• Network: The CW
  • Series Premiere Date: Oct 17, 2013
  • Season #: 1
Metascore
53

Mixed or average reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 24
  2. Negative: 4 out of 24
  1. Reviewed by: Melissa Maerz
    Oct 11, 2013
    83
    It's Pretty Little Liars meets Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette, and it's good, frothy fun. [18 Oct 2013, p.59]
  2. Reviewed by: Laurel Brown
    Oct 17, 2013
    80
    This joyful look into the past makes the dullest of facts come alive.
  3. Reviewed by: Vicki Hyman
    Feb 13, 2014
    75
    It is all very campy and salacious (the young ladies are quite overcome after witnessing a bedding, although the resulting masturbation scene was trimmed from the pilot shown to the press), and historical accuracy takes a backseat to hair product and a driving contemporary soundtrack. But the show seems to be a bit aware of its own absurdity, which is more than one can say for some of the dreck the networks have served up so far this season.
  4. Reviewed by: Todd VanDerWerff
    Oct 16, 2013
    75
    The script by Laurie McCarthy and Stephanie SenGupta never finds a wholly convincing Venn diagram intersection between period piece and teen soap, but it also doesn’t bother trying, hoping it can turn insane tonal shifts into a virtue by stepping on the gas. That this approach mostly works is thanks to their script being unafraid to unleash the crazy and the surprisingly beautiful direction from Brad Silberling, who makes the most of an Irish location shoot the rest of the series won’t have the advantage of.
  5. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Oct 15, 2013
    75
    History aside, Reign, created by Laurie McCarthy and Stephanie SenGupta, is not only engaging but also pretty classy for a CW production.
  6. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Oct 11, 2013
    75
    This is all good, capering, costume-ball fun, even if Mary's life was dismal. My chief complaint is that pretty Adelaide Kane, as Mary, lacks any spirit or presence. [21 Oct 2013, p.50]
  7. Reviewed by: Glenn Garvin
    Oct 17, 2013
    70
    Soapy and silly this all may be, but immersion in the intrigue of Reign has its pleasures, not all of them from laughing at its absurdities.
  8. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Oct 16, 2013
    70
    History purists who loathe artists taking creative license steer clear, but for viewers who enjoy a good soap, gorgeous costumes/locations and a winning soundtrack, The CW’s Reign delivers an entertaining romp in its premiere outing.
  9. Reviewed by: Lori Rackl
    Oct 15, 2013
    63
    It’s sexy, pretty and fun, but don’t use it to cram for that European history exam. The show plays fast and loose with the facts.
  10. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Oct 17, 2013
    60
    Even though many will find this brand of overripe melodrama as silly as the indelible "Death of Mary Queen of Scots" sketch from Monty Python's Flying Circus, I can't help but root a little for such a zany risk.
  11. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Oct 17, 2013
    58
    Reign is a big stick of stupid wrapped in gauzy costumes and tramping around a sumptuous estate.
  12. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Sep 13, 2013
    58
    Once you get past the utter silliness of the idea, Reign is kind of a kick.
  13. Reviewed by: Diane Werts
    Oct 16, 2013
    50
    Not that I think The CW has any grasp of the mental mojo that made its WB network predecessor such a pop-culture kick. Really? This twaddle? Every single week?
  14. Reviewed by: Mike Hale
    Oct 16, 2013
    50
    Reign looks good (the pilot was shot in Ireland), moves smoothly and features CW’s characteristic bland but competent performances.
  15. Reviewed by: Robert Rorke
    Oct 16, 2013
    50
    History fans will scoff at this rendition of a famous story and the target audience won’t give a royal tweet about it.
  16. Reviewed by: Curt Wagner
    Oct 15, 2013
    50
    Reign isn't half bad at times with its marvelous costumes, palace intrigues and Follows' delicious take on Catherine. But the minute you start getting into fantasy, you're yanked right out by the contemporary music and other oddities—like a montage of giggling gals putting on makeup.
  17. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Oct 15, 2013
    42
    This is a frothy, giggly, historically silly, pop tune-themed trifle, with mid-16th century France as its backdrop.
  18. Reviewed by: Sarah Rodman
    Oct 17, 2013
    40
    With its grand castle backdrop and sumptuous costumes, Reign looks beautiful, as do all of the people in it. But there needs to be something a little more substantial--be it drama or kitsch--between those walls and seams to make Reign into a show worthy of ascending to the heights of guilty pleasure TV royalty.
  19. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Oct 17, 2013
    40
    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.
  20. Reviewed by: Tirdad Derakhshani
    Oct 16, 2013
    40
    Reign is a bit of forgettable froth that might amuse you for a few minutes.
  21. Reviewed by: Mary McNamara
    Oct 17, 2013
    30
    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. So instead Reign offers yet another sexed-up version of high school.
  22. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Oct 17, 2013
    25
    This is a show, and a network, that doesn't just insult your intelligence; they assume you don't have any.
  23. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Oct 17, 2013
    20
    Reign at several points is laugh-out-loud funny. Too bad it's not a comedy.
  24. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Oct 15, 2013
    10
    What The CW is doing here (and Kane perpetuates with her take on teenage girls and their intelligence) is approaching television with the perspective that the target audience is profoundly idiotic.
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 85 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 30
  2. Negative: 1 out of 30
  1. Oct 25, 2013
    10
    Best show on the CW and best new show of the fall. It's getting overlooked because it is pretty much the only thing on the CW that is not based on popular YA books and doesn't have vampires. REIGN is mysterious, thrilling, dramatic, romantic and dark, and it should be at the top of your DVR. The cast is pretty spectacular as well, especially Adalaide Kane as Mary and Megan Follows as Catherine de Medici.

    This show is the less R-rated (yet nowhere near PG) version of Game of Thrones, and I haven't seen a network drama go for it as hard as this one. Props to the writing staff and the network for doing something bold and original in the bland world that is broadcast television.
    Full Review »
  2. Oct 25, 2013
    10
    If this show is a guilty pleasure then I am guilty as charged. No lie, this show ranks up there in brave, bold storytelling with Game of Thrones, Orphan Black, Homeland, etc. If you're not watching this you should be. Full Review »
  3. Oct 25, 2013
    10
    A really great show. It has a little bit of all. The costumes are great and the soundtrack is very good. I think is one of the best new series from this season. Full Review »