The Great

Watch The Great

  • TV-MA
  • 2020
  • 3 Seasons
  • 8.1  (54,457)

The Great is a bold and audacious historical drama that premiered on Hulu in 2020. The show is set in 18th century Russia and follows the life of Catherine the Great, one of the most powerful female rulers in history. The series is a tongue-in-cheek retelling of the story of Catherine the Great, with a modern sensibility that adds a fun twist to the historical narrative.

Elle Fanning stars as Catherine the Great, a young and idealistic girl who is betrothed to Peter III, the Emperor of Russia, played by Nicholas Hoult. After arriving in Russia, Catherine quickly realizes that her new husband is a man-child who is completely unsuited to the task of ruling an empire. However, Catherine is not content to sit on the sidelines and watch as her husband makes terrible decisions that will hurt the people of Russia. Instead, she takes matters into her own hands and plots to overthrow Peter and take the throne for herself.

Despite the serious subject matter of the show, The Great is not a dry historical drama. Instead, it is a witty and irreverent take on the life of one of history's most fascinating figures. The show's dialogue is sharp and clever, with plenty of one-liners and snappy comebacks that keep the audience entertained.

One of the show's standout performances comes from Nicholas Hoult as Peter III, the bumbling and ineffectual emperor of Russia. Hoult's performance is a master class in comic timing, and his portrayal of Peter as a spoiled child who throws temper tantrums when he doesn't get his way is both hilarious and disturbing. Hoult's performance is so entertaining that it's easy to forget that Peter was a real person who held a powerful position in Russia.

The supporting cast of The Great is just as impressive as the leads. Phoebe Fox plays Marial, Catherine's maid and confidante, and her dry wit and sarcastic comments provide a welcome contrast to Catherine's idealism. Sacha Dhawan plays Count Orlo, a powerful noble who helps Catherine in her quest to take the throne, and his performance brings a sense of gravity to the show. Additionally, Adam Godley plays Archbishop Michael, the man who is tasked with instructing Catherine in the ways of the church, and his subtle humor adds an extra layer of complexity to the show.

One of the things that sets The Great apart from other historical dramas is its production design. The sets and costumes are lavish and opulent, with every detail carefully crafted to create a sense of immersion in 18th century Russia. The show's cinematography is also stunning, with lush landscapes and sweeping vistas that showcase the beauty of the Russian countryside.

Overall, The Great is an impressive show that manages to be both entertaining and educational. It's a witty and irreverent take on the life of Catherine the Great, with strong performances from its cast and impressive production design that brings the world of 18th century Russia to life.

The Great is a series that is currently running and has 3 seasons (30 episodes). The series first aired on May 15, 2020.

The Great
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Once Upon A Time
10. Once Upon A Time
May 12, 2023
Catherine meets court scientist Nikolai, who announces a comet is about to pass through Russia. She uses this phenomenon to her advantage and in the face of some huge challenges, unearths a new side of her leadership.
9. Destiny
May 12, 2023
Under orders from Catherine, Grigor hides out in the forest with Paul. Catherine plays a dangerous game with herself to prove that her destiny lies in Russia, and grapples with the impact Peter's decisions have on her rule.
Peter and the Wolf
8. Peter and the Wolf
May 12, 2023
Catherine introduces divorce to the court with unforeseen consequences. Grigor befriends Maxim and goes stag hunting, and Elizabeth and Petrov go on a trip to the regions.
7. Fun
May 12, 2023
Catherine wants to bring more fun to the court. With Georgina's help she stages a festival of truth, jokes and stunningly clever ideas. Katya puts on a play that challenges Catherine's reign, and Catherine samples Peter's invention of salty desserts.
6. Ice
May 12, 2023
Catherine tries to persuade Peter to come home whilst Hugo re-doubles his attempts to regain his kingdom. Georgina continues to play her complicated court games.
5. Sweden
May 12, 2023
Peter is once again tormented by his father, Peter the Great's expectations and his failure to continue the legacy of his empire. Catherine must decide what to do about the unrest being stirred up in the regions, but Velementov is in no state to help her.
4. Stag
May 12, 2023
Arkady and Tatyana help Peter and Catherine through a rough patch as they clash over their son Paul. Catherine fears Paul will grow up to be a ruthless and careless leader and Archie and Elizabeth are alarmed when Catherine refuses to ordain him.
You The People
3. You The People
May 12, 2023
Catherine involves the peasants, nobles and merchants in a conference designed to bring change to Russia. Peter's hunt for revenge on an historic enemy threatens to destabilise Catherine's attempt to outlaw murder.
Choose Your Weapon
2. Choose Your Weapon
May 12, 2023
Catherine is visited by the UK and US Ambassadors both wanting her to intervene in the War of Independence. Maxim takes issue with the public displays of affection between Grigor and Marial.
The Bullet or the Bear
1. The Bullet or the Bear
May 12, 2023
Catherine and Peter seek some marriage guidance after the chaotic events of the previous day left them in an awkward place in their relationship.
Where to Watch The Great
The Great is available for streaming on the Hulu website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch The Great on demand at Amazon, Hulu, Vudu and Apple TV.
  • Premiere Date
    May 15, 2020
  • IMDB Rating
    8.1  (54,457)