In 1761, Catherine travels to Russia and becomes the Empress... More by marrying the Emperor of Russia, Peter.Less
Elle Fanning is Catherine the Great, Russia's longest-reigning female ruler, in this anti-historical satire series from the Oscar-nominated co-writer of The Favourite. Nicholas Hoult co-stars as the maniacal and somewhat idiotic Emperor Peter, whose arranged marriage to Catherine changes the sunny girl into an edgier woman fighting for change.
If only “The Great” were as great as “The Great” seems to think “The Great” is, it’d be pretty great. But this 10-part limited series from Hulu is more tiresome then clever, more sadistically off-putting than wickedly funny, more overwrought than impactful.Full review
My favorite portrayals of groundbreaking women are, like The Favourite, Marie Antoinette and now The Great, at least partially humorous.Full review
Reality is rarely as funny as this sparkling period satire. ... Throughout, I sensed Fanning — along with the rest of the cast — savoring McNamara’s brilliant script, with its carefully arranged layers of intention and its divine insults.Full review
Despite stellar performances by Fanning and Hoult, The Great, by sticking a pure-hearted heroine in a world where heroism seems impossible, never quite adds up to a coherent whole. As an acidic confection, it's a lemon tart topped with moose lips.Full review
The Great is instead concerned with showing what drove the German-born Catherine to fall so in love with her new homeland that she felt the need to rescue it from her sadistic frat-bro husband (played by Nicholas Hoult). And on that level, both the series and its leading lady live up to the title.Full review
For as good as the cast and production is, the series’ backbone is Fanning’s increasingly confident empress.Full review
Even when making pit stops for absurdity (the odd dance number, say) it feels purposeful and lively, and even when the violence spikes, the writing and Fanning’s performance ensure that “The Great” never fixates on the darkness. There’s simply too much to do.Full review
At its best, The Great plays like the slickest of TikTok historical summaries, distilling the story of a young woman radicalized by cruelty into a snappy, vibrant female protagonist for the modern reader.Full review
It isn’t quite the perfectly paced masterpiece that [The Favourite] was; some episodes drag, including a smallpox romp that’s more tiresome than timely. Still, its witty dialogue and lively performances yield a sharp, fun dramedy.Full review
The Great: Season 1 is available to stream in New Zealand now on Neon.
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