Nitpicking Reign: amusement or irritation?

August 1, 2013 19:07:12 Posted at August 1, 2013 19:07:12
Duana Posted by Duana
Photos:
Frederick M. Brown/ Getty

There’s nothing quite like the schizophrenia that comes when I read an article I can’t decide if I agree with.

This piece on the TCA presser for the CW’s new show Reign made me feel fairly crazy. Please read to see if I’m the only one.  Click here.

Okay. You good? So let’s start. 

First impressions are that this reporter is a little overly stuck on what constitutes accuracy on television, or maybe that all the critics are. It’s television. If we really want to get into how McNulty would have been fired years ago or Alicia Florrick wouldn’t have maintained her business contacts or that it’s too coincidental that Piper Chapman is at the same prison as her former lover, then we could make a list, starting with really? Phillip and Elizabeth just happen to live beside Stan Beeman? (Watch The Americans.) But we don’t, because those things make the shows interesting and compelling.   

So the nitpicking about whether or not Prince Francis was sickly is boring? Maybe he got sickly later. Maybe he becomes so in season 3. Does it seriously matter?   Ditto for the inference that the fact that he had a past with a lady of the court which, our reporter reminds us, “was hardly worth mentioning in those days”. Okay, yes, fine. But the show is about, and for, 16 year old girls. You know who cares about that stuff? They do. Even “back then”.

But Duana, are you being dense? Because in addition to all the “history” or lack thereof,  the actress playing Mary sounds like a pain in the ass, not just because she’s mouthy all over the presser but because nobody sasses Megan Follows and gets away with it on my watch.

Also, Lainey’s pet peeve in actor-speak is “my cast”. That one doesn’t bother me nearly so much as referring to your character in the first person, a la “She’s a bitch to me!” You are not Mary, Queen of Scots. You are an Australian actress born in 1990.   Could we please maintain a level of distinction and refer to the character as “Mary”?   That would be great.  

But then again, she kind of has a point about letting the historical accuracy not be the hill to die on for the 13 year old girls who will watch. When I was about that age I had an awesome book called Wolf By The Ears which told the probably entire fictional story of one of Sally Hemings’ children choosing to “pass” as white. I am quite sure there are some sweeping inaccuracies in that book, but I loved it and it made a pocket of Hemings-shaped curiosity in my historical knowledge going forward. So maybe this will inspire that in some of these girls?  

Either way, it’s not like they’ll know less about Mary Queen of Scots than they do now, you know?

One final nitpick - “Adelaide is CW’s new Blake Lively (read: handful)”. Seriously?  Blake Lively was that much of a problem, beyond a little vanity sizing and public dating of her costar? You’re really trying to tell me AnnaLynne McCord wasn’t the bigger situation there? Or, you know, Tyra Banks?

Then again, I did enjoy the description of Reign as the CW’s first “crunchy-gravel” drama, so points for that.  

See? I can’t make up my mind, can I? You?
 

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