TV Review: The CW's 'Reign'

The CW premieres Reign, roughly based on Mary, Queen of Scots, on Thursday Oct. 17, 9 p.m. ET. The following are reviews from TV critics around the web, compiled by B&C.

“All told, the series - handsomely shot in Ireland - represents what amounts to a sleight-of-hand act - an attempt by CW to look like it’s trying something different while really just churning out more of the same, albeit with more splendid settings and ornate costumes. It’s Game of Thrones with a learner’s permit, for those whose parents won’t let them watch pay TV.”

—Brian Lowry, Variety

Reign brings historical absurdism to new levels and reveals just how dumb The CW must think its audience is to accept such fantasy as fact because real history is ‘hard’ - especially for a girl. In short, The CW is ruining the country.”

—Tim Goodman, The Hollywood Reporter

“It may be too much to hope that CW would help educate our children, but we could at least ask the network to avoid making them stupid. That risk of a generational dumbing-down assumes, of course, that any of those children actually slog their way through this ludicrously written, dully cast, anachronistic blunder, which churns Mary Queen of Scots though the CW Gossip Girl blender.”

—Robert Bianco, USA Today

“Much more worrisome is the network’s naked contempt for its audience. With an attitude far more 16th century than anything in the actual show, the CW assumes its (mostly female) viewers are either too stupid or too narcissistic to appreciate the actual drama of a young queen in a foreign court.”

—Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times

“If you ever doubt the importance of teaching history to today’s kids, just watch almost any supposedly fact-based TV drama. From The Borgias to The White Queen and now with the CW’s Reign, television routinely treats history like a rough draft.”

—David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle