Dee Discusses: The Royals 1×01

Posted: March 27, 2015 by Dee in Dee, General Media, Recaps, Television, the royals
Tags: , , , , , ,

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There are spoilers in this review. Duh.

My friend Jeannie recommended this show to me, and I was intrigued enough to give it a try. Elizabeth Hurley is amazing, and it’s so great to see her on the screen again. Even if she’s borderline evil. I’m shocked the royal family let this happen. It’s one thing to pretend to be a fictional royal house, but this is legit England. Fictional royalty of course, but it feels like it’s going to be critical of royalty, so how they swung permission I have no idea. If they have permission. This show is trashy and soap opera-y and about as subtle as a kick to the fact. But it’s very self aware. It’s supposed to be entertainment and not serious, and I have a soft spot for those shows. I had no idea what to expect, so it was a complete surprise. While most of the characters are annoying or basic, it’s early on, so hopefully they’ll all get fleshed out soon.

The royal house of England is full of spoiled brats and arrogant tossers. Or just irresponsible rich kids. Prince Liam is a charmer and somewhat of a womanizer, and he’s surprised when he hooks up with Ophelia. Surprised because he didn’t recognize her, very Sabrina, and she’s the daughter of the head of security. Her mother died in a tragic way connected to the royals. She knew what she was doing though, and he’s very enamored by her. For some reason. They barely interacted before having sex, so it’s hard to know. His twin sister Eleanor is a party girl who drinks, does drugs, and generally  exhibits attention seeking behavior. It’s probably to do with their mother Helena being a stone cold bitch. She’s the matriarch and in power, beautiful and regal and vicious. Their father Simon is nice enough but he also lets his wife dominate everything. He was born to be king, so that means Helena married in, and probably why she’s so desperate to keep the image up. They’ve been living this way forever and think everything’s just moving the way it’s supposed to.

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Until the crown prince, the good son who everyone loved, dies unexpectedly. Their heir and eldest is dead now after joining the military, leaving Liam the heir, and everyone in deep mourning. They all genuinely care, with Eleanor having been his ‘favorite.’ Helena does grieve, but she ices that over and pretends like she doesn’t.  Their in-laws show up for the funeral, including Simon’s ambitious and slimy royal brother Cyrus and his two ridiculous daughters. The whole nation grieves over the heir’s death, and Simon decides he wants to destroy the monarchy. Or rather abolish it and force them all to leave their comfort zone. He thinks it’s time to get rid of the monarchy and stop making them all fit certain roles. The majority responds negatively, outside of Eleanor who is probably just being contrary. Simon wanders the streets as a “commoner” and someone should talk to him about not making major decisions in grief. I feel like his son wouldn’t want him to do something so drastic and turn his family out of the spotlight if they didn’t want that. So.

Simon appears to be the good parent, but I don’t know that he is. He’s soft spoken and nice, but he’s also acting sort of indifferently to what others want. And I don’t like his entire acceptance of Eleanor. Like this shouldn’t be behavior you just shrug off and even get affectionate toward. She is drowning herself in booze and drugs, you should be freaking concerned. He says he isn’t worried for her, so he comes off as the nice parent, but he’s really being negligent. Eleanor is also mean as hell to her cousins, who might be clueless and annoying, but seem otherwise nice enough. I think we’re supposed to be impressed by her sass, but I’m not. She gets in trouble by the end after having a threesome with her nervous body guard, who is actually in disguise and planned all this to get a sex tape. How did he get through the security required to be in that position? Yuck.

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Otherwise Ophelia is supposed to be the main character I think, as the commoner coming into their lives through Liam. Her father Ted is the head of security and already my favorite. She’s angry he never seems to grieve her mother, but Eleanor reveals he cried all the time over her and she witnessed it. Everyone asks her if she wants Liam and she’s wishy washy, but then the queen threatens her/her father so she’s like I’ll do what I want. They have okay chemistry but it feels forced. I think it’ll stay interesting if they address that her motivations aren’t exactly pure. She acts like she’s above it, but she seemed very pleased with herself when the cameras were all on her. I really don’t like her so far. She’s kind of bland. If she shows herself to be a shark of sorts, a shark with morals, I’ll turn around on her. So far she’s a little holier than thou.

Overall this is a ridiculous show but it definitely knows that. I can forgive a lot for self-mocking. It’s probably the romance that will take the most attention, although I hope not. The rest seems far more interesting. What will they do with the monarchy? What will happen with the sex tape? I’m in to see more of the show. Clearly Elizabeth Hurley is having an amazing time and enjoying being slightly evil.

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