We talked to the show’s co-creator, Laurie McCarthy, about what she sees as the style and place of “Reign.”
One of the accusations that some have leveled against “Reign” is that it forgoes its own historical time period. McCarthy doesn’t really agree with that. “If it’s happening in history and it would have affected their lives, we’ll nod to it or use it as a story-point,” she explained. “We have a historian that we’re working with … Some of it we’ll make use of and some of it, we’re going to breeze past because it makes the story better. But in terms of the major historical events, we wouldn’t make anything contradictory to them.”
Even the show’s love triangles have a serious and historical underpinning, in McCarthy’s view of things. The central struggle, for example, isn’t between three people — it’s between two people who **will get together and with the country of France. “The most obvious triangle that you see in the pilot — literally that you see — is Francis and his half-brother, Bash [and Mary],” McCarthy points out. “But really, underneath that is a bigger triangle, which is Mary, Francis and France. Or Mary, Francis and duty.”
That duty is important to the story as well. After all, Mary and Francis both want what’s best for their countries, even if it means personal sadness. “Mary’s duty to her country makes her want that marriage. Her desire and her duty line up with her feelings, and [Francis’] do not. That’s the biggest obstacle,” she said.
The end result of all of this is a drama that captures the feel of the 16th century while also holding on to the crazy romance that makes anything work on The CW.
“Reign” airs Thursdays at 9 p.m.