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TV Review: E!’s ‘The Royals’

E! gets into the scripted series business with The Royals from One Tree Hill creator Mark Schwahn. The hour-long drama stars Elizabeth Hurley as Queen Helena, Vincent Regan as her husband King Simon and William Moseley and Alexandra Park as the rebellious prince and princess. Dynasty grande dame Joan Collins will guest star. The following are reviews from TV critics around the web, compiled by B&C.

“ The E! series… is surreal in so many ways. For instance, it’s set in today’s Britain, and yet —from the abundance of cocaine to the way a pensive king can wander the London streets alone at night— there is nothing really modern about it.”
—Nancy Dewolf Smith, WSJ

“Wildly uneven in tone and beyond hammy in terms of the performances, the show, replete with the requisite advance buzz, will likely result in many embracing its camp qualities, which tend to make Empire look as stately as Downton Abbey.”
—Brian Lowry, Variety

“But I still suspect The Royals’ heart isn't entirely in this. The giveaway is Regan, who is too good an actor for the scripted equivalent of The Real Housewives of Buckingham Palace. He probably knows it, too. He tries to inflect his character with distant echoes of one of Shakespeare's beset monarchs when Hurley's Queen Helena suddenly materializes, blasting his noble thespian intentions to smithereens. ”
—Verne Gay,Newsday

“This all sounds like a lot of fun, doesn't it? Unfortunately, it's not. The series commits the worst offense of all: It's interminably boring. By the third episode, Helena and Eleanor are staging competing fashion shows — not exactly riveting television.”
—Amy Amatangelo, THR

“In look and pace, The Royals is perfect as the first scripted series on E! Scene after scene could slide seamlessly into E!-style news-clip segments.”
—David Hinckley,NY Daily News