No one is going to accuse Reign of being historically or culturally accurate. But while that might put off some History Channel scholars, we love the CW’s new series. Adelaide Kane stars as sixteen-year-old Mary, Queen of Scots as she tries to cement her alliance with France by marrying Prince Francis (Toby Regbo). But the task is nowhere near simple: Reign mixes magic, devious plots, and attempted murder to make for a delightfully dramatic show.
However, the fashion of Reign’s Mary is more like a modern girl dressing up as the famous monarch for Halloween. If you Google search Mary, Queen of Scots you’ll find more high-collared, full-body balloon-like structures than the deep neck, body-fitting dresses Kane’s Mary wears. But, in all honesty, we’d totally love to dress up as this new version of Mary for Halloween (maybe next year).
The music, as well, doesn’t resemble anything from the 16th century; well, it is created with instruments, but that’s about as far as the similarities go. Unless The Lumineers, Bastille, and Joshua Radin are time travelers from the 1500s (which we doubt), the music is entirely unconnected to the era of the show.
Then there’s the most irritatingly inaccurate aspect of Reign: the accents. The French have American accents while the Scottish and English have British accents (which is confusing since the Scots and Brits are at odds in the series.)
Despite all these historical inaccuracies, Reign has managed to pull it all together and make it work. Maybe it isn’t as gritty as Game of Thrones, or as truthful as a History Channel documentary, but Reign is entertaining and we’ll take that over accurate any day.
With the past two Septembers bringing us break-out series like The Mindy Project and Scandal, Hollywood is proving that strong female leads are here to stay. Zooey may want to hold onto her adorable thick-framed glasses though, there are some new girls in town.CBSMomIs Anna Faris finally sobering up from her days as everyone’s favorite house bunny? As struggling single mom Christy (Faris) tries to navigate raising her children and dealing with her past, her own mother (Allison Janney) insists on lending a bit of knowledge to the process. You may not be a recovering alcoholic but let’s face it, we can all relate to the power struggle that comes with overbearing parents. As both female leads will face ups and downs with their family, romantic lives and jobs, maybe we can learn a little about compromise and acceptance within our own home units. Premieres Sept. 23 on CBS.Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.Joss Whedon is no stranger to creating some paramount female characters. Seriously, did no one else fantasize about slaying demons while still maintaining perfectly straight hair? This fall he brings us three new women in the premiere series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Elizabeth Henstridge, Ming-Na Wen and Chloe Bennet comprise half of the six member team dedicated to protecting the boring, normal citizens of the world from the usual super-human villains. Premieres Sept. 24 on ABC.ReignAmerica’s newfound obsession with period dramas isn’t going anywhere soon but far from Downton Abbey is The CW’s newest series Reign. The 15-year-old Queen Mary (Adelaide Kane) is politically savvy — sent to France to marry a prince and finalize an alliance between the country and Scotland — and isn’t about to take any crap from her future in-laws. Of course, like any other teen monarch, Mary faces betrayal, some catty royals and those pesky dark forces that wind up in every countryside castle. No doubt the young queen will take on the French Court and come out on top and teenage girls everywhere will learn just what it takes to deal with arranged marriage and Nostradamus’s prophecies in 16th-century France. Premieres Oct. 17 on The CW. Masters of SexIf Lena Dunham’s Girls didn’t do it for you, maybe Lizzy Caplan’s portrayal of a sex researcher in Showtime’s Masters of Sex will. The one-hour series will chronicle the work of Dr. William Masters and partner/wife/ex-wife Virginia Johnson as they attempt to bring both science and the public into the discussion of intimacy and sexual behavior. Don’t worry, this won’t be 60-minutes of medical labs: the relationship between the two will be the more explored element of the show. It’s worth to watch not simply for what we’re sure will be some explicit scenes, but to learn more about the pioneering life of Johnson and the courage it took to talk openly about these subjects as a female in the 50s. Premieres Sept. 29 on Showtime. Once Upon A Time In Wonderland The adventures from Once Upon A Time aren’t over yet — even if the girl is stuck in some mental institute somewhere in the boondocks of Maine. Spinoff Once Upon A Time In Wonderland will follow lead female Sophie Lowe as she portrays everyone’s favorite fairytale character. Finding her way back to the rabbit-hole is the least of her problems: once she’s there the residents of Wonderland are sure to begin giving her hell once again. If you can learn anything from Alice, it’s that you should definitely avenge your genie-boyfriend’s death and fight against the Queen of Hearts. Premieres Oct. 10 on ABC.
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The CW’s fall 2013 TV lineup just got a whole lot bigger. The network announced on Thursday that it has ordered four new drama series — The Tomorrow People, The 100, Star-Crossed, and Reign — were picked up for series orders.
The Tomorrow People stars Robbie Amell (cousin of Arrow’s Stephen Amell) and is based on the U.K. series created by Roger Price. The drama, from Arrow executive producer Greg Berlanti and The Vampire Diaries executive producer Julie Plec, tells the story of several young people from around the world who represent the next stage in human evolution, possessing special powers, including the ability to teleport and communicate with each other telepathically. Together they work to defeat the forces of evil.
The 100 stars Eliza Taylor and Lost's Henry Ian Cusick and is set 97 years after a nuclear war has destroyed civilization. A spaceship housing the lone human survivors sends 100 juvenile delinquents back to Earth to investigate the possibility of re-colonizing the planet. The series is based on the forthcoming The Hundred book series written by Kass Morgan and published by Little, Brown.
Star-Crossed (formerly Oxygen) stars Friday Night Lights’ Aimee Teegarden and 90210’s Matt Lanter as a human girl and an alien boy who fall in love when he and eight others of his kind (The Orion 9) are integrated into a suburban high school ten years after they and hundreds of others landed on Earth and were immediately consigned to an internment camp where they’ve been imprisoned ever since.
Reign tells the previously unknown and untold story of Mary Queen of Scots' rise to power when she arrives in France as a 15-year-old, betrothed to Prince Francis, and with her three best friends as ladies-in-waiting. The period drama unveils the secret history of survival at French Court amid fierce foes, dark forces and a world of sexual intrigue and stars Adelaide Kane and Toby Regbo.
The network also announced renewals for both Nikita and The Carrie Diaries.
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Silent Hill: Revelation 3D has a lot of things working against it from the get go. It's based on a video game franchise that debuted in 1999 has been milked for sequels ever since (the current total of Silent Hill games is nine) and the movie itself is a sequel to the disappointingly dumb 2006 film directed by Christophe Gans. What's more the bitter aftertaste of Resident Evil: Retribution is still lingering in the mouths of survival horror movie/gamers and although they have entirely different plots and take place in totally different universes that's not necessarily enough to take the edge off for weary viewers.
It would take a dazzling director with a stellar cast and a first-rate script to overcome those sorts of obstacles and Silent Hill doesn't have any of those things. Writer/director Michael J. Bassett is obviously fond of both video games and horror (his previous movies include Solomon Kane and Deathwatch) the cast is decent with some exceptions and the script… well it's better than Resident Evil. If anything we can give Bassett credit for his enthusiasm. You really can't win when you try and make a video game movie no matter how many hours you spent playing Doom as a teen. Whether that's at the hands of the studios or the creative teams themselves isn't clear; it's simply a nut that hasn't been cracked yet.
The good news is that you don't really need a grasp on the video game or previous movie's narrative to follow the Revelation's plot. Harry (Sean Bean) has been lying to his daughter Heather (Adelaide Clemens) for a very long time. He's convinced her that her dreams about a terrible place called Silent Hill are the longstanding effects of a car crash that killed her mother and that they have to move around and take on new identities all the time because he killed a prowler in self-defense. Heather has other problems like the occasional hallucinations about a terrible alternate universe that's populated by monsters and industrial junk and flickering lights. One minute she'll be doing something normal and then suddenly the walls are burning down to the rafters and something with a butt for a face is shambling towards her. It's a raw deal.
Heather's first day at her new school is not that great; she meets a cute guy named Vincent (Kit Harington) who wants to be buddies but she makes it clear she's pretty bad ass and not one to pal around since she'll just be leaving town again anyway. When she comes home from school her dad has disappeared and the living room is a huge mess. If she wasn't clear on what to do next someone used his blood to write "COME TO SILENT HILL" on the wall with a funky sigil next to it which matches this weird object she's had since she was little. Luckily Vincent has a car and more than a few troubling secrets of his own underneath those glossy brown curls. He offers to drive her and off they go. Typical chitchat between them is about the nature of reality and dreams and Vincent's batty grandfather who's locked up in an insane asylum.
This is where things get really convoluted. Silent Hill is indeed a terrible place where ash falls from the sky during the day and horrible things come out to menace any townsperson dumb enough to be out at night. It's an eerie world that comes close to the truly terrifying Silent Hill games on occasion. After a while though it's mostly just Heather and occasionally Vincent running around in what seems like mazes of rusty bloody walls with the occasional gruesome monster popping out to halfheartedly menace them.
There's a dash of The Wicker Man here with the requisite creepy sacrificial cult and some Hellraiser-esque torture thrown in but it stops short of being a full-blown Clive Barker nightmare. There is some gore and disturbing images but the choice to use practical effects for almost all of the monsters is far more impressive in theory. Those monsters look okay from afar but rubbery up close whereas the only CGI monster is an impressive spidery thing made up of doll parts. The use of strobe lights and other effects is absolutely maddening especially in conjunction with the 3D which is mostly used for cheap gimmicks like splashing blood at the viewer.
There's something oddly satisfying about the way that the movie follows the trajectory of a video game; it's even laid out like a video game universe with different goals and bosses at each location. The problem is that what is believable or acceptable in a video game doesn't necessarily translate to a movie — in a game you're busy solving puzzles and killing monsters and it's easier to overlook kitchen-sink plots. Even though the movie doesn't completely hew to the game's story it's got the same mentality that more is better when it's really just more. And the more that's piled on the more ridiculous it gets. When everything is at a fever pitch that kind of weirdness becomes a baseline and nothing is shocking. Unlike in the games there's just one ending no matter how you play it.