Catherine the Great: Miniseries (2019)


Miniseries
Catherine the Great

Critics Consensus

Though its sumptuous setting and design often outshines its storytelling, Catherine the Great remains a seductive, if scattershot, period drama thanks to the great Helen Mirren.

68%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 38

37%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 49
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Episodes

1
Air date: Oct 21, 2019
2
Air date: Oct 28, 2019
3
Air date: Nov 4, 2019
4
Air date: Nov 11, 2019

Tv Season Info

News & Interviews for Catherine the Great: Miniseries

Critic Reviews for Catherine the Great Miniseries

All Critics (38) | Top Critics (11)

Mirren will get an Emmy nod for this because she's Mirren. She is a great actress, and she's certainly good here. A pity she'll get that nod for so cramped a story.

Oct 22, 2019 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Nothing is subtle about it: not the acting, not the directing by Philip Martin, not the production design, not the costumes.

Oct 11, 2019 | Rating: B | Full Review…
Top Critic

The producers and commissioning editors made a decision that their heroine would be older - much older - on screen than she was in real life. Has this happened before? I can't think that it has... and really, it is quite fantastic: game-changing, almost.

Oct 3, 2019 | Full Review…

This series isn't just a vehicle for [Helen Mirren], it's a golden carriage. She is sumptuously dressed and adoringly, luminously photographed in great palaces in Russia. It's an amazing spectacle but Mirren easily dominates it.

Oct 3, 2019 | Full Review…

Fabulous as the sets are, they pale next to the magnificence of Helen Mirren, looking as creamily ageless as though she's bathed in all the caviar of Lake Baikal.

Sep 27, 2019 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Although you should watch Catherine simply to enjoy the rare reverse May-December pairings, the show isn't by any means perfect.

Oct 21, 2019 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The dynamic between Helen Mirren and Jason Clarke maintains the interest in a story that could have combined politics and sex with more creativity and sensuality. [Full Review in Spanish]

Oct 23, 2019 | Full Review…

It sort of works.

Nov 1, 2019 | Full Review…

Although this particular portrayal of Russia's longest-ruling female leader is refreshingly modern, viewers' appetites for a gripping and emotional period drama are likely to left unsatiated.

Oct 25, 2019 | Full Review…

The series is a gorgeously detailed piece.

Oct 24, 2019 | Full Review…

The crown sits easily on Mirren, who can be bossy, seductive, vindictive, and girlish at will. She's great, even when trapped in a romance novel.

Oct 23, 2019 | Full Review…

It pains me to admit that this show has been a slog, and I'm glad it's over...the real problem with this show is that it tries to cram roughly 30 years of history into four hour-long episodes.

Oct 22, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Catherine the Great: Miniseries

  • 2d ago
    Dreadful. I made it through until half of episode 2 but I had to give up on it. There's no substance whatsoever. Its entirely story is centered on a dimly-lit, scarcely believable "love affair". As soon as they got to sharing their "number" (of past lovers) I was finished; was this meant for teens? A sickening sort of melodrama. The scenery was gorgeous, however, I doubt its historical accuracy. Helen Mirran of course is amazing but if you read the critics reviews that's really all there is that's good about the show. I appreciate they took creative license with the casting as she is 40 years older than Catherine, but perhaps they could have used that creativity for the script. Disappointing.
  • 5d ago
    So far, the storyline is rather boring. The sets are beautiful and I will continue to watch in hopes it will become more interesting
  • 5d ago
    Boring one and a 41-year age gap between Mirren and Catherine is quite an absurd.
  • 6d ago
    What not to love?? Great plot and performance
  • 6d ago
    After trying to puzzle out what this historical series was doing with the horridly incorrect storyline, an elderly, (albeit a great actress), attempting to pass as a young 30 something empress .. I gave up and couldn't Continue to watch after 20 minutes .. what were they thinking?? Part of her " greatness " was navigating a ruthless political quagmire as a young woman.. that flew right out the window like a drunk goat with the sexual innuendos from a 70 plus year old actress playing a 32 year old.. I am embarrassed for Ms Mirran. What could have been an outstanding series was absolutely ruined with poor casting, and even poorer writing.
  • Nov 06, 2019
    Weak writing, stretches credulity, Mirren mailed it in. Costumes and settings, though impressive, don't rescue this series from mediocrity.
  • Nov 06, 2019
    Pretty disappointing - none of it jives. I love you, Helen, but you're not age appropriate for Catherine during the time period being portrayed - too difficult to suspend disbelief on that point. The writing trivializes the politics at play, as well as Catherine's intelligence. There is no display of how cunning she must have been to stay in power for so long. The chemistry between Helen and Jason Clarke is about as exciting as kissing a cold, wet fish. It's boring...
  • Nov 06, 2019
    This was so boring and unbelievable. The real Catherine was 33 years old and Helen Mirren is in her 70's. I am unable to look past this as she jumps from lover to lover. It's just not realistic. The story itself moves slowly and is not interesting. Finally, Russians with English accents is just lazy. I am disappointed in this production as with proper casting and better writing it could have been so much better.
  • Nov 05, 2019
    Ugh. Silly. Embarrassing. Histrionic. Shallow. Wall to wall egregious anachronisms. Ludicrous scenes demeaning for everyone--from the long dead historical figures this is supposedly about, to the actors, to the poor crew who had to film it, to the viewers--for example, Kropotkin and Catherine the Great shrieking at each other in the middle of the street fighting about love Love LOVE LOOOOOOOVE!!! There is such great political history here but it's as if the writers didn't understand that, or didn't think we would care, and instead turned it into a 5th rate melodrama, and not even a vaguely compelling one. Every episode was a cringey laborious slog.
  • Nov 05, 2019
    Snail pace. Wouldn't turn if off if it was on while folding laundry. But definitely would not carve out time to watch. So many other good shows out there.

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