Due to ‘The Favourite’ co-writer Tony McNamara being the screenwriter here on another period comedy, the comparisons to that film are plentiful, and they are fair. While it lacks the visual style of Yorgos Lanthimos, the dark, quick, and hilarious script reminds you very much of that project.
The show is open in the fact that it takes liberties with historical fact and it benefits from that, allowing the show to be a unpredictable romp filled with sex, drama, and laughs aplenty.
Elle Fanning is the lead here, and it’s definitely her best ever role, even though she’s had so many films so far at such a young age. Her Catherine is initially naive and innocent, but quickly becomes smart, sexual, conniving, and ready to fight for a new Russia.
The real star of the show though is Nicholas Hoult as Peter. Hoult’s career has seemed to stall in recent years but this should absolutely kickstart it again. His character he is completely over the top, incredibly charismatic, completely unpredictable, and one of the funniest characters in recent years.
Hoult not only delivers in the comedy, but as the series goes on he also adds a real emotional depth to someone you init ally don’t believe has it in him. A truly great performance.
The supporting cast is really great, and they really have moments to shine on their own. Phoebe Fox (a real breakout), Charity Wakefield, and Sacha Dhawan in particular are all absolutely excellent and are all actors who should have long careers.
I really hope this thoroughly enjoyable show gets renewed for future seasons, because the mix of great writing and a superb cast is a winning formula.
Rating = 4/5