The Great is entertaining but not historically accurate

Pictured: Elle Fanning as Catherine the Great in Episode 102 ‘The Beard’ of The Great, Courtesy of Hulu
Pictured: Elle Fanning as Catherine the Great in Episode 102 ‘The Beard’ of The Great, Courtesy of Hulu /

If you need a historical show to be accurate to enjoy it, Hulu’s The Great is not going to be for you. However, it is good fun.

The Great is coming to Hulu on Friday, May 15. The promo makes it clear that this is going to be a fun ride. It also hints that this is not going to be historically accurate.

After screening the episodes, I can tell you that this definitely isn’t historically accurate. While it’s loosely based on the early life of Russia’s Catherine the Great, it’s created purely for fun. Some elements did happen in history, but for the most part, this is not designed to be a history lesson.

Those who like historical shows to be 100% accurate are not going to enjoy this. The Great doesn’t just add something in that could have happened behind closed doors. It completely rips up the history book and is a show to make you laugh. If you thought The Tudors was bad for taking historical liberties, wait until you watch The Great.

The promo arguably makes this clear. There’s a moment where a card says “based on historical facts” and then “*sort of” pops up. There’s also the fact that a description for the show says that it’s “anti-historical.”

Throughout the promo, we get a sense for the tone of the show. The acting is over the top and the comedy is 100% satirical.

On top of all this, the show is created by the minds behind The Favourite. This historical comedy was another anti-historical satire. Olivia Colman did an excellent job as Queen Anne, but the facts should be taken with a grain of salt.

For those who enjoy satire, The Great is going to be the most entertaining thing you watch this year. The show is made specifically for you.

For those who love history, I’d recommend checking out The Last Kingdom instead. While there are some liberties taken and Uhtred is a fictional character, much of the show (and the books adapted from) is based on fact.

The Great is on Hulu on Friday, May 15.

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