'Reign - The Complete Second Season'
(Adelaide Kane, Megan Follows, Torrance Coombs, Toby Regbo, et al / 5-Disc DVD / NR / 2015 / Warner Bros.)
Overview: The second season of 'Reign' begins with Mary and Francis on the throne of a nation burning. France is rocked by the aftereffects of the plague, a disease that crept inside the castle walls, taking thousands upon thousands of lives across the land, and ravaging the stability of a nation. From the ashes, powerful lords will rise, carrying out personal, religious and political vendettas, taking lives, and tearing at Mary and Francis' commitment to their people – and to each other.
DVD Verdict: Well, and telling it like it is, all the ingredients were there from the start. Decent costumes, decent sets, fair script and good quality camera work. However, the director simply could not decide which direction he wanted to go. Whether to make it a modern take on a historical theme or make it an authentic period drama. So, he decided to mix both.
This obviously failed. That said, it still is a series which appeals to teenage girls, due to the fact that the female cast (teenage girls) act like modern teenage girls, to such a degree that I was expecting to see an iPad appear and or see them texting! Seriously! The incredibly irritating background music is present for most of the episode, and a lot of the time it is a competition between the dialogue and the music, meaning that some of the dialogue cannot be heard. It had great possibilities, under better direction, but sadly the opportunity was missed.
Again, that all said, 'Reign' has succeeded on many levels to become a must-watch TV show for a certain demographic outlined beforehand. And at least the show does take chances. Liberties, one might add also! I mean, this second season a VERY bold season to have brought us. They took a lot of chances that (for the most part) paid off. Mary fell off her pedestal and proved to be as human after all. Kenna reverted to gold-digging type and faced the consequences. Greer lost everything but found her independence. Francis stumbled as King, but proved his love for Mary. And finally -- finally -- we meet Elizabeth, setting up what could be an amazing Season 3.
So yes, maybe it's just me (but it's not, obviously), but if the story of 'Reign' had been made without any pretense of basis on historical characters it could have been sold as fantasy, and I'd have had no problem with it. I just couldn't get past the anachronisms week after week: the roles of women in that society; the clothing and hair styles, while beautiful today, that would have been grounds for being burned alive!
Anyway, in conclusion, while the season started slow, picked up, dragged, had some fun along the way, and then made a very quick fast forward in its last two episodes (!), the finale itself definitely seemed to get things back on track. The focus now, come Season 3, seems to be on their role as rulers again ... and not just basic love affairs scattered here and there. This will definitely help Season 3 get a more solid footing back into their viewers' hearts and souls - and belief systems! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.77:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
• Playing By Her Rules: A Day on Set with a Queen and Her Court
• Deleted Scenes
Available on DVD October 6th, 2015!