Prepare to fall hard for Channel 4’s The Great

If you loved The Favourite, then you’re definitely going to love this star-studded TV show.

TV continues to reign supreme in the age of coronavirus, so it makes sense that we’re all craving some royally good entertainment.

Enter the fray, then, a satirical star-studded drama which gleefully describes itself as the “occasionally true story” of Catherine the Great, charting her rise from outsider to the longest-reigning female ruler in Russia’s history.

Oh yes, you better believe that we’re talking about Channel 4’s The Great.

With that in mind, here’s everything we know about the TV show so far.

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What’s the plot of The Great?

As mentioned, this show is is all about Catherine the Great. As in, yes, the longest-reigning female ruler in Russian history. But, while we may think we know everything there is to know about the so-called “Messalina of the Neva”, this show winds things back to when she was just Catherine the Nothing. 

Just a lost teenage girl, shipped into a strange country for an arranged – and extremely ill-fated – marriage to Emperor Peter III.

As the official synopsis for The Great (which is yet another outstanding Hulu original) reads: “[This show tells the tale of] an idealistic, romantic young girl, who arrives in Russia for an arranged marriage to the mercurial Emperor Peter.

“Hoping for love and sunshine, she finds instead a dangerous, depraved, backward world that she resolves to change. All she has to do is kill her husband, beat the church, baffle the military, and get the court onside.”

Easy, right?

Who makes up the cast of The Great?

The series stars Elle Fanning as “Catherine the Nothing”, and Nicholas Hoult as her (horrible) husband Peter III. 

Phoebe Fox, Adam Godley, Gwilym Lee, Charity Wakefield, Douglas Hodge, Sacha Dhawan, Sebastian de Souza, Bayo Gbadamosi, and Belinda Bromilow also star in the series, which was met with acclaim when it debuted in the US via Hulu and Starzplay earlier this year.

Is there a trailer for The Great?

The Great is directed by Matt Shakman, who is perhaps best known for his work on It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Fargo, and Game Of Thrones.

So, yeah, you better believe that the trailer is giving us serious The Favourite vibes.

Check it out:

How many episodes of The Great will there be?

Season one is comprised of 10 episodes.

What are people saying about The Great?

People are seriously into this genre-bending, anti-historical ride through 18th-century Russia, which has led to it scoring an 88% ‘fresh’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

“Reality is rarely as funny as this sparkling period satire, set in mid-18th century Russia amid a sneaky coup d’état that plays out like a Scooby gang caper (with wigs),” promises The Boston Globe’s review.

Reason Online, meanwhile, has praised the TV show for being “historically bonkers, but so witty it will make your brain melt.”

And Starburst promises: “This is a show that you will want to binge, but we firmly recommend that you don’t; it’s strong stuff in places and we advise that you take your time and enjoy it.”

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This writer, though? Well, in my early review of the show for Stylist Loves, I fell head-over-heels for this show’s reinvention of the period drama. Because, while the sumptuous costumes and sets are still there, The Great ensures that stuffily exact historical reenactments have been swapped in favour of biting wit and sublime tragicomedy

“You can tell from the get-go that this is the work of McNamara, because, much like The Favourite before it, The Great keeps up a deliciously sardonic tone throughout,” reads the review. 

“And, whether layered over scenes of searing drama or utter mayhem, it’s this which gives the show its edge. 

“I’ll admit that Hoult steals the show on numerous occasions, thanks to his trademark blend of pomp and ridiculousness. Fanning’s portrayal of a mutinous young woman on the brink of greatness, though, feels wholly relatable, too. Especially if you’ve ever been manterrupted mid-meeting.”

And when will The Great be available to watch on TV?

The Great, following its successful May 2020 premiere on Hulu and Starzplay, will arrive in the UK on Channel 4 in early 2021.

Episodes will air weekly on Chanel 4 and the channel’s streaming service All 4.

We will bring you more details as and when we get them.

Please note that this article was originally published in May 2020, but has been update with new information throughout.

Images: Hulu

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