As a young girl, Catherine dreamt of finding marital bliss with her husband. But when she finally gets married to Peter III, Czar of Russia, all her dreams become uncertain.
Will she ever be able to realise her dream? Or will her domestic dream change into a cheekier but much larger one?
1. Quick Review
The Great traces the journey of Catherine II, the ablest and longest reigning ruler of Russia, from the foreign wife of the Czar to the queen of the empire. Unlike its serious subject matter, the series is very amusing and captivating.
The GreatAir Date: May 15, 2020 Status: Upcoming Season 2 Studio: Thruline Entertainment, Echo Lake Entertainment, Lewellen Pictures, Macgowan Films, Piggy Ate Roast Beef, Civic Centre Media, MRC No. of Seasons: 1 No. of Episodes: 10
3. Is it worth watching?
The Great is a modernised satirical comedy that revolves around how Catherine the Great ascended the throne of Russia.
Catherine is an educated woman and she has her own ambitions. She is also a romantic young woman, who dreams of having a good life with her husband. However, when she comes to the court of Russia, to get married to Peter III, all her dreams are shattered.
Her husband at all what she thought him to be. He is an incapable ruler and an equally incapable husband. He fails to provide her the respect and love she desires for.
Moreover, Catherine finds it difficult to adapt to the raucous and often silly Russian court. In an empire where women spend their days doing nonsensical activities and men sycophantising the Emperor, Catherine feels like she does not belong to the world.
With the help of her maid-in-waiting Marial, she devises a plan to launch a coup d’état to dispose of her husband so that she can rule the land and bring about positive changes in the empire.
II. Detailed Analysis
Since the show is essentially a comedy, all the aspects of the show are shown to be comical- the incapability of the Czar, the unhappiness marriage between Peter and Catherine and even threats of having each other killed.
It is this comedy that makes a show about Russian royalty so much fun to watch for an international audience.
Although the characters are all clothed in 18th-century clothes, the humor is very modernized and so is the language in which they speak. Both Catherine and Peter speak in an American and British accent, and not all members of the court are Russian.
The ridiculousness of the Russian court makes for good comedy but at times it feels too stretched and exaggerated.
However, the slightly over the top comedy is a great way to mask the biting satire in the show. Peter III’s cluelessness about how to run a country is painfully relevant in the political sphere today.
The show still provides quite a few genuine laughs, heartbreak and thrills. It is easy on the eyes, unlike many other historical dramas. It is not just a show for history enthusiasts, but also comedy fans and the general public.
Catherine is played by Elle Fanning who adeptly breathes life into the bright, educated woman who is unhappy with her predicament. She grows up in front of the audience from a young girl who depended on someone else for her happiness to a woman who decides to take up the mantle of the ruler of a country. Although Elle Fanning has not acted in comedy roles before, she does a good job as the comical Catherine.
Nicholas Hoult runs wild with his character of Peter III, in a good way. Peter is blissfully unaware of how obnoxious he is, and how childish his solutions seem to people.
At one point in the show, he conspires to kill his wife just because he has a hunch that she is laughing at his ways. Nicholas Hoult is a treat as Peter III. Even though his actions warrant a lot of laughs, the audience ends up disliking him and roots for his wife instead.
Nicholas Hoult and Elle Fanning’s chemistry also contributes to the humour of the show. It is, at the same time, bright, joyful and saddening.
5. Final Thoughts
Viewers looking for a show that is historically accurate will not be happy with The Great. The only part that stays true to the actual history is the name of the Emperor and Empress and the fact that she organised a coup to usurp the throne.
However, if you are interested in a fictionalized and comic portrayal of the rise of one of the greatest women rulers of the world, this is your show. Catherine the Great returns with a second season.Originally Written By Epic Dope