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Viewers hail ‘hilarious’ period drama one of the best shows of all time as third season lands next week

Viewers hail ‘hilarious’ period drama one of the best shows of all time as third season lands next week

The period drama-comedy stars Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult

Viewers of a 'hilarious' comedy and period drama are branding it as one of the funniest shows in existence that you just can't miss, with many baffled it flew under the radar.

Originally debuting on Hulu and now available to watch on All 4, the three-series strong epic that balances the story of Empress Catherine the Great of Russia with biting satire packs a serious punch.

Boasting a cast of famous faces, the alternate history romp has Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult in starring roles as Catherine the Great and Emperor Peter III, respectively.

The show in question is The Great (though shown on the titlecard as The Great: An Occasionally True Story).

You can watch the trailer here:

Praised by critics, all three seasons have averaged at an impressive critic's score of 96 percent on aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, while season two landed a perfect 100 percent.

Journalist Jack Seale gave it five stars in the Guardian, noting: "Every scene, every line of Tony McNamara’s script carries its own wicked hedonism: there is always something to enjoy that’s ruder, sillier or sharper than other shows would dare to include."

Creator and writer McNamara is the great mind behind other fantastic titles such as The Favourite and Poor Things.

The comedy period drama is an alternative look at history. (Channel 4)
The comedy period drama is an alternative look at history. (Channel 4)

The Great chronicles the Catherine the Great's ascension from a nobody to Russia's longest-reigning monarch.

The alternative history reimagines Catherine in her younger years and explores her arranged marriage to Peter, who squanders his potential with an alcohol addiction and indulges in too much violence, gluttony and extra-marital sex.

Catherine then hatches a plan to lose her husband for good - due to his death.

What follows is a thrilling game of cat-and-mouse filled with many shocks and side-splitting laughs.

With season one debuting in 2020 and the third - and last - season having landed in 2023, many devoted viewers are shocked that the show managed to fly under so many people's viewing radar.

Nicholas Hoult and Elle Fanning star. (Channel 4)
Nicholas Hoult and Elle Fanning star. (Channel 4)

It turns out they are still being urged to get stuck in.

One person wrote on X: "Please do watch 'the great' because you're missing one of the best comedy shows ever created. it's written by tony mcnamara who wrote 'the favourite' and who's also the creator of this show and elle fanning and nicholas hoult are killing it."

Another said: "I finished The Great. My God. In my top ten series of all time, easily. And now I will accept your recommendations for biographies of Catherine the Great. I want to know everything."

A third chimed: "Who else here has watched The Great? I'm just three episodes in and it's FANTASTIC!? How the hell did this show fly under the radar?

Blistering performances, absolutely hilarious, and it looks STUNNING."

The Great is available to stream on All 4.

Featured Image Credit: Hulu

Topics: Period Drama, Tyla Recommends, TV And Film, Channel 4