The Royals is a new show from the E! network about an imaginary British royal family. It trafficks in intrigue, scandal, false eyelashes, sordid affairs, embarrassing relatives, and backstabbing; and what it lacks in coherent plot or humanlike dialogue, it makes up for in tight dresses.
Because of its title (The Royals), we shall judge the show on its own terms and determine whether this first episode was a very royal episode or not a very royal episode.
Here’s how it goes: Elizabeth Hurley is the queen. She has a king husband. He wants to abolish the monarchy. They have two children (a princess and a prince), though they started with three children (the first in line for the throne dies in an “accident” in the first 20 minutes). In the first ten minutes, the prince sleeps with the head of security’s daughter; the princess snorts, smokes, and swallows every drug available and crotch-flashes a camera for the tabloids. There is a power-greedy younger brother of the king who has two idiot daughters.
Gazing disapprovingly from a tower, wearing a fur vest and many diamonds. (1 crown jewel, gemstone variety)
Taking every opportunity to sit on a red-plush chair, with gilded accents. (1 crown jewel, gemstone variety)
Describing oneself as “just a bitch with money and power.” Money and power are the two most central facets of royalty, so this is a correct statement. (1 crown jewel, gemstone variety)
Asking “Paris?” when the prince is asked where he would like to go after leaving a party. (2 crown jewels, gemstone variety)
Only having feelings while drinking tea, alone in a garden. (2 crown jewels, gemstone variety)
Saying “Long live the king” when you mean that you want to kill the king and be the new king. (3 crown jewels, gemstone variety)
Pillow selection. The princess snuggles with a Champagne bottle. The prince wakes up with his head resting on the butt of a nubile woman who happens to be named Ophelia. While the royal lifestyle is entitled to only the finest things, these are not necessarily comfortable things. Thus, the sport of polo. (4 crown jewels, gemstone variety)
Hunting in a rural field, wearing tweed caps and two different types of ascots. (4 crown jewels, gemstone variety)
Having a scheduler named Lucius. (6 crown jewels, gemstone variety)
Not Very Royal Things
Wearing a shirt with a gigantic skull design, one skull over each breast. (1 crown jewel, testes variety)
Strutting down the palace steps to “Gimme Shelter.” Queen Elizabeth Hurley does not need shelter, either the literal or figurative variety, of which the Rolling Stones sing. (1 crown jewel, testes variety)
Sleeping with an American. I sense that they don’t really like us because we have a propensity for doing tacky things, like making this television program. (2 crown jewels, testes variety)
The tightness of Queen Elizabeth Hurley’s dresses. They are all so tight. (2 crown jewels, testes variety)
Doing a craft project; namely, making a Union Jack design out of condom wrappers. (3 crown jewels, testes variety)
Citing a U.S. president’s testimony in determining whether a blow job counts as sex. No royal would resort to this standard.(3 crown jewels, testes variety)
Criticizing the academic pursuits of art history and dance. Queen Elizabeth Hurley dismisses her son’s new girlfriend’s studies: “The prime minister himself recently expressed a concern with the shortage of frolicking art historians. I’m sure you’ll be twerking your way to a great future.” Art history with a side of dance is exactly what fictional royalty wants from its princesses (glorification of the decorative, ability to go to balls). (4 crown jewels, testes variety)
Speaking of balls, the king used the phrase “rolling balls.” Rolling balls is not a kingly phrase. Perhaps it is one of the least kingly phrases. (4 crown jewels, testes variety)
Asking a non-royal on a date by saying, “I was wondering if you wanted to grab coffee sometime.” This is the nondescript query of a shy American nerd. (6 crown jewels, testes variety)
Was It Royal?
Score: 24 crown jewels (gemstone variety) vs. 26 crown jewels (testes variety)
Verdict: This was not a very royal episode of The Royals.