The Great at times will seem utterly absurd, but that is the tone over the Ten Episode season, which drops on Hulu this Friday. The story is a satirical/comedic look at the rise of the longest sitting rulers in Russian history, Catherine the Great. Anyone who is starting this series in hopes of educational experiences will be displeased. This show was not written for accuracy. About the only historical accuracy in this series is that there was a Catherine the Great. The narrative centers around Catherine’s (Elle Fanning) from Paris to Russia and realizing Emperor Peter (Nicholas Hoult) was a horrible man not worthy of living. The Great, details the launch of the Russian Revolution and ascension of Catherine to the ruler of Russia.
Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult are equally terrific in the series. The wit and the biting tone of their delivery added another layer of enjoyment to the series. Hoult’s ambivalence and at times sheer stupidity had me in stitches during the season. The set design and costuming were intricate, and for the most part, exquisite. It was the littlest of details that just enhanced the experience of watching the show.
For me, the writing was the critical element that made this series a success. Tony McNamara and the writing team show such balance as the weaved real-world elements into this 18th-century setting. A period drama or comedy in this environment likely wouldn’t have resonated. The Great allows just enough of a glimpse to leave you wanting more.
Overall, The Great was extremely entertaining and engaging and will provide many homes around the world a much-needed break from the world around us. Hulu’s latest series is it’s best comedic series only eclipsed by ‘Remy’. For those who are willing to give this series a shot, you’ll find it surprisingly engrossing and will get sucked into Catherine’s master plan.