The Great Season 3 Review – Even More Sex and Side-Splitting Satire from the Hulu Original

By Adam Lock
Published: May 11, 2023 (Last updated: last month)
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The Great Season 3 Review - Hulu
The Great Season 3 (Credit - Hulu)
3.5

Summary

Season 3 of The Great is endlessly entertaining, with a script that is fast-paced, witty, and crude. Elle Fanning is just stunning as always, surrounded by a cast of comedians at the top of their game. If you can put aside the lengthy run time and the convoluted plotting, then you are in for a real treat.

Audiences’ attention spans may be getting shorter these days, thanks partly to mobile phones and the internet, but TV comedies appear to be getting longer. Just look at the run times of the latest episodes of Ted Lasso, for example.

This is, of course, a new trend in the comedy-drama series, which has become popular in recent times. Shows like The Great and Ted Lasso have stretched the format, pushing the genre to new heights.

This innovation has its pluses, but it also has its setbacks, which are both on full display in season 3 of The Great, the raunchy historical comedy series from Hulu.

The Great Season 3 Brings The Series Back With a Bang

Season 3 follows the dramatic events of the previous season. Peter III (Nicholas Hoult) and Catherine the Great (Elle Fanning) find themselves at marriage counseling after the Empress tried to kill Peter.

The former Emperor kind of deserved it, though, having slept with Catherine’s mother and accidentally killed her in the process. It’s not the healthiest of relationships; it has to be said.

Peter is surprisingly reinvigorated by these circumstances, though elated to know that Catherine truly loves him. He waltzes around the palace like a new man. However, things aren’t as peachy for Catherine, who has inadvertently instigated a peasant uprising against her.

The people of Russia vehemently hate her, burning towns to the ground and desecrating effigies of her too.

As always, Catherine is joined by her manipulative advisors, the treacherous priest Archie and Peter’s aunt Elizabeth, who is equally deceptive. They try to put an end to this revolution while also attempting to save Catherine’s marriage.

Around the peripheries of this madness are the other secondary players in the series. There’s Peter’s best friend, Grigor, and his rocky love triangle relationship with Marial and Georgina: Swedish royalty Hugo and Agnes with their own devious plan. And there’s plenty of hilarity from the drunkard General Velementov, the love-mad Dr. Vinodel, and the fabulous Maxim.

The Great is back with a bang, continuing its reign as one of the funniest and most surprising shows out there. That being said, the series does have its flaws, although these aren’t new ones to consider.

As stated earlier, the run time is one of the main issues, as plots seem to meander and repeat over the course of this ten-episode season. Yet after the halfway point, the show finds its feet, transcending the genre and justifying its dramatic credentials. There is genuine, enthralling drama to be witnessed in the second half of the series.

The writing is exceptional, juggling numerous intricate subplots. It’s darkly hilarious and whip-smart, managing to stuff nearly ten hours of TV with endless entertainment and sinister jokes.

Yet it is the cast that really makes this historical epic work. Each cast member pushes themselves, getting their moment to shine. Elle Fanning is sensational as the troubled Empress, delivering yet another award-worthy performance.

For the most part, season 3 is pitched at the same quality as the previous entries, but it does eventually surpass its usual standard with new maturity and grit. Audiences will be surprised by the third season 3, which may be the show’s best yet.

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