We Watched So You Don’t Have To
On the surface, The Royals has everything we here at YKYLF love about TV. Fashions! Soapy dramz! A good hat! Ascots! The promise of Joan Collins! Butttt….this pilot delivered on neither plot nor character nor Joan Collins. In fact, it failed to make me care about anyone who waltzed across my screen telling me they are royalty (in the most un-royal of ways). So, to save you from watching, we’ll watch. We’ll let you know when you can jump on board (or when we abandon ship. Whichever comes first). Meet your newest dysfunctional family…
Opening minutes have Queen Elizabeth Hurley (or Helena) swaning about complaining about Elton John (as you do) and waving to the people (in the job description).
This press photo was too delightfully corny not to use.
It also introduces us to her spawn and the obvious soundtrack choice of “girl is a problem” while Prince Liam The Dull gets it on with an American co-ed and Princess Eleanor dances in a Paris nightclub while dressed as a disco ball is everything you need to know: these two are a handful.
But that’s not just any cute American he’s shagging! She’s the randomly American daughter of the royal head of Security! Who lives in behind the clock at Big Ben (because of course).
Being a commoner (we’re over that one, right?) and an American are bad enough, but the daughter of the help! Escandalo!
Her name is Ophelia and she has yet to give us any signs of going mad. Which is too bad, because she’s also as boring as Prince Liam. They’re kind of a good fit.
His rendezvous with the help is just the start of poor decision making by the Royal Spawn. Because we get Princess Eleanor, dressed like a disco ball with Courtney Love as her make up artist.
And flashing her macaron to the club goers of Paris.
When she’s not dressed like a figure skater, she’s going for a late-season Jenny Humphrey look and this is somewhat tedious.
She’s also Really Super Angry at the Queen Mum for reasons. Not reasons we know of or care about, but reasons.
The king, who is the guy who actually inherited the throne (as opposed to his wife, who’s not actually Queen per se, but royal consort or something — in spite of the fact that she constantly says “I’m the Queen”) seems to be a bit of a neutered and glum fellow with little to no personality.
Exactly what you’d want at the head of your monarchy. Thank god the Little Prince and Princess aren’t heir to the throne or something.
Oh wait. They are. Because for mysterious military reasons, the heir (who is neither featured in photographs nor flashbacks nor introduced in any way. Budgets I guess?) has died leaving Prince Blah and Princess Eye Makeup as number one and two in line for the throne. It also has King Boring thinking about abolishing the monarchy. QEH is not amused.
Getting rid of the throne (maybe the King wants to sleep on that idea a few days before abolishing centuries of tradition) is possibly the only thing that gets this family whipped up into an emotion. They all seem to care about the death of the heir as much as I do. Which is not much, since it happened within the first two minutes.
Also not amused (with the abolishing of his destiny, not the death of his nephew) is Prince Skeevy, younger brother of the King and sexual harasser of the help.
He is basically a 70s villain in his outfits and ascot/tie combos. Pretty much what I assume Chuck Bass will grow up to be (sorry friends, I hold out little hope for Chuck Bass as an upstanding human in his fictional future).
His two daughters, who are (mildly insulting) discount bin versions of Beatrice and Eugenie, are also really worried about losing their titles and fortunes because they seem to lack an education beyond high school. I’m glad Beatrice and Eugenie will never watch this program, because they are well-documented wearers of amazing hats and really good shoes and they deserve better than these knock offs.
In spite of this, they are the two most interesting characters on the show. Even if they are dressed like Blair Waldorf’s college days minions and are committed to wearing all the accessories and all the patterns at the same time.
Speaking of hats, you will understand my outrage and disappointment at the lack of hat on the Princess Angrypants for the funeral of her beloved brother that no one in the family is really bothered to mourn over.
Unacceptable. You are British and you are royals. I demand hats. And I demand a better hat than what was put on QEH.
Other things we are meant to care about, but don’t: Prince Skeevy is passive aggressively hinting he’d like to kill the King. Because this is medieval Russia? The mother of the American was mysteriously killed for Royal Reasons (you have no idea how much I hope it was a beheading. I assume it was not, so I’m therefore less inclined to care). The love between a future dull king and his staff’s offspring and if they can ever resolve their differences over tea and coffee (Har har. The Brit drink tea and the American drinks coffee! Cultural misunderstandings! Also, total lack of chemistry). And Princess Bad Decisions is being blackmailed by her bodyguard after he drugs her and films their threesome.
Oops. Although, he’s blackmailing her to keep his job instead of for power, titles or cold hard cash, so this is kind of amateur hour. But props to the set department for that expert wallpapering.
So there you have it. The Royals. Thus far, We Are Not Amused.