Great Expectations Season 1 Review – a riveting series with a fantastic ensemble

By Ricky Valero
Published: March 25, 2023 (Last updated: April 19, 2023)
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Ashley Thomas and Shalom Brune-Franklin stand out as Great Expectations delivers a technical piece of art you won’t want to miss. Steven Knight doesn’t miss.

We review the FX on Hulu series Great Expectations (2023) Season 1, which does not contain spoilers.

Great Expectations is a six-episode mini-series based on the novel by Charles Dickens. The book was published in 1861 after being released as a weekly chapter series.

The show was written by Steven Knight (Spencer, Peaky Blinders) and stars Olivia Colman as Miss Havisham.

Great Expectations Season 1 Review and Plot Summary

Great Expectations is coming of age story of Pip, an orphan who yearns for a greater life until a wild chain of events leads him to Miss Havisham, who shows him the dark world of possibilities.

Pip must work out the actual cost of the world and whether or not the teaching of Miss Havisham will make him the man he wants to be.

Far too often, films or shows based on novels cause this mix of confusion of not understanding some aspects for the non-readers. Knight understands that not everyone will be familiar with the book and crafts the show so readers and non-readers can tag along for the ride.

Writer Steven Knight brilliantly adapts Dickens’s novel in a way that showcases this idea of class and scales it in a way that entices you from the moment the first episode begins. You have slick dialogue blended with lavish production and costume design that sets a tone for the era and gives you a perfect understanding of what to expect from the show.

Knight’s writing has always been excellent, and he continues that run with Great Expectations.

I am sure everyone saw the trailer and is ready to see Olivia Colman. Don’t get me wrong, Colman is fantastic when she is on the screen. However, the entire ensemble for me was excellent, with a few standout performances by Ashley Thomas and Shalom Brune-Franklin.

First, with Thomas as Jaggers, his presence alone intimidated you. How he portrayed this larger-than-life (especially within the city) villain-esque character stood out massively. I wasn’t familiar with Brune-Franklin before watching, but I hope we see so much more out of her in the future.

She was the entire heart of this series as Estella, and without her performance, the series wouldn’t have landed as well as it did.

The only piece of the puzzle I didn’t find all that great was the side story of Compeyson and Maywitch. Without a doubt, they play a role in the overall story. But I didn’t find myself connecting at any time they were on the screen.

Nothing against the two actors that played the role either, as they were great. Outside of that, I loved everything about the series.

Is the 2023 series Great Expectations good?

You have some incredible technical things about the series, including the production, costumes, and score that reel you in. Furthermore, you have some dynamite performances that make your stay in this world one to remember.

Steven Knight is a master at creating these worlds you won’t forget, and he did so again with Great Expectations

What did you think of Great Expectations (2023) Season 1? Comment below.

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