TV Review: Reign Season Two

Monday 8 February 2016 by

Reign, CW, TV, Netflix, Season 2

We’re back with season two of Reign, and if you thought the first season was outrageous, wait until you see this one. The Gossip Girl for the 1500s, season two returns to Mary Queen of Scots (Adelaide Kane) and King Francis (Toby Regbo) in French court as they ascend to the throne after the death of King Henry II.

But, as you might have guessed, being monarchs is never a smooth path, and Francis and Mary have to deal with the increasing aggression between Catholics and Protestants. But it’s not all politics – the sultry Louis Condé (Sean Teale) arrives on the scene and causes a few issues between the couple, and the incredible Lord Narcisse (Craig Parker) notches up the tension with a bit of healthy blackmailing.

This season pretty much takes everything from season one and has a party with it – Greer (Celina Sinden) becomes a madam after her husband is exiled, Mary is sexually assaulted and decides to live separately from Francis, Queen Catherine (the indomitable Megan Follows) starts seeing the ghosts of her dead husband and children, Kenna (Caitlin Stasey) does what she does best and messes up her relationship with Bash (Torrance Coombs), but he’s not bothered because he’s spiritually linked with some rather odd Wiccan woman and is trying to track down a monster who likes to take people’s hearts. And amongst it all, our new characters of Condé (known fondly as Sexy Prince Condé or SPC) and Narcisse stir up masses of drama. By the by, Narcisse is up there with one of the best characters from the entire TV series alongside Queen Catherine, and the relationship between these two is basically like season one’s episode 14* all the time.

So historical accuracy is as on-point as ever. But let’s be honest – that’s not really why we watch Reign. It’s for the beautiful, beautiful costumes and the lashings of teenage angst but with extra crown. I’m going to take a moment to applaud costume designer Meredith Markworth-Pollack for the sumptuous outfits that just get better and better.

When I started watching Reign, it felt a bit too cheesy and farcical to really take off, but if you’re not hooked by the end of season one and salivating for more, then you have no soul. This stuff is pure fantasy (we all imagine being a princess in a lavish court and having lots of handsome men falling at our feet and potentially destroying a country for our love, right?) and in season two, they unapologetically reach for the outrageous. But its charm is right there within the zealously produced drama and romance. Reign never pretends to be a serious historical drama. It embraces the grey areas and paints them royal blue. Then it colours over the lines and does whatever the hell it likes. Because it’s Reign, and they have Megan Follows and Adelaide Kane and Craig Parker absolutely storming it.

Never underestimate a TV series that can build on a season one and prove itself to be one of the most popular shows on Netflix, all without running out of breath. Beautiful scenery, exquisite clothes, and a hell of a lot of hormones, and Reign… well, reigns supreme.

*1.14 – “Dirty Laundry” – Henry and Catherine team up and it is pure comedy gold. I wish they had done a whole spin-off with these two

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *