First impressions | The Great: sour humor and powerful performances mark fun season 2

Edges of the absurd, along with a dash of historical fact, make The Great this unusual combination of the acidity of muted humor, with a cartoonish take on the quaint underworld of Imperial royalty. And in its second season, Tony McNamara returns with an even more provocative plot, twisting and twisting the history of the Russian Empire amid grotesque, comedic and rather daring anecdotes.

Picking up the story just months after the fateful finale of its first season, The Great explores the depths of fissures in an unstable empire, where Catherine and Peter vie for the supreme throne. Amid ideological barriers and full of barbarism, ancient Russia turns into a big joke, doused with countless glasses of vodka and bittersweet characters who raise their noses to the public, in a sort of controversial love affair. and hate. And the new episodes quickly save the acidity and narrative cunning that made the production such a success.

With a bitter humor, which was not made for all audiences, the series explores even more the psyche of its characters and in its first three episodes begins to present a spirit hitherto hidden in Catarina, brilliantly played by Elle Fanning. Here, at the start of the season, we see the character of the Empress undressing, in nuances that reveal a personality that is perhaps saltier than we thought.

Gradually, the shades of gray of the royal couple are also starting to reveal not only a much higher level of depth in their respective characters, but even some conflict in the audience. The classic phrase no one is 100% good or 100% bad takes on new colors, challenges audience perceptions and becomes a creative feast for the cast, giving glorious moments on screen – as we see Nicholas so often. Hoult deliver here.

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Again useless, but still fun, the series from McNamara – the same responsible for the period comedy A Favorita – continues as clear proof of the powerful quality of content on the North American platform Hulu *. And while it doesn’t work every time, it’s a whiff of originality amid so many TV covers, remakes, and reboots that keep popping up.

* In Brazil, the series is broadcast by STARZPLAY.

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