What better way to teach high school students actual history than to slap it on TV and cast a bunch of adorbs teenagers in the important roles? Better yet, history is public domain! So The CW brings us "Reign," which follows Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, through her teen years. Good thing the real Mary wasn't executed until she was, like, old.
Arriving in France with four close friends as her ladies-in-waiting, Mary has been sent to secure Scotland’s strategic alliance by formalizing her arranged engagement to the French king’s dashing son, Prince Francis. But the match isn’t signed and sealed: it depends more on politics, religion and secret agendas than affairs of the heart. Prince Francis is intrigued by the fiery Scot, but like most young men, he resists the idea of settling down into marriage, especially when he has a history with a lady of the court and his own point of view on the wisdom of an alliance with Scotland.
Still, an attraction between Mary and Francis is ignited. Further complicating things is Bash, Francis’ roguish half-brother, who has a history of his own ? despite his illegitimate birth, Bash is his father’s favorite. And now that Bash has caught Mary’s eye, a royal triangle may be forming. While at French Court, fierce foes and dark forces conspire to sabotage Mary’s marriage to Francis and even threaten her life, until a mysterious shrouded guide becomes her ally. With danger and sexual intrigue around every dark castle corner, Mary rallies her ladies-in-waiting and steels herself, ready to rule the new land and balance the demands of her country and her heart.
The series stars Adelaide Kane (“Teen Wolf”) as Mary, Toby Regbo (“One Day”) as Prince Francis, Torrance Coombs (“The Tudors”) as Bash, Megan Follows (“Anne of Green Gables”) as Queen Catherine, Alan Van Sprang (“The Tudors”) as King Henry, Celina Sinden (newcomer) as Greer, Caitlin Stasey (newcomer) as Kenna, Anna Popplewell (“The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader”) as Lola, and Jenessa Grant (“Cyberbully”) as Aylee.
Will you be watching "Reign" Thursdays at 9:00 p.m. this fall?
Liane Bonin Starr is an author, screenwriter and former writer for EW.com. Her byline has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Variety and a lot of other places. Her last book was called "a scandalously catty, guilty pleasure" by Jane magazine. Expect the same from Starr Raving.