What differentiates Reign from other ‘historical’ drama is the prominence of its female characters. Aware of her tenuous position as a Scottish queen within the French royal court, Mary, played by the wonderful Adelaide Kane, uses her sharp intellect to assert her rightful place and exercise her own will. The beauty of it is, at its heart there is a sense of sisterhood. Mary is surrounded by her ladies in waiting: Kenna, Lola and Greer. All are equally intelligent, strong and passionate, and making their mark on the royal court. Each facing their individual challenges, sometimes with each other, they are always ready to support one another; a lesson, I think, we all could learn from.
While it claims to be based on history, it is worth mentioning that Laurie McCarthy and Stephanie Sengupta have taken a lot of creative liberties when creating this series. Reign is predominantly a work of fiction, based on some historical occurrences. Still, it doesn’t shy away from addressing pressing issues that women have dealt with throughout history and continue to face today. It allows these historical female characters to be advocates of their own freedom. In a sense, rewriting history with women at the forefront.
So, if you’re particular about historical accuracy, as I usually am, then you should be prepared. Some of the main characters didn’t actually exist. (Bash, I’m looking at you.) That is not to mention that the lavish costumes and accessories, which could have been plucked from a recent Oscar de la Renta collection, are wildly anachronistic.
Yet, this appears to be all part of its charm. Conscious of its own inaccuracies, it is a kind of fantasy that allows you to escape to another world of Gothic intrigue and mystery. It is both entertaining and thrilling in equal measures. There’s something wonderful about Reign that keeps me up at night… literally. It’s irresistible to watch ‘just one more episode’ as Netflix ticks over seamlessly onto the next.