One of the benefits of American independence is being able to take a tourist’s-eye view of the British royal family. We can follow their foibles, gawk at their weddings, or coo over their babies without the burden of feeling invested in a national tradition. We get to visit the ball without paying the bill. So it’s a little odd that, amid our soap operas about oil dynasties and political dynasties and hip-hop dynasties, we don’t have a Dynasty about a dynasty.
On March 15, E! aims to remedy that with The Royals, about a scandal-plagued, wealth-corrupted, TMZ-in-the-UK clan who may be Britain’s last ruling family ever. But it ends up with a wan, chintzy soap that can’t compete with reality–either Britain’s or E!’s.