For a show called The Great, you’d think they’d be talking about what makes stuff great more. To be fair, Nicholas Hoult’s Peter did touch on it in season one when he ruminated over his father, Ivan The Great, and Elle Fanning’s Catherine certainly dipped her toe in the pool when she dubbed herself Catherine The Great this season, but what about everything else? Is vodka great? What about hunting?
We took our burning “great or not great” burning questions to the show’s stellar cast: Sacha Dhawan (Orlo), Phoebe Fox (Marial), Gwilym Lee (Grigor), and Bayo Gbadamosi (Arkady). To make things a little more fun, we picked only “great” items or topics for our queries, like The Great Gatsby or the Grateful Dead. The results—including a truly horrifying story about a great dane—are in the video below.
If you want to work on your Peter-inspired “huzzah” delivery, you can check out our interview with Nicholas Hoult and Elle Fanning for tips and tricks. For more on The Great, check out Saloni Gajjar’s review of the second season, or check out a short excerpt below:
The first half of the season does demand patience—each of the first five episodes is an hour long, laying the foundation for the drama to unfold. Episode six, “A Simple Jape,” wherein Catherine tries to liberate the servants, finally leads to hard-hitting consequences. The supporting players in Peter’s orbit are mostly just comic relief, all besides Grigor (Gwilym Lee), who gets a notable twist in his love story with wife Georgina (Charity Wakefield).
More significantly, one of Catherine’s biggest supporters, Count Orlo (Sacha Dhawan), gets sidelined. Count Orlo is mostly restricted to worrying about his queen’s actions, sadly limiting the actor to a more one-note performance, in contrast to his breakout role in the first season. Archbishop Archie’s (Adam Godley) arc derails mid-season as he changes from a formidable foe to a man lost on his spiritual path. But without sufficient context or buildup, his story falls flat.
These drawbacks are just blips; The Great remains a titillating period piece, with marvelous costuming to boot. The show continues to comment on the political landscape of the past and the present with sparkling wit. The devastating agony of the characters is palpable by the end, making The Great a rewarding journey worth all the “huzzah”s.
The Great is airing on Hulu now.