Move over Kardashians, the E! network has a new top family, and this one is much more regal. The Royals is the network's first scripted television show, based on a fictional royal family in modern day UK.
The show is delightfully trashy and the accents are posh, completely lacking any strong female characters. More specifically, the show is a feminist's nightmare.
Princess Eleanor (Alexandra Park), who has a gigantic wardrobe and an even bigger stash of drugs, is a wild and emotionally unstable princess who spends the majority of her time whining about her mommy-issues. Her love interest, Jasper, has admitted to – but still maybe lied about - drugging and raping her, and is currently blackmailing her into being his sex slave. But hey, she obviously deserves it, because she is an out of control princess who needs someone to dominate her in a knock off Christian Grey sort of way…because, that's hot.
The Queen Bee of the show is Queen Helena (Liz Hurley), a woman who also has mommy issues, and doesn't cry when her son dies because, apparently, Queens are not allowed to show emotion. She also desperately needs to read some parenting books, because her idea of being a good mother is controlling her children.
Last and certainly least is Ophelia (Merritt Patterson).
The commoner that bags herself a prince. The show creators must have run out of character traits by the time they got to her because she has no personality…besides of course, the prince and coffee - sorry, iced dirty chai with soy (which, to be honest, barely counts as coffee).Ophelia is supposed to be the strong and relatable good girl next door. But the writers have made her so desperate to be with the prince, that even their half-hearted attempt to give her a backbone turns into her manipulating the next guy she sees into making the prince jealous.
While all of the characters act like hormonal teenagers, the show's writers are worse. This is surprising considering the show’s creator is TV veteran Mark Schwahn, best known for One Tree Hill. The writers seem incapable of setting up any real over-arching plot or mystery, recklessly throwing in plotlines like crazy without picking them up later; this show has more loose threads than your baby blanket. Prince Robert's mysterious death was mentioned in the first episode, but we haven't heard anything about it since. There was supposed to be a big great threat on the royals' lives, but so far all we've seen is a sexually abused (and not very talkative) woman put some powder in the Duke's drink and then immediately get caught. And instead of seeing her as some big bad assassin (like we're supposed to), you find yourself rooting for her when she tries to kill the power hungry, sexually abusive, and manipulative Duke.
The show has already been picked up for a second season, and since it's going to be around for a while, I hope that Schwahn is able to fix all the gigantic problems that the show has - because there are a lot of them.