Not only am I a huge fan of historical fiction novels, but if done properly, I’m in love with TV series as well. Showtime did an excellent rendition of Henry VIII’s life when he was crowned King to the day he died and all of the political intrigue (oh, and six wives) that intersected his life during that time span. Recently, the CW copied Showtime’s “The Tudors,” and made a show called “Reign” and its season two was added to Netflix recently. Queue even more drama, more political intrigue, and Henry VIII’s daughter, Elizabeth.
Season One of “Reign” concerned Mary Queen of Scots rise to power as wife to France’s Prince Frances. It ended with Frances becoming King and Mary Queen of France and Scotland. Season Two picked up right where season one ended and progressed with the same drama and issues. This season, however, involved more of the issues plaguing France during this time period and the stresses that Frances, Mary, and Catherine de Medici faced. The writers did take a little more fictional interpretation of Mary and Frances’ lives and built relationships around them with people that I’m not so sure were actually existent in that time period. Whatever, it made for good TV.
There are two parts that Season two proved to be much more enjoyable: Narcisse and the three ladies that surround Mary (Lola, Greer, and Kenna). First, these three ladies stopped acting like teenagers and started really acting like adults. Lola had Frances’ baby boy so she had to start acting like a mother. Greer married a Count and had to become a wife, and then was exiled and had to make something of herself without a husband. Kenna married Bash and obviously had to be a wife at Court. All three of these ladies were not looking for husbands any more. They had to grow up and I really enjoyed watching them stop acting like starry-eyed youths, but in fact women who had to be assertive and not walked all over. The second part of this season that I thoroughly enjoyed with Narcisse. An older Lord who was used to getting his way, was blackmailing King Frances and causing a strain on Frances and Mary’s relationship. Then he was outsmarted by Frances and lost everything. This man though could not be torn down. He joined forces with Catherine and began reclaiming his power as a mighty Lord. He also though was constantly fighting with himself on who was the true Narcisse, evil and power hungry OR a kind gentleman? A great character addition to the season and I hope to see him in the third season!!
Season Two was great in the usual sense that costumes were AMAZING and sets were pretty realistic for the times. The only thing that I didn’t like was the fictional premises of the plot(s). Mary had a weird relationship with Prince Conde that turned from friendship to a relationship to friendship to a relationship. I just wanted to say “stop with the BS.” Frances was a weenie during this time for he just let Mary do the nasty with Conde and turned a blind eye. Um, no, you shouldn’t let your wife sleep with another man and KNOW it. Also, towards the end of the season, there was some odd things happening with Bash and magic. It wasn’t really well-developed and lacked being a serious addition to the plot. It was almost as if the writers just wanted to add a plot line with Bash without actually developing something good. Pretty weak.
All in all, if you just watch Season two for the costumes, I think that’s well-worth your time in watching all 22 episodes of the season. The women all have beautiful dresses and just wait until the final 10 minutes when Queen Elizabeth comes on set with an amazing red dress. OMG, I died, for not only are they bringing Elizabeth to the show, but they are bringing the costumes that accompany her! All in all, just queue the season up on your Netflix account; trust me, it’s worth your time!