TV Recap: The Royals, ‘Stand and Unfold Yourself’

Written by Marley Ghizzone


Stand and Unfold Yourself Plot Summary:

The British Royal family struggles to deal with the death of Robert, eldest son of the King and Queen and heir to throne, in mostly destructive ways. King Simon (Vincent Regan) shocks the family when he announces his plan to dissolve the monarchy.

Oh my god. Prince Liam (William Moseley) is so attractive. I totally called this ten years ago when he was in Chronicles of Narnia. Thank you God and also Jesus for the turquoise sweater with the professor-esque elbow patches and khakis outfit Liam (Moseley) sports when he asks Ophelia (Merritt Patterson) out for coffee. It was honestly life affirming.

Photo by Frank W. Ockenfels 3/E! Entertainment
Photo by Frank W. Ockenfels 3/E! Entertainment

But besides the angelic faces and dynamite clothing choices, was The Royals a good show?

No. Not necessarily. The acting was okay at best. Merritt Patterson, who plays Ophelia, was probably the worst offender. She delivered lines like she was reading them off a cue card, making her scenes clunky and awkward. The dialogue was very expository. Nothing was left unsaid and we weren’t made to read between the lines which is ridiculously unnatural. The soundtrack overpowered the dialogue and was too heavily relied on. It definitely is not going to be a classic.

However, I love accents. I love England. I love watching beautiful people do things, especially when that thing is creating unnecessary drama. So yes, I loved The Royals and I have a huge crush on Prince Liam (Moseley,) deal with it. I admit I regret watching this show with my parents.

Here’s what we do know. Prince Cyrus (Jake Maskall), the King’s brother, is going to be one of our main bad guys. However, he went above and beyond his evil quota in the premiere when he requires a maid to do ‘extra services’ beyond her job description. I took issue with this for two reasons. One, which was stated above, I was watching with my parents so that was uncomfortable. But the bigger concern is the treatment of the women in The Royals. At times, it felt over the top sexist and stereotypical. It didn’t add to the storyline, deepen any characters, or move the plot forward. He could have been shown as evil in so many different ways. It was weirdly degrading for no justifiable reason. I will try to end my rant before it starts, but the treatment and writing of female characters has to change and throwaway scenes like this one are the reason.

Photo Credit: Paul Blundell/E! Entertainment
Photo Credit: Paul Blundell/E! Entertainment

Sexism, misogyny, and the archetype boxes female characters are put in aside, the writers of The Royals made an addicting show. I can see what is wrong with this series and why it is inherently a bad television. However, I want to know what happened to Ophelia’s (Patterson) mother. We were given the exact right amount of information to be super confused and super intrigued. As I write this, my mind is spinning trying to come up with an explanation.

I know I am going to continue watching The Royals. It’s fun, captivating, and full of pretty people with accents. I recommend it with caution, of course. If you don’t like reality television or soap operas, I’d give The Royals a wide birth.

Rating: 6 out of 10

The Royals airs every Sunday night on E!


Marley Ghizzone is the current music editor and former Breaking News Editor for The Pop Break. Aside from writing news, Marley reviews television shows and the odd film. Pop culture is her drug of choice and her talents include binge watching entire seasons of TV shows obsessively fast and crying over fictional characters. Marley is a graduate of Rowan University. Follow her on twitter: @marleyveee