First things first: Put on Lorde's "Royals" and listen to it on repeat while reading this review. Please and thank you.
Gossip Girl meets Game of Thrones.
Oh wait, you actually need to know more than that about The CW's Reign to understand why it's one of our favorite new series of the 2013 Fall TV season. Did you recently slip and hit your head? Just checking.
The drama, which follows a young Mary, Queen of Scots, as she arrives in France to marry the prince and brings sexual intrigue, danger and more along with her corsets. And while it might not receive an A when it comes to historical accuracy, it completely nails that whole entertaining the crap out of its audience thing that we hear is kind of important when it comes to TV these days. It's pure guilty pleasure, heavy on the pleasure. Also, Reign carries on the very important CW tradition of being packed to the brim with really, really pretty people. They don't offend our eyes in any way shape or form.
Premieres: Thursday, Oct. 17, 9 p.m.
Time-Slot Competition: Grey's Anatomy (ABC), The Crazy Ones/Two and a Half Men (CBS), The X Factor (Fox), Sean Saves the World/The Michael J. Fox Show (NBC)
Cast: Adelaide Kane, Toby Regbo, Torrance Coombs, Megan Follows, Alan Van Sprang , Anna Popplewell and Rossif Sutherland
Status: We've seen the pilot episode
TV's Hottest New Love Triangle: Consider Reign a perfect pairing with The Vampire Diaries as its heroine Mary finds herself caught between two brothers. While they aren't sexy vamps, one is a prince, Francis (Regbo), who has everything but doesn't seem to want anything, while the other is a brooding bastard (the King's mistress' son), Bash (Coombs), who is surrounded by everything, but is entitled to nothing. Mary and Francis, who is slightly against getting married at 15 for numerous reasons, share a history that lends a sweetness to their scenes and the roguish Bash is instantly intrigued by Mary's feisty spirit, leading to a slightly sexier dynamic. (Watch out, Jon Snow!) Of course, history already spoiled this outcome as Mary and Francis do end up married...and, you know, Bash never existed. "I, for one, am thankful for a certain amount of creative license, because historically I don't exist," Coombs jokes.
Modern History: Though the series is set in the 16th century, it manages to feel young and fresh, thanks to the killer contemporary soundtrack, which includes tunes from Mumford and Sons, Phillip Phillips and an original track from The Lumineers, similar to Sofia Coppola's too cool for school film Marie Antoinette. Even better? The clothes, of course. Mary and her ladies-in-waiting will definitely be inspiring fashion-saavy viewers with their intricate gowns and braided hairstyles. oh, and we can't forget about the headbands that would inspire jealousy amongst Blair and her minions on the Upper East Side.
A Star Is Born: Coming off of her breakout performance on Teen Wolf, Kane is a more than worthy successor to Blake Lively and Leighton Meester as one of the CW's new top leading ladies. Her portrayal of Mary is equal parts sweet and strong; you want to be her best friend dancing alongside her at the ball and protect her from those who are out to harm her via poisoned food and wine. (Is nothing sacred?!) When it comes to the supporting ladies, Mary's four BFFS who accompany her to court are charming as a group, but one or two gets lost in the shuffle. (There's a reason we aren't telling you their names; we literally can't remember them.) One ends up losing her beloved and blaming Mary, another hooks up with the King and the other two are blondes.
Supernatural Castle: Adding even more intrigue aside from the political dangers at court? The irresistible crumbs of supernatural elements sprinkled throughout the pilot, including a dark force in the woods surrounding the castle and a deadly premonition, courtesy of Nostradamus (Sutherland), the icy Queen's (Follows) advisor. "Eventually what we learn is [there is] a prophecy of young Francis' death," McCarthy spills. "We won't shy away from that. We'll actually embrace it at a certain point in the series."
Our Review in GIF Form:
Verdict: Watch. Long live this juicy new drama from The CW, one history class we won't think about skipping anytime soon. Seriously, if you live for The Vampire Diaries' flashbacks and can't get enough of the historical liberties series such as The Tudors take, Reign is your new best friend this fall.