Everyone enjoys a good love triangle, but lately in Hollywood they’re just about everywhere. Since Twilight and The Vampire Diaries first premiered, the love triangle has become standard operating practice on any teen drama series, or in any movie aimed at young adults. However, The CW’s teen drama, Reign, is beginning to break the mold.
The first 13 episodes of the show’s debut season heavily featured the romantic tug-of-war between Queen Mary (Adelaide Kane), Prince Francis (Toby Regbo), and Bash (Torrance Coombs). However after the first run of episodes — which was the original length of the show’s first season before it got a full order — ended with Francis and Mary’s wedding, the love triangle has almost ceased to exist and it has made the show even more exciting, enjoyable, and just overall better.
Sure, the Frary versus Mash debate was fun, but you know what’s even more fun? Watching an actual teen queen rule an actual country. There are many love triangles on television, but there are very few, if any, shows focusing on a queen struggling to to prioritize her country’s needs along with her duty to her husband. Game of Thrones slightly delves into these issues with Daenarys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), but Dany has yet to be both a wife and a queen — a Khaleesi, I should say — for an extended period of time.
In fact, if you think about all the movies and television shows that have built their success on love triangles — such as The Vampire Diaries and Twilight — or the feature film franchises that use a love triangle to drum up cheap publicity (looking at you, Catching Fire), Reign ditching its love triangle is rather subversive.
Instead of cashing in on the question of who will end up together and prolonging the show by not giving the audience an answer, Reign ended the debate with Mary and Francis’s wedding, and then moved on. The new storylines are bigger, better, and different than anything else on television, which truly separates Reign from the rest of the teen drama series pack in a fantastic way.
The CW Network
Hollywood loves a good love triangle: Edward vs. Jacob, Peeta vs. Gale, etc. On the CW series, Reign, it’s all about Francis vs. Bash. Although it’s difficult to choose between the handsome Toby Regbo and Torrance Coombs, many viewers prefer one over the other for Mary. Fans, along with help from Reign’s social media, have created two relationship names for the pairings: Frary and Mash. While most fans have a favorite ship, we’re here to decide whether Frary or Mash will Reign on the show.
When picking the man she will wed, Mary needs to consider who would make a better king—she is a queen after all. Francis has been learning how to run a country since he could walk, while Bash has spent most of his time hunting, gallivanting with the heathens in the woods, and canoodling with ladies. Something tells us Bash’s king resume is sorely lacking.
Frary 1, Mash 0
Sure, Francis is going to be king of France, but let’s not forget that he slept with other women when he was betrothed to Mary. Meanwhile, Bash hasn’t really looked at other women since falling for Mary. He might be a bad boy, but he’d make a fantastic boyfriend.
Frary 1, Mash 1
Although the fans don’t care much about historical accuracy — and if the show’s plotline is any indication, neither do the writers — we feel it’s necessary to at least point out that the real Mary Queen of Scots did marry Prince Francis.
Frary 2, Mash 1
Let’s get real: Bash could have chemistry with anyone. We’ve seen him flirt with Mary, Lola, and other ladies in court. He could charm the pants off a sack of flour (which is pretty impressive considering sacks of flour don’t wear pants). Whereas Francis has as much charm as a schoolboy in love — which is to say: less than Bash.
Frary 2, Mash 2
Who Does Mary Love?
Although Mary cares about Bash, she’s truly in love with Francis — enough that she’s willing to sacrifice everything, including her own happily ever after, in order to save him.
Frary 3, Mash 2
(Let’s be real though, the best ship on the show is Mary and Scotland. A queen has to take care of her country.)
If there is one thing The CW is good at, it’s creating teen dramas that are chock full of attractive people. For now, let’s talk about Reign and all the handsome men at French court. Whether we’re drooling over Bash, ogling Prince Francis, or wishing we were Greer hanging out in the kitchens watching Leith cook, we’re secretly — or not-so-secretly — crushing on the men of Reign.
Alan Van Sprang
As far kings who can’t keep it in their pants go, Van Sprang plays a pretty attractive King Henry. He’s got a devilish sort of charm and if King Henry can woo both Kenna and Diane, he must be doing something right.
Though Nostradamus is often the bearer of bad news — like really horrible news — he does have a sort of quiet power that can be extremely attractive. Sutherland, once he’s out of the giant robes usually worn by Nostradamus, is also not hard on the eyes.
As Leith, the kitchen boy who’s stolen Greer’s heart, Keltz is charming, funny, down to earth, and he can cook. What more could a girl want in a guy? Though he hasn’t been in too many episodes of Reign, we would love to see more of him. (We’re sure Greer and Reign’s female fanbase would as well.)
Have you seen his eyes? Are they green? Blue? Coombs has the swoon-worthy penetrating eyes thing down, but we hear he’s kind of nerd — not that it’s a bad thing! Caitlin Stasey (who plays Kenna) told The TV Addict, “He’s got those husky eyes and yet he’s the biggest dork you’ll ever meet in your entire life.” Awww.
Arguably Coombs and Regbo are equally attractive, but Regbo has the boy-next-door sort of charm to Coombs’s bad boy look. Regbo is the kind of guy you wouldn’t mind taking home to meet the folks, and from what we’ve seen on Reign, he looks like a half-decent kisser as well.
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.
Director Mahdi Fleifel's documentary A World Not Ours was the toast of the Edinburgh International Film Festival in Scotland on Friday (28Jun13) after picking up the event's top prize. The movie, about three families of refugees in Lebanon, was crowned Best Film in the International Competition, while The Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature was presented to Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel's commercial fishing documentary, Leviathan.
Best Performances in a British Feature Film were distributed to Jamie Blackley and Toby Regbo for their roles as schoolboys in uwantme2killhim?, and the Audience Award went to Anthony Wonke's Fire In the Night, which chronicles the 1988 Piper Alpha oil explosion in the North Sea.
Accepting the trophy, director Wonke said, "It's 25 years ago this July that Piper Alpha exploded and sunk into the North Sea and we hope that with this film the memory of that fateful night that affected so many lives will act as a suitable remembrance."
The 12-day event will end on Sunday (30Jun13) with a screening of Not Another Happy Ending.
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.
Follow Sydney on Twitter: @SydneyBucksbaum
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