1. It's beautifully beyond the writing of Gossip Girl.
Gossip Girl is a show which centralized on socialite cliques, fashion, and the interminable 'who's dating who' gossip cycle among the Upper East siders. And oh yeah almost forgot -- besides the mysterious "gossip girl" and her laptop, that's just about it.
Reign, in the contrary is a show with one and only female at its core. And that is Mary, Queen of Scotland (portrayed by Adelaide Kane). If this is some kind of party and if you're outside dealing with the stern bouncer, the only name you should be saying is Mary. 'Cause she be like, "I'm the one who calls the shot, bro".
You get the gist. Though these two CW shows differ in many aspects, particularly on its time period, they still share the same major conflicts: love, friendship, love triangles and family.
I consider Reign as a better guilty pleasure than GG mainly because the former has more interesting characters and arcs. Every episode begins with a threat that builds up into a satisfying ending. It's what makes Reign so entertaining, not only there's real royalty drama going on, there's also a room reserved for some unpredictability. And that is very rare attribute in comparison with other shows that targets young viewers.
No offense to other GG fans out there, but the finale where Chuck and Blair got a happy ending after Chuck actually let his father fall-off the building is IDK, so wrong??
2. It is not afraid to be bold.
The unorthodox practices of the royal people are insane. And when you translate that medieval version of cray-cray into television, it better be good. Reign was able to deliver this crucial point brilliantly.
When we saw King Henry (Alan van Sprang) deliberately dragged Kenna (Caitlin Stasey) to fornicate with her, I was deeply intrigued and my interest on the show skyrocketed. Kenna is a younger woman of Mary's age (soon to be declared as Henry's mistress) and the way the writers served this plate of adultery to the viewers wasn't raunchy, but rather thought-provoking.
The show also handles what we perceive nowadays as outrageous or nonsense with a subtlety of reason. Things that are bound by superstitions and prophecies are not always the interesting of plots, but since the showrunners already know this, it is therefore inevitable not to address it.
Nostradamus (Rossif Sutherland), the clairvoyant, is a character that may justify this argument. Although Queen Catherine (Megan Follows) believes his abilities, Mary thought it's ridiculous. But when a plot to kill Kenna goes wrong and accidentally killed Aylee (Jenessa Grant) instead, all bets are off. Nostradamus has told Mary before hand that he saw Aylee facing death in one of his visions. But the truth is, Catherine is the one who actually pulled the trigger. See? Reason.
Bottomline, don't be intimidated by the words superstitions, paganisms et. al included in the premise of Reign.
3. It has the right amount of sass.
In real-life, soon to be in-laws seem to just naturally hate each other. On Reign, it is an undisputed fact because it's all about power.
Mary and Queen Catherine are two of the characters I watch with pleasure. They are two women who perfectly embody the image of a strong and independent woman in the middle of crisis-filled situations. Mind you, Olivia Pope of Scandal, Mary and Catherine can also throw the words "It's handled!" in a snap. (With one weak point though, it can only be made possible by carriage and horses.)
When these two are pitted against each other, it's a whole different story. It's even better. When Catherine sassed Mary, expect for that to catapult into something big. Mary knows her business and won't take any of her sh*t, she does strikes back. They basically throw balls of fire at each other to make a point.
If you're getting weary from some shows that use technology as a medium to get things done, plot a murder or to humiliate someone, try watching Reign. It's a new show that's fresh and menacing at the same time. Don't miss the show every Thursday at 9PM on the CW.