DVD Wholesale Quick Overview:
Hidden between the lines of the history books is the story of Mary Stuart, the young woman the world would come to know as Mary, Queen of Scots. The teenage Mary is already a headstrong monarch – beautiful, passionate and poised at the very beginning of her tumultuous rise to power.
Reign (2013-2017) is a silly, talky, dumb version of a castle and royalty show. The scenery, locations, and costumes are beautiful, but the characters, dialog, and situations are stupid. Reign joins the ranks of other inferior castle and royalty shows such as Camelot (2011), The White Queen (2013), and World Without End (2012). If you want to read some of the many things I didn’t like about Reign skip down a few paragraphs past my recommendations of better shows to watch instead of wasting your time with Reign.
If you want to see a good castle and royalty show watch Game of Thrones (2011-2019), The Last Kingdom (2015- ), Merlin (2008-2012), Pillars of the Earth (2010), The 10th Kingdom (2000), The Tudors (2007-2010), or the Vikings (2013- ).
If you’re looking for good stuff to watch consider miniseries like The Astronauts Wives Club (2015), Band of Brothers (2001), Frank Herbert’s Dune (2000), Frank Herbert’s Children of Dune (2003), Into the West (2005), Lonesome Dove (1989), Manhattan (2014-2015), Return to Lonesome Dove (1993), Pride and Prejudice (1995), and Taken (2002), which are all terrific because they have clear beginnings that establish an objective, then strong middles and conclusive endings, like a good novel.
Other shows I’ve really enjoyed include Battlestar Galactica (2004-2009), Breaking Bad (2008-2013), Cowboy Bebop (1998), Downton Abbey (2010-2015), Firefly (2002), Granite Flats (2013-2015), The IT Crowd (2006-2013), Jericho (2006-2008), Lost (2004-2010), The Prisoner (1967-1968), Rome (2005-2007), Spartacus: Gods of the Arena (2011), Spartacus: Blood and Sand (2010), Stargate: SG-1 (1997-2007), Stargate: Atlantis (2004-2009), Star Trek (1966-1969) and Star Trek Voyager (1995-2001). I didn’t list any contemporary series I’m following that don’t have an end date yet, not conducive to binge watching from beginning to finish.
If you like reading try some of my favorite fantasy and sci-fi authors: Richard Adams, Palo Bacigulupi, Suzanne Collins, Abe Evergreen, Diana Gabaldon, Hugh Howey, George Martin, Brandon Sanderson, John Scalzi, and Andy Weir.
Reign began as a show about Mary, Queen of Scots. By the last season it had morphed into a show mostly not about Mary, into a show about the French Court and Queen Elizabeth of England. Meanwhile Mary was forgotten in Scotland. The last scene in the final episode of this mess is a mashup of parts of scenes from earlier seasons in the show, as if to remind viewers, “Hey, remember when this was a show about Mary?”
Reign started off with an obnoxious drumbeat, which constantly thumped in the first episode, which thankfully was toned down in the second episode and eventually went away, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to watch the whole series. The series started as a sort of a silly fashion show/music video thing, then turned into a somber show with numerous scenes of Mary crying and making silly pronouncements, during the scenes that were actually about Mary. Like some other four season series such as Farscape (1999-2003) and Enterprise (2001-2005) the first two seasons of Reign were better than the last two seasons.
I liked the character Megan Follows played in Anne of Green Gables (1985), but I didn’t like the despicable character she played in Reign. When Mary isn’t throwing the scheming, treacherous character Follows plays into the dungeon they’re hugging. It’s ridiculous.
One of the many things about Reign that annoyed me was the formulaic, repetitive scene structure. The scenes were so predictable the show became boring. Here’s an example of a typical scene: Two characters talk. Background music begins playing. One of the characters talks faster as the music swells into a crescendo and then the character delivers a declarative statement in a loud voice as the music reaches a climax, then flash cut to black. There are literally dozens of these repetitive scene structures in a single episode, which means there can be hundreds of them in a single season. The scenes were so predictable they put me to sleep. Slight variations of these repetitious scenes have one of the characters suddenly kiss the other character or start ripping their clothes off as the music swells to a climax, then flash cut to black.
It’s hard to like moronic characters. In the first episode Mary sees a girl die after eating food meant to assassinate her, Mary, Queen of Scots. Later Mary survives another attempt to poison her at the castle. Then Mary is raped. Does Mary learn? No. She constantly courts danger by forever wandering around the castle alone, into the estates, and the woods by herself, and goes sailing all by her lonesome, without guards or a single servant as an escort, so that assassins and rapists have constant access to her. She doesn’t learn. She doesn’t change. She’s a moron.
Mary, Queen of Scots, is the character viewers are supposed to care about, at least at the beginning of the series. I don’t know what character the viewer was supposed to care about in the fourth and final season. After Bash (Sebastian) disappeared in the beginning of the final season I didn’t care about any of the remaining characters, including Mary.
– Oh My Gosh!
This is a Historic fantasy. They used the names of real people, their basic profiles, but that is where they begin their fantasy. Each person is given a story line and many twists and turns. Francis, the Dauphin (future king) played wonderfully by Toby Regbo has the modern morals which are demonstrated to give young men a model to emulate. Queen Mary of Scots is feisty, yet respectful of the times. Adelaide Kane is amazing, showing both sides of her person. The fictional half brother Sebastian (Bash for short) is played with wit and charm by Torrance Coombs adds balance to the French Court. And of course the “villain” is played with great gusto by Megan Followes. The story starts out with innocence and charm and pulls you in. You begin to root and care for the different characters. Take the ride of fantasy and enjoy every nuance. Did I mention the modern music? So wonderful I created my own play list to enjoy.
I had expected a historical accounting of Mary Queen of Scots but soon found out that it is not that at all. The writers take a lot of liberty with history and the characters. Once I got past that, I really enjoyed the story line. The costumes and acting are spectacular. If you are a die hard history buff, you will be annoyed at the changes they have made like the illegitimate son of King Henry, Bash. There is a “creature” in the nearby woods which Bash deals with because it is all part of the paganism practiced by many of the local farmers. His mothers pagan ties were passed onto Bash even though he professes to be a devout Catholic. If you want straight history, this is not for you but if you like a twist with a great story line, then this is for you.
DVD Wholesale Main Features:
Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Subtitles: French, Thai, Spanish, Portuguese
Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
Number of discs: 5
Studio: Warner Home Video
DVD Release Date: September 23, 2014
Run Time: 916 minutes