. I see a lot of people bashing the music. I liked most of the sings used and never had a problem hearing the dialog. Back to actual history, I liked that in episode 3 or 4 Mary tells Francis that most of Europe thinks he is short and frail. The real one was. I like how they addressed that change. “I was sitting down.” For all the actual deviations from history, and all the attention paid to that, I was surprised as to how much is actually based on real people and/or events. Ireland is a beautiful on screen as it is off. And the fantastic chemistry between the leads doesn’t hurt either. I watched the first four episodes in a row online. I love it. I hope they can stretch things out as all these events happened in about 3 years. From returning from the convent to Frsncis’ death.

  40. peggy says:

    I recorded all the episodes aired so fare and watched them serveral times. Totally adore the series, the cast is amazing, true actors and actress, and very very easy to the eyes, too. Well done, keep the show going..

  41. Kayy says:

    Reign may not be wholly historically accurate, however the show itself has a plot which thickens at every turn for Queen Mary. The actors have genuine talent, and come on who isn’t a sucker for the international accents and eye candy?! The show continues to prove interesting and I hope it will continue to impress. The CW did not make a mistake in taking on Reign, great show thus far! Keep the episodes coming :)

  42. jorge says:

    to be honest, I really enjoy middle age settings for shows and movies, but what I really despise is a badly made job. I studied fashion history and those outfits are extremely out of context. Its a good story, interesting, such a shame to see it all go down for poor research and a mediocre costume designer.

  43. Amonre says:

    honestly guys this is a amazing show and yes it does have some characteristic like some other shows but if you continue watching and really looking at Mary’s character you will then understand something different about this show and the fact is that mary is living in a man’s world and the fact that she rules and shows such power and dominates to these situations she comes across as this daring queen and not all these stupid other characters that are all ” omg i cant do this i cant this somebody save me wah wah ” garbage but as some one that is willing to take over and do what is best for her country and her people and if you guys dont see this then stop watching the show .

  44. Ariel says:

    I love this show and I hope it stays around. Its new and different witch makes more fascinating

  45. Angelique says:

    I enjoy watching reign! It’s fun! Just don’t take it so seriously because it’s just a show. It’s good that it’s very historically inaccurate because the real life story of Mary Queen of Scots is terribly sad. She had three bad marriages, only one child, & was imprisoned for the last 19 years of her life, then executed at the age of 44 by her cousin queen Elizabeth.

  46. Duck says:

    Love it!!! Can’t wait till season 2

  47. JJ says:

    yuck..French court history meets Twilight.. American actors and twenty something women trying to be French, even using modern day speech idioms…not even a semblance at a French accent let alone any actual words… welcome to McHistory… utter nonsense..

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