Royal Russian romp: Is ‘The Great’ ending after season 2?
In the relatively short time since Hulu’s The Great premiered on May 15th, 2020, it’s quickly become a prestige program. The first season received positive reviews from most critics & fans. Additionally, The Great was nominated for many awards, with Rose Wicksteed winning an Artios Award for best Television Pilot & First Season for a comedy.
The lead actress Elle Fanning also won a Satellite Award for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy Series for her performance in The Great season one. Tony McNamara also won an award for Episodic comedy from the Writers Guild of America. The success of the first season of The Great has carried into season 2, which dropped on November 19th, 2021.
Season 2 of The Great seems to have somehow improved on the achievements of the first season. Rotten Tomatoes is calling the sophomore season “Certified Fresh” with a 100% approval rating on twenty-four reviews. However, Hulu has yet to announce whether or not The Great is renewed for season three. Could it be that the show won’t continue past season 2?
From stage to screen
Turning The Great into the TV show it exists as today has been a long time in the making. The streaming series is based on Tony McNamara’s 2008 stage play about Catherine the Great, which was performed by the Sydney Theatre Company. McNamara apparently also wrote a screenplay version of the script as well, yet he decided upon turning it into a TV series.
McNamara has said, “It had been a play and a film, and I was always struggling with the fact it was such a massive story for a film. I wanted to tell it as a story that goes for years and years.” Such an expansive tale seems perfectly fit for the long-winded narrative structure allowed through TV. Yet, will The Great’s tale make it past season 2?
Not exactly historically accurate
Part of what makes The Great such a masterful farce is that the show leans into the fact that it’s a dramatization of real-life events. Hulu has marketed The Great as “anti-historical”, which is highlighted by the titles before each episode. In season one, the show was introduced as The Great: An Occasionally True Story.
This disbelief was deepened in season 2, titled The Great: An Almost Entirely Untrue Story. While some enjoy this disregard for historical accuracy, not everyone seems to be thrilled about it.
Critic Robert Lloyd of the Los Angeles Times wrote, “McNamara had jotted down some names, relationships and a few historical bullet points, torn up the paper, and started writing. And so must the viewer abandon himself to what’s on the plate without a care to learning anything useful or even true about Russia or any of the real people represented here.”
Why The Great reigns supreme
In addition to being “Certified Fresh”, The Great season 2 has garnered glowing reviews from TV critics. Steve Greene of IndieWire wrote, “Season 2 continues the labyrinthine process of strategy-building, only this time for Catherine to put in place her desired reforms for the people of Russia rather than angle for the crown.”
Greene added that “this is the same excellent brew of debauchery and pain and fleeting tenderness that marked the show from the start.” With such high praise from fans & critics alike, it’d be a no-brainer to renew The Great for another season. However, Hulu has yet to say anything about more episodes. Only time will tell whether or not the show will continue.
Hulu still hasn’t announced if The Great will be renewed after season 2. Perhaps it’s canceled, or maybe it’ll move to a new streamer. Whenever the news breaks, you can find it here on Film Daily. What do you think of The Great season 2? Let us know in the comment section!