The Royals: Not Bad Enough

When a TV channel like E placed at the bottom of the good TV channels' list announced its own scripted series, you had to prepare for the worst. When they called it 'The Royals', you really wondered what they intended to do about it. Now the first installment has been aired. And it was bad, really bad. But not bad enough.


William Moseley



he Royals. You can expect a fairy-tale costumed kitsch rehash of everything seen before as in Branagh's Cinderella, or a modern family drama living of product placements mainly from the fashion industry. What you get in that department is humdrum, unimaginative and no credit to the costume designers' guild. Even the most tasteless dresses of cousins Tweedledee and Tweedledum are not tasteless enough to be really funny.

The story-line is atrocious, too. It took me three quarters of the first episode to find out who is supposed to be who as characterization is seemingly anathema to the screen writers. How on earth did a stammering, stuttering bodyguard evolve into an accomplished blackmailer within a couple of hours? It's magic.

Dialogue isn't a forte of the screen writers either (which begs the question what they do for a living in their day jobs). Some lines being voiced during the episode were so utterly inane as to be almost funny. They lacked the total brainless quality to fall into the bracket where really bad would be converted into so bad you must have seen it to believe it. The real pitfalls for the screen writers were waiting for them when they tied to apply comic relief - they lack any ability in that department.

Does the cast hold any relief for the suffering viewers? There is Liz Hurley playing the Queen of England for one; there is hope she may become better over the length of the series, her scenes were so far not in favor of showing acting abilities. There is William Moseley, too. So far, his character of Prince Liam is totally incomprehensible (not his fault, I may add) and he might strip off once every episode to keep some viewers watching week after week. The announcement that Dame Joan Collins will be joining the cast is the only hope so far to save the series. She knows how to do bad like few others.

Normally there would be a bottom line to a critique of any kind. I'll add it once I have found the bottom of boringly bad. The Royals. Rather not to watch (except for William Moseley, obviously).

Further reading
Brideshead Revisited, The Movie
The Paperboy
Merlin Returns to the Screen


William Moseley
William Moseley 
William Moseley 
William Moseley 
William Moseley 
William Moseley 
William Moseley