The Royals – Pageantry, but Without the Pomp and Sophistication

It’s been a quite a while since my favorite guilty pleasure, Gossip Girl, has been off the air. Since then, there’s an obvious lack of a TV show with all the glitz, glamour, plush velvet chairs and expensive interior decoration — I have actually changed allegiance and have become a true convert of the legion of the Walking Dead and became a denizen of Westeros.

That is until I was surfing the net one evening and chanced upon this show called “The Royals” about a fake British royal family and all their dirty little secrets behind palace doors.

The Royals

The premise is pretty simple. What happens if the “spare” suddenly becomes the “heir”? The second son and essentially the spare, Prince Liam (ruggedly handsome, a bit of a playboy, character out of the Prince Harry playbook) suddenly becomes heir to the British throne when his older brother, Prince Robert is killed in an accident while serving in the military. This threw the already dysfunctional (this family is more dysfunctional than an episode of Maury) family into turmoil. Prince Liam’s twin sister, Princess Eleanor (who is now the “spare”) expresses her anger by guzzling the whole monarchy’s wine supply, getting drugged out every day and having sex (with almost everyone, including her bodyguard). This of course angers the queen, Queen Helena whose main purpose for existing is to ensure that the reputation of the Royal Family doesn’t end up in tatters. Thankfully, the reigning monarch, King Simon has the heart of gold and is even seriously considering abolishing the monarchy. Their little family is completed by the King’s brother, Prince Cyrus and his two dim-witted daughters.

the-royals2

the-royals

I am still on the 4th episode, but I have some comments:

1. For a royal family, their castle looks underwhelming. I’ve seen Domyouji/Dao Ming Sui’s house in Meteor Garden (Taiwan version) and I find their house is more imposing and posh than the castle of the King and Queen of England. Somehow, in my mind, I was expecting the castle to have more Louis XVI furniture and gold inlays and Faberge eggs laying around as decor. All I get in “The Royals” are heavy, plush, velvet chairs.

2. I get that Prince Liam should be really cute (and since he is played by Peter Pevensie from The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe), but there are times when he just looks scruffy. I can’t imagine a dashing prince looking scruffy — even if he does sleep around.

3. Speaking of Prince Liam, I don’t get his obsession with Ophelia (the American-born daughter of their head of security). She’s pretty, yes — but not in a Kate Middleton…err… I mean Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge-kinda way. I guess, true love?

4. My favorite character so far is Princess Eleanor whose tabloid fixture puts Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, Rihanna and Miley Cyrus to shame. A bit disconcerting though to see a princess act so trashy and slutty. I mean, aren’t they supposed to be dainty, prim and proper, with the ability to feel a pea stuck somewhere between a tower of thick mattresses?

5. A second favorite is Prince Cyrus, who is so evil –he seems to have trained from the “Disney School of Villains.” Witty one-liners and morally-conflicted drug-addled king wannabe. I love it.

6. Can they do something about Prince Cyrus’ daughters? For the times they are on screen, I always wish that they are incarcerated at the Tower of London and waiting for their heads to be put on spikes.

7. Elizabeth Hurley plays Queen Helena. Obviously, she is not a Princess Diana. If Maleficent and Cruella de Ville had a daughter, then she would be it.

I am not totally blow away, but the show has the potential to be more interesting. I am giving it a chance and besides, aside from zombies, the Marvel franchise and warring families from Westeros, there is nothing to see on TV.

Here’s the first episode of “The Royals” — what do you think?

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