"Why has Hollywood suddenly taken an interest in Russia’s longest-serving female ruler?" says Jennifer Wilson of Hulu's The Great and HBO's Catherine the Great premiering within eight months of each other. She adds that "the near-identical framing of these shows, wherein Catherine serves as a fresh feminist antidote to the cruelty and caprices of men in power, suggests empress-mania is more about contemporary political frustrations with sexism in politics than the intrigues of imperial Russia. (Catherine was actually the fifth woman to sit on the country’s throne in the eighteenth century.) The Great, for all its delights, feels too anxious to convince us that women make better, more competent rulers, a baseless expectation that unfairly holds women to a higher standard and gives viewers less to laugh at." Wilson also hates that The Great "unfortunately reserves all the bravado and bombast for Peter III, Catherine’s husband, played by a dashing Nicholas Hoult (The Great is proudly and profoundly ahistorical, but this upgrade for the famously homely Peter is especially jarring to anyone familiar with the record)."