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Reign: Royal Life As Imagined By An Anthropologie Catalogue

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  • Reign: Royal Life As Imagined By An Anthropologie Catalogue



    But this guy did not like it. Let's all feel sorry for this guy! He doesn't understand joy and pretty things!

    "Reign" brings historical absurdism to new levels and reveals just how dumb The CW must think its audience is to accept such fantasy as fact because real history is "hard" -- especially for a girl. In short, The CW is ruining the country.

    Maybe it's time to stop mocking and laughing at The CW -- two things I've done extensively because, well, because the shows and the network often deserve it. In fact, just last week I made fun of Tomorrow People because, like so many shows on The CW, it was exponentially ridiculous.

    Ah, but Reign, The CW's newest "historical" drama, is so relentlessly bad, so passionately inept, that in July the network felt compelled to defend to critics its right to take the story of Mary, Queen of Scots, and turn it into something immune to facts (because facts would make it boring to teenage girls) and maintain that interpreting history as nonsensical teen pabulum was the God-given right of creator and executive producer Laurie McCarthy.

    I mean, this is a woman who will be introducing into the world "Hunky Nostradamus" -- a stretch that even by the standards of The CW is offensive. It's one thing to re-create Beauty and the Beast with a good-looking, totally buffed-out Beast (he has a tiny scar that only makes him more ruggedly handsome). But it's quite another to make Nostradamus a young, broodingly hot dude.

    You're going to pull a muscle pandering like that.

    At some point -- and I think this may that point -- it's time to speak the truth: The CW is ruining America. It is dumbing down an increasingly dumb country. Furthermore, The CW, already providing some of the worst role models for young women in this country, hired an actress to play Mary -- Adelaide Kane -- who drank their Kool-Aid and proudly scolded aghast critics who were troubled by the historical license and the message it sent to young women.

    "How many teenage girls do you know who are obsessed with history?" Kane asked. "I know I wasn't at that age."

    Says the actress who starred in Teen Wolf.

    Choosing other interests besides history is fine for Kane. Perhaps she was off taking acting classes instead of trying to lead an examined life. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to have done her much good -- she's wooden and regrettable in her attempt to bring to life one of the most fascinating women in history.
    Further stretching the boundaries of historical absurdism, McCarthy has created an entirely fictional love triangle in Reign. You've got Prince Francis, son of the French king, who was a sickly 14-year-old in real life, not the robust, handsome, womanizing young stud portrayed by Toby Regbo in Reign. Then there's Wooden Mary (Kane) and Francis' half-brother, the bastard Bash (Torrance Coombs), who never existed.
    You know, because history is boring and Mary led such a dull life, let's set up a love triangle. And let's call the made-up brother Bash.

    What The CW is doing here (and Kane perpetuates with her take on teenage girls and their intelligence) is approaching television with the perspective that the target audience is profoundly idiotic. Young girls can't be expected to pay attention to anyone who isn't outlandishly good looking. They can't live in a world where a character -- even one based in history -- is old. And to re-create the history of a woman who actually lived an incredible life would be too arduous a task. Better to have her pine over someone named Bash.

    Worse, even though The CW believes girls are only pretty, thin and stupid -- and apparently frightened of men older than, say, 30 -- in Reign we nevertheless get one of Mary's ladies-in-waiting (the hottest one, of course) masturbating on a staircase, then caught in the act and overtaken by none other than the older, bald king.

    What the what? Seriously, CW. She's masturbating (after running up the stairs she just seems to remember that she needs to knock that out, so she stops halfway up to her room and randomly gets busy). And then the many-years-her-senior king sticks his hand up her dress and leans in on her? The masturbation element has been minimally edited by The CW in an effort to tone it down.

    Oh, wait, I see. You've taken historical fiction and turned it into pulp fiction. Got it.

    The list of people who should be outraged at The CW, at McCarthy and Kane, goes beyond teenage girls with a brain, the parents of any self-respecting young woman, smart people in general, history buffs and America at large, but also Scotland and France. While British historical costume dramas have long ago given up on the idea of looking for, say, Italian actors, they usually can find a French actor or someone who can pull off a French accent. But not here. The French are decidedly English. And the Scots are decidedly English. No doubt those involved with Reign thought the youth of America couldn't understand a Scottish accent ("but we've seen Shrek -- give us a chance!").

    Basically, the whole world should be mad at Reign and The CW. Remember when the WB and UPN (from their ashes came The CW) gave us Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Gilmore Girls? Remember when girls could be badass and smart?

    What happened, CW? Why are they so shallow and boy crazy and annoying now?
    Maybe I should be asking "hunky Nostradamus" that question.

    Seriously though, this person thinks he is casting shade on Adelaide Kane because she was on Teen Wolf? You sir, just rendered your entire argument irrelevant and invalid.

    Also, shut up. She's sooooo pretty.

  • #2
    Yep, that's the article. I couldn't see very well reading on my phone and thought it was written by a woman. Thank you, sir, for mansplaining to me what I should watch on television. I am an educated woman. This is not why I watch television. Some things are just for fun.

    Also, go fuck yourself for that Teen Wolf dig. Only people who watch that show get to talk shit about it. Its like your family, in that regard.

    For some reason that guy sounded like AK had spit in his face. Yeah, that was a dumb, careless remark. But that seems like a really dickish reaction. I am not sure why I feel so defensive about a show after only one episode, but I do.

    Reign is a pretty, silly, guilty pleasure show. What is so wrong with that?
    Last edited by jennchum; 10-18-2013, 04:24 PM.


    • #3
      I HATE concern-trolling over what teen girls are ingesting from pop culture!

      Also? If The CW is what's wrong with our culture (right, like they're the most problematic programming for young women on television? ohhhhkay)? I don't wanna be right, y'all. I mean, every show is filled with stories about female characters--some are dumb, some are smart and they're all pretty--I guess unlike all the other TV stations and the homely women who populate those shows!? Wut? I don't know.
      Itís just really honestly so tiring and emotionally draining to have to get upset over reality constantly.


      • #4
        It is annoying because he is saying the CW treats girls like they are stupid by not giving them accurate history, BUT he is the one saying girls can't tell the difference between television and reality! *rolls eyes to infinity*

        He is just like every other dude who thinks girl shows are dumb, because it isn't created specifically to entertain him. HATE THAT SHIT.


        • #5
          I've never cared about how well a show is received by critics, screw them! This cheese was delicious and basically everything I could have asked for: GG in ball gowns with countries instead of fee fees at stake. It's like Downton if Downton would actually accept the fact that it's a soap opera and not SERIOUS. TELEVISION.

          AK is super pretty, but I also regretted that this was not around as a vehicle for Michelle Trachtenburg post Buffy. She would have been perfection in this role, cheesy accent and all. The boys are only meh, but I love the maids and their pursuit of fun boy times.

          I was genuinely surprised by the beheading, but I'll chalk that up to my not watching any of the supernatural teen shows. Clearly, things have gotten way more gory since my Buffy days and peeps are just like "Whatever, man" about it now.


          • #6
            Ha! I love that you spoiler tagged that even though the ep already aired, as thought the very word itself was vaguely scandalous.

            but I'll chalk that up to my not watching any of the supernatural teen shows.
            This pilot had the lowest body count of anything I watched this week! So yes, welcome back to The CW teen show land.

            If I don't see at least three beheadings or poisonings per episode, I'm going to write an OpEd about how historically inaccurate this is. It's hard for me to care about shows where there isn't enough of a body count to make me truly believe the stakes are high.

            I also so badly want someone, anyone, to turn out to be a shapeshifter or something diabolical.


            • #7
              I also so badly want someone, anyone, to turn out to be a shapeshifter or something diabolical.
              I nominate the faceless wine whisperer. Or hunky Nostradamus, I guess.


              • #8
                Seeing it tonight, but yep, everything everyone said. Historical fiction. We know Lincoln didn't hunt vampires. I wonder if that author would spend every episode of Boardwalk Empire tracking inaccuracies. Would he have shut his face if The CW renamed her Terry? "the parents of any self-respecting young woman"? GTFO.


                • #9
                  Right, Issie? It's Gossip Girl with beheading and poisoning. It's everything I have ever wanted in a teen melodrama if the boys were just a little more yummy.
                  Itís just really honestly so tiring and emotionally draining to have to get upset over reality constantly.


                  • #10
                    One of the best things about this show is that the costume designer is like a honey badger. She gives no fucks.

                    This quite funny tumblr post dissects some of the costuming and their historical periods:

                    (I’m literally laughing just uploading these. I cannot WAIT for tonight.)

                    So! On the left, we have Anna Popplewell in a ballgown from the 1840s, On the right, we have a dress that wants to start a fight with me, because if we’re just going to pretend no historical things ever, don’t you dare show me a front-lacing waist cincher on the outside of a dress. You and I know better, dress; don’t pander to me.
                    and in the comments was a link to an interview with the costume designer:

                    Curiosity warranted an email to the costume designer, Meredith Markwork-Pollack (who also worked on another fashion-y CW show, the Rachel Bilson-starring Hart of Dixie), for a clearer explanation on her inspiration for dressing 15 year-old 16th century girls with a modern twist, 21st century actresses wearing binding corsets, and who’s the Spencer of the ladies in waiting (yes, that was a Pretty Little Liars reference, and yes, we watch that, too).

                    . . . [excerpt] Which current labels are your go-tos for working into the costuming?

                    I knew from the beginning that I’d have an easy time weaving in contemporary accessories. It’s funny how tiaras and hair pieces are everywhere right now, and it’s incredibly helpful. We’ve also used quite a bit of Free People for the girls’ everyday looks. They have such a strong and cohesive story with their bohemian romantic look, it’s really worked in our favor. On the pilot we used an incredible Basil Soda gown and we’ve continued using a couple gowns of theirs on Mary. I’ve rented a couple McQueen gowns as well. We shop quite a bit of vintage here in Toronto, but I’m also constantly scouring the web. Net-a-Porter, The Outnet, and BHLDN are my go-tos.

                    From the beginning the creators, the director, and the studio said they wanted to incorporate a contemporary feel in the costumes. The vision was there even before I signed on; I just helped execute it. But knowing the network and the show’s demographic I felt it made complete sense. I also wanted each look to have a nod to the proper period costume, whether it was achieved through a similar shape or detailed embroidery. The girls almost always wear a corset unless there’s just no need. They love how it helps with their posture.

                    . . . [excerpt]

                    How are you hoping that the viewers will react to the costumes as part of the show?

                    I think it will be quite obvious to our viewers that we’re not out to replicate historical costumes. We’ve created our own distinct look and I think viewers will respond to it positively. I’m hoping it’s an inspiration for our female viewers to creatively add to their wardrobe. It’s such a do-it-yourself kind of look. We’re constantly taking vintage pieces and dying them, altering them, beading them—all to make them our own. That’s what it’s about. It’s not for everyone though. If you’re hoping for hip rolls and men in tights it’s not your show.


                    • #11
                      Ratings were only so-so. Might go up in the L+7.


                      Reign premiered with no margin for decline last week. If it holds at or near its 0.8 premiere rating, it would be renewed, but if it suffers the typical post premiere declines it's "Off with their heads". The bear's going to wait until next week's ratings to move it off of "toss up".


                      • #12
                        I can only imagine a CW executive pulling their hair out right now lamenting that the boys aren't hot enough to attract the right viewers!
                        Itís just really honestly so tiring and emotionally draining to have to get upset over reality constantly.


                        • #13
                          Saw it! Pretty, pretty ladies! But seriously, none of the males are appealing to me at all, especially not the half-bro that we're told is some kind of womanizer. When the ladies-in-waiting called him gorgeous I LOLed. Btw, pretty sure I will never learn their names. Oh, Reign, you perfect silliness.


                          • #14
                            Sitting down now to watch last night's ep.


                            Ratings were not good:

                            Down to a .6. Hard to blame the World Series for that slip, but maybe?

                            Wevs, you never can tell with The CW.


                            • #15
                              I still loved it. It is so deliciously cheesy and effing nuts.. I feel something supernatural is happening and honestly, they should just go for it. Break away from the historical part all together, and just have fun.

                              Colin in the woods sure looked like a werewolf attack to me, and they already have a ghost in the catacombs.