Tag Archives: New York Comic Con

‘Reign’ Panel And Review From New York Comic Con


I remember hearing a bit about the CW’s new show ‘Reign’ when the fall network TV lineup was first announced. It sounded interesting if heavy for a station like the CW to take on. I soon discovered why they bothered; ‘Reign’, while focusing on the “life” of Mary, Queen of Scots (Adelaide Kane), is mostly a fictional account of events. And not even at that general level a lot of other history based shows are. We’re talking about 85% fiction and I might be underestimating. It’s a fact that’s brought the show plenty of flack from historians as the show seems pointless when the only real aspects that ‘Reign’ has in common with actual events is, primarily, character names. Everything else is the result of the creators throwing in whatever the hell they think will attract viewers. It’s a shame the station didn’t decide to use this perfect opportunity to teach/reinforce history but, well, it is the CW? I’m not sure just how much we can expect from them in that regard.

Reign screening
Reign screening © 2013 Francesca Rodriguez


‘Reign’, debuting tonight, wasn’t high on my “must watch” list for the aforementioned controversial reasons. But I got tricked into watching the first episode this past weekend at the CW’s New York Comic Con panel (I was initially there for ‘Beauty and the Beast’, holla!) and, to be fair, rather enjoyed it. The cast, naturally, is attractive and young, which is par for the course from our friends at WPIX. *Yes, I’m aware that I just dated myself. Move along.*  In their quest to make the story of Queen Mary and Prince Francis (Toby Regbo) all the more hip, the audience is also treated to a stunning wardrobe, relatively modern language, and excellent musical scoring. There’s also a bit of scandalous sexy times and a brewing love triangle, oh, yeah.

Reign "Pilot
Mommy, Daddy, and Mistress makes three!

Beautifully filmed, the visual effect certainly grabs one’s attention, helping to distract more discerning viewers from the occasional moment of ridiculousness. I mean, the first time Queen Catherine (played by my boo, Megan Follows) stalks over to some scruffily hot dude and goes, “Tell me what you’ve seen, Nostradamus”, I about pissed myself; It just sounded so silly and suddenly Nostradamus (Rossif Sutherland of THE Sutherlands) was a guy who could totally get it, if you know what I mean and I think you do.

Mary and Francis
Mary and Francis doing their best ‘Twilight’ impersonation


At the beginning of the series, a teenage Mary Stuart is sent to the French court after residing in a nunnery since childhood. Her intended, Prince Francis, is attracted to her but isn’t sure he wants to put the proverbial ring on it. He’s basically content to continue sleeping with various courtiers until he figures it out. Meanwhile, a forbidden spark is born between Mary and Bash (Torrance Coombs), Francis’ bastard brother. *Listen, if you’re not already eating figurative popcorn at this point, there’s just no hope for you.*

ladies dancing
Mary and co. brought the Scottish realness, apparently.


Mary’s ladies-in-waiting have accompanied her to court, each with their own dramas and scandals as well e.g. hooking up with King Henry II of France (Alan Van Sprang). Yo. It was hot. Seriously. I think I’m gonna need to recreate that for shits ‘n’ giggles. And Queen Catherine gets the requisite court intrigue off to a roaring start by doing certain…THINGS (no spoilers) that are fucked up yet UNDERSTANDABLE. As a friend of mine stated, “It’s history meets ‘Gossip Girl’”. So long as you don’t take ‘Reign’ too seriously and simply enjoy it for what it is i.e. a pretty show with pretty people doing pretty “alternate universe” things, I think any fan of the ‘Tudors’, etc. will potentially dig it.

Reign panel
Toby Regbo, Adelaide Kane, Torrance Coombs, and executive producer Laurie McCarthy (l-r) during the panel © 2013 Francesca Rodriguez


The panel, by the by, was a pleasure. The main cast showed up and enlightened us to the fact that they’re all very good friends, a situation they’re grateful for since they spend more time with each other than the rest of the cast does. This chemistry was evident both in the panel discussion and the premiere episode we were shown; It’s always nice to see a cast interacting off set. Now, I’d heard rumor that Adelaide was something of a bitch but I didn’t get that vibe from her at all. It’s possible that it’s her outspoken and slightly brash persona rubbing some people the wrong way? All it did was make me want to hang with her though.  In fact, she’s officially on my crush list now so…ADELAIDE, I’M SINGLE. Bless her little soul for then deciding to school the panel moderator on the finer points of “shipping” as “ships”, aka favored romantic pairings, are the center of the show.


If you’re in the mood for some fun, eye candy, an extremely diet dose of history, and/or entertaining court intrigue, give the first episode of ‘Reign’ a try. If nothing else, at least there is costume porn!


New York Comic Con 2013: Survival Of The Fittest


photos: Vintage Frenchie from NYCCs past


*deep inhale* Ahhhhh, yes, the sweet scent of geekdom in the air! New York Comic Con aka “Geek Prom” at the illustrious Jacob Javits Center is upon us, where comic/sci-fi/anime/gaming/etc. fandoms the world over will converge to form something of a black hole. Of awesome. How best to describe the experience? Well, to some, the idea is this:

vintage nycc

or this:

vintage cosplay


And, while that is a lot of what goes on, it can sort of feel…hmm. Let me see. Okay! Remember that opening scene from the movie ‘Blade’? The whole “Bloodbath” thing? Here’s a refresher:


THAT’S what it’s like. Every sense is on high alert and your mind is trying to absorb everything at once but it JUST.CAN’T. So here’s my little list of things I deem most important in the quest to enjoy NYCC without feeling too overwhelmed.

1) Pack small, protein-based snacks to keep you going. Not only is con food expensive but having to completely stop your show floor trolling/skip panels because you feel faint is a total buzzkill. My favorites are beef/turkey jerky, M&M Peanuts, trail mix, and granola bars.

2) Grab a significant amount of cash from the ATM before you enter the convention center! Again, you want to cut expense and your time waiting on the endless lines to get more money. For large purchases, 99.99% of booths will accept credit/debit cards, so the cash is mainly for knick-knacks and any con food you do end up buying.

3) Speaking of which, it’s best to resign yourself to the fact that you WILL be spending more money than you’d like. Minimize what you can and just accept it when you end up splurging on things here and there; there are so many geek related items that are easier to acquire at Comic Con than anywhere else. *ONE YEAR, I SCORED THE SOUNDTRACKS TO BOTH ‘LEGEND’ AND THE ORIGINAL ‘FRIGHT NIGHT’. I HADN’T LIVED UNTIL THEN.* Working with a budget helps. So does reminding yourself that this is only once a year.

4) HAVE AN ATTACK PLAN. Listen, I cannot stress this enough. It is stressful as fuck but trust me when I say that having a plan is key to a great con experience. It can be as flexible or concrete as you want but have something to guide you as there is way too much going on in the Jacob Javits Center to go in blind, only to later discover you missed something awesome simply because you didn’t “study” beforehand. Go to the site, check out “My Show Planner”, and get the low-down on any guests/panels/booths you want to hit. You can keep it digital but I, personally, am more tactile i.e. I print my schedule and break out the highlighter. You’re going to save so much angst in the long run.


nycc sched
Wait. You thought I was playing? THIS IS WAR.


5) Bring a water bottle and hydrate accordingly. It’s incredibly easy to dehydrate when you’re walking MILES and talking about shared passions at the same time. Also, all that body heat means you start to feel like a roasted chicken.

6) Pack light in GENERAL. Back to minimizing, take the least you can or the smallest versions of your “must haves”. You can coat/bag check the majority of your things but you still don’t want to be stuck dragging around nonsense items from home when there is serious swag in your future.

7) Stay fresh in every way possible, people. I’m talking Purell, wipes, deodorant,  gum/mints, getting rest, taking vitamins, etc. Think of it as prep for a marathon because that’s essentially what it is. And it’s a marathon filled, to the brim, with a large number of humans in a central location. That means GERMS. Do you want to get lurgy? Didn’t think so.

8) Yo. Do not forget any batteries or chargers you may need. DO NOT. You will only end up having a Darth Vader moment that you’ll be kicking yourself over later. Unless you’re actually dressed as Vader and then, I don’t know, chalk it up to realism? Certainly, some kind and nerdy soul will help if they can, but everyone will be needing to charge their own electronics as well.


This pic? Not mine.


That’s about it, guys! Get dressed up, go in, have fun, rinse, and repeat! I’ll catch ya on the flipside!

P.S. If you have business cards, bring them. Comic Con is a hotbed for networking and you never know who you’ll meet!