Fun fact about Mary Queen of Scots: There weren't many fun facts about her.
So when the Internet erupted in a ball of fury last week that the CW's Reign is not historically accurate, we took a good, hard look at our newfound love for this show, and decided: We totally stand by it.
Reign—which airs its second episode tonight—is not a history lesson. It is sorta-kinda inspired by true events of the 16th Century, but focuses on a 15-year-old Mary (Adelaide Kane) who has just been freed from a convent, to the freedom of life with the French royal family, and is just a girl trying to have fun despite the stoic confines of the monarchy. It is arguably the most ambitious series the CW has ever done, but most importantly, it is so much fun to watch—thanks to, in part, to the writers' determination to not get bogged down by historical accuracies. In a sea of lackluster new fall TV dramas, Reign (along with Blacklist) is currently at the tippy top of our must-watch list.
Here are 11 reasons we are obsessed with Reign, and don't mind sticking to history books for history lessons!
1. The Love Triangle: Mary (Kane), the king's son Francis (Toby Regbo), and the king's bastard son Bash (Torrance Coombs) are so wrought with heated chemistry, your retinas might get scorched right out of your eye sockets. (You have been warned.)
2. The Hot, Complicated Mess That Is Mary and Francis: While Mary is betrothed to Francis, Francis' heart already belongs to someone else...and our heart belongs to Mary's scandalous attraction to Francis' half-brother, Bash.
3. The Hot, Complicated Mess That Is Mary and Bash: They will melt the paint off your walls, so don't freeze-frame them too long.
4. The Hair: We guarantee no one looked this well-kempt 500 years ago, unless there were magical fairies who flitted by on pixie dust. Alert the Historical Accuracy Police!
5. The Headbands: We kind of want to quit our day jobs to be extras on the show, just to get one. Totally rational.
6. And Did We Mention the Dresses? Just...wow.
7. And the Sets? We just want to go there.
8. Adelaide Kane: Arguably the biggest break out star of fall, the Australian newcomer displays a depth of emotion and unshakeable fierceness not seen on most teen shows. "I liked that she was a strong, independent, intelligent young woman in a very difficult time," Adelaide tells us of her role as Mary. "She really has to fight to figure out these murky political waters before she and her friends end up hurt or dead." (See our exclusive video interview, in which Kane also describes her struggle with anxiety, here.)
9. The Angst: And you thought Gossip Girl gave good angst? Well, how about some truly plausible, life-or-death teen angst, courtesy of an entire nation and a queen trying to kill her? "If Mary slips up once politically, she will end up with a knife in her back in a dark alley," Kane tells us. "She has the English trying to kill her and then she has an enemy in French court that she has to dodge…She's threated on all sides. She's sieged on all sides." Kind of makes those Upper East Side party "crises" seem like toddler play.
10. The Parties: A Scottish jig amid falling feathers is pretty much the coolest teen-girls-dancing-at-a-party moment we've ever seen. Not to disparage The O.C.'s pool parties, but just look at it.
11. The Pretty. Did we mention we are fans of the way this show looks? Yes, yes, yes, the story is rich and the plot twists are smart, etc, but it's just so hard to take your eyes off how gorgeous this show is. We'd say more, but we're too busy twirling our hair, trying to figure out how to do these styles so…gotta go.
Check out Reign on the CW Thursdays!