The CW’s “Reign” is, simply put, a futile attempt by the network to create its own dark show set in the past a la “Downton Abbey.”
With its dreadful, dull retelling of what could only loosely be considered history, this show leaves little to be desired.
The series, set in 1557, follows the rise to power of Mary, Queen of Scots as she deals with drama and conspiracy within her own court.
The pilot episode finds future-Queen Mary leaving the comfortable confines of her convent and traveling into the sprawling castle of her betrothed, along with finding her reuniting with her childhood friends who will become her ladies-in-waiting.
The series offers no lasting impressions, except for a scruffy dog named Sterling and an unrealistic expertise in the use of modern makeup.
Mary, played by “Teen Wolf” star Adelaide Kane, leads this cast of unknown actors and actresses, which has become the typical model for CW shows.
“Reign” is poorly written, poorly structured and offers no back story to support the plot or motivations for the events that happen within the castle.
With enough historical inaccuracies to warrant a drinking game and enough forced drama to fill the hallways of a junior high school, the series pursues a very limited audience.
The use of a contemporary pop music soundtrack is odd, as it does not align with the show’s historical theme. With the lack of continued dialogue, the show is more likely to get nominated for a video music award rather than an Emmy.
Filling an hour time slot, the show is painfully slow and would be better served in a half hour format.
For these reasons, it seems unlikely that “Reign” will reach the popularity of other CW shows like “Arrow” or “The Vampire Diaries.”
If you enjoy poorly depicted medieval-themed programs, this show could be right for you, but browsing for other options is recommended.
If you are a history enthusiast, be sure to steer clear of this series.
You can check it out for yourself at 9 p.m. Thursday on The CW.
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars