I confess that I was a closet Gossip Girl fan, and once it ended I needed some other guilty pleasure to take up my couch time. Being a teacher is stressful; after a tough day you need to just turn off your brain. Gossip Girl was perfect for that because of the fashion, SCANDAL, and lingering question, "Just who the hell is Gossip Girl???" When the show ended, I struggled to find a show as soapy and vapid as Gossip Girl. My wait is over.
Enter E!'s The Royals. You can probably guess from the title that it's about a royal family. Wait, not just any royal family, THE royal family of Britain. It's a fictional series that stars Elizabeth Hurley as the queen of England, and some other people who weren't in Austin Powers. The hubs and I were watching TV one night, and trailer for The Royals came on and El turned to me and said, "Looks like something you'd watch." The trailer had everything a guilty pleasure needs: SEX! DRUGS! POWER! MORE SEX! THE PHRASE "ROYAL BEAVER"! Naturally, I gave it a try. Um, all the episodes a try.
The Royals is everything you would expect from the trailer. Observe:
The plot line of each episode isn't important; it's the ridiculous cast that makes this show so campy and, admittedly, entertaining.
Elizabeth Hurley plays a stone cold bitch queen who tries to keep her gang of ruffians in check. She wears lots of fancy hats, including but not limited to, a crown. She says things like, "You're the King of England, g*d dammit. Act like it." (Note: Catholic guilt requires me to use asterisks, even if it's second-hand blasphemy) Queen Helena is scheming, clever, and of course, ruthless.
Her daughter, the princess, is a party girl who drinks like a fish and does a lot of drugs. She wears a lot of eyeliner, bras that don't support anything, and hats like her mother. She says typical spoiled things like "If you ask me, Robert was the lucky one." Yeah, Robert's her brother that dies in the first episode. This hooker-face is complaining about how being a princess is worse than being DEAD. Poor lil' rich girl. Her bodyguard is an American who fakes a British accent to get on her security detail, drugs her, and takes a video of her that he's holding over her head to save his job. He threatens to send the video to Dethroned, which I surmised is a tabloid devoted to the royal family. How the hell did this guy get past the background check?
I think his name is Simon, but I don't know if it's even mentioned in the series. Let's call him King Consuela Bananahammock. Anyway, King Bananahammock is wrestling with guilt over the death of his eldest son and heir, Robert. They never (at least so far) say how Robert died, but there have been mutterings of a "military accident". The King keeps lamenting that Robert died because of "duty", but it's never explained what that duty was exactly. Maybe being firstborn meant serving in the Armed Forces? I dunno. King B.H. makes the bold decision to put in a referendum to Parliament to abolish the monarchy. This obviously gets the family's pants a'crappin' and spawns Queen Helena's above mentioned line. The King seems like the only character who isn't completely self-absorbed and awful; unfortunately, that also makes him kind of lame.
Cute, charming, and now the future King of England, we're introduced to Liam when he wakes up with his head on a girl's butt. Like his sister, Eleanor, Liam initially shuns the tradition of the monarchy and his role within it. He starts warming to the idea of leading after his brother's death and actively takes steps to be a better person. Liam's probably my favorite character. Mostly because he's cute. He's also in the Narnia movies. Did I mention that he's cute?
God, her character is insufferable. Ophelia is the daughter of the head of royal security, has an American accent, and somehow also lives in the castle with the royal family. Hers is the butt on which Prince Liam was sleeping. That's right! Prince Liam was sleeping with THE HELP! ESCANDALO! Needless to say, Queen Fembot is NOT pleased about this and tries to interfere in Liam's love life. She even goes so far as to invite his ex-girlfriend Gemma to her garden party (because of course she has a garden party). Unfortunately for Ophelia, the press has gotten wind of her and Liam's budding relationship and now won't leave her alone. Ophelia keeps insisting that Liam was just a hookup, but it's clear that she is starting to have feelings for His Royal HighAss. Her true colors show when she spots Gemma at the aforementioned garden party and jealously challenges her to a bourbon drinking contest. She loses and later, in disbelief, (which is basically the extent of this girl's acting range) gets to utter the line, "I can't believe I vomited in front of the future King of England." She says a lot of things in disbelief actually; I think that's the cause of my ire. She is the "lone American who turns the royal family upside-down by charming the future king with her 'aw shucks' Yankee style" character that you'd expect in a show like this.
The coked-out uncle who's a closet homosexual
Uncle Cyrus looks like a human version of a viper. He's the younger brother of the King and pissed that he's not heir to the throne. There are multiple foreshadowing moments when Uncle Nose Candy's dangerous intentions come to light, such as when he and the King are pheasant or something hunting, and he points the gun at the King's head and says, "Long live the King." Of course he does. Uncle Cyrus is one dangerous and scheming dude, but he wears some great scarves and ascots.
I kind of love these two. Princesses Maribel and Penelope have some outstanding one-liners, atrocious fashion sense, and glorious screen presence. They're clearly modeled off Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie; if I were them, I'd be peeved.
Verdict: If you like cheesy, sex and drug filled, predictable, yet disturbingly entertaining television, then definitely check out E's! The Royals. It's not going to win any Emmy's, but it's the perfect load of bollocks to help you turn off your brain. Even if you don't tune in, I'll keep you posted on all the cheekiness.
Thirsty for more? Subscribe to Court's Excellent Adventures by typing your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.
On Facebook? Be sure to like Court's Excellent Adventures: https://www.facebook.com/courtsexcellentadventures (Not to be read as "Court Sex Cell ENT Adventures")