Hulu’s ‘The Great’ is renewed for season 2: Everything you need to know
Cry huzzah! For season two of The Great has been ordered by the high Hulu powers! The satiric comedy The Great, featuring the talents of Elle Fanning & Nicholas Hoult as the great rulers of Russia, Catherine the Great & Peter III respectively, was named one of the top performing original comedies on Hulu in 2020.
The Great is born from the fevered mind of Tony McNamara who gave us the equally salacious & outrageous film The Favourite. Much like The Favourite’s surreal take on history, The Great brings us back to the court of Russia and sprinkles in sparse facts amongst a bevy of delightfully wild fiction. Take heed friends, and look sharp! For here is all you need to know about season two of The Great.
What it’s all about
Season one of The Great takes us through the initial meeting & marriage of the Russian ruler Peter & his Prussian bride Catherine. We watch as Catherine, a bright-eyed idealist who fancies herself to be in love with Peter, slowly realizes her husband’s cruel & fickle nature. With this bitter truth planted, Catherine begins to grow a plan that will make her the new leader of Russia.
Despite the weight of some of the issues addressed in the show as well as some fairly graphic gore, The Great is a witty ode to the power of women in history. We see the untapped potential of a woman as a ruler when Elle Fanning as Catherine the Great speaks with fervor about bringing Russia into the new world & taking the people out of oppression and into learning & enlightenment.
The Great addresses subtly – and also not so subtly – the glaring issues mirrored in our own society and doesn’t bat an eye as the caricatures displayed in the show inch closer to our reality, leaving a gap far too narrow for comfort.
While the costumes & scenery may be elegant, the story is not. The Great crosses the territory into coarse characters, language, sex acts, and philosophy. Such coarseness might be distasteful to some but it’s what gives The Great an irreverent tone that allows a modern audience to connect with the grim reality of Russia’s oppressive rule, glaring through the gaps between light-hearted comedy.
The origin story
Tony McNamara decided to write about Catherine the Great purely by chance. He recalls looking up the ruler when he remembered the famous story rumor that Catherine once had intercourse with a horse (a story thoroughly featured in The Great). Upon more research, McNamara found Catherine’s complex & modern character compelling.
McNamara wrote The Great first as a play then a film but found he had so much material, enough to follow years of the monarch’s life, that he eventually converted it into a television series. The Great was initially pitched as a six-season show and the show’s executive producer Marian Macgowan believes there’s enough material to extend to Catherine’s old age.
The anticipated release
Season two of The Great is an exciting prospect to not only the show’s creators but the actors as well. Elle Fanning was quoted as saying “If they wanted to do [season 2], I would do it right away,” and Nick Hoult reportedly declined working on the seventh installment of the Mission Impossible franchise so he could be available for filming.
Despite the enthusiasm to bring season two of The Great to life, there’s a good chance the series won’t be released for another two years. The reason for such a lengthy wait is due to the film industry at a virtual stand-still in the age of the pandemic. There’s no release date for season two of The Great as of yet and until then we’ll have to be placated with a plate of macarons and another viewing of the first season.