the great review

There’s something a little wicked about an anachronistic romp through history. The period drama is often upheld as the height of sophistication, the kind of genre that radiates prestige and award-winning costume designs. So when you pair that with raunchy dialogue and a sharp satirical edge that punches through the costume drama veneer like a poison-tipped sabre, it all feels so naughty.

Tony McNamara seems to be making a habit out of these kind of historical indiscretions. The Oscar-winning writer of The Favourite has penned a new satirical take on a historical figure with the Hulu comedy series The Great, which chronicles the “occasionally true” rise of Catherine the Great (Elle Fanning), from naïve outsider to the most famous female ruler in Russian history. Just like the Yorgos Lanthimos 2018 black comedy that earned McNamara an Oscar, The Great is a cheeky comedy that lacerates the stodgy period drama as we come to accept it — yes, the show is all heaving bosoms and displays of decadence, but they say fuck and they fuck a lot. But while The Great may have its tongue firmly in its cheek (and in, um, other places), it lacks some of the teeth of The Favourite, even as McNamara recycles some of the character dynamics from his script — right down to the maid who comes from aristocracy, and a lady in waiting in bed with the ruler. Also there are so many rabbits.

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The Great trailer

Tony McNamara, the writer of Yorgos Lanthimos’s razor-sharp 2018 movie The Favourite, is once again exploring a woman’s quest for power – this time as the creator, writer, and executive producer of a new Hulu series called The Great. The Favourite‘s Nicholas Hoult seems to enjoy playing a fool, because he’s at it again here as Peter III, the wildly unqualified Emperor of Russia, while Elle Fanning (Maleficent) plays his new wife, who quickly grows weary of her husband’s foolishness and plots to overthrow him. Check out the full trailer below.
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the great trailer

Helen Mirren played a sexy Catherine the Great in her later years in HBO’s steamy miniseries last year, but Elle Fanning will be lending the Russian ruler a satirical edge in the upcoming Hulu comedy series The Great. Watch The Great trailer below.

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