How to watch The Great online: Hulu release date, trailer and more

How to watch The Great online on Hulu
(Image credit: Hulu)
The Great start time, channel

The Great season 1 is out now, having released today (Friday, May 15) at 12 a.m. Eastern on Hulu.

Who run the world? When we watch The Great online today at Hulu, we'll find out the answer is, (yes, as Beyonce says), girls. One specific girl in this case — Catherine the Great. 

Hulu's new dramedy is loosely based on the Russian ruler's life and stars Elle Fanning as the titular Catherine. The satirical comedy chronicles Catherine's journey from outsider to the longest reigning female ruler in Russia's history. Season 1, which consists of 10 episodes, follows her as an idealistic, romantic girl who has an arranged marriage to the mercurial Emperor Peter (Nicholas Hoult). 

Hulu's official synopsis for The Great reads, "Hoping for love and sunshine, she finds instead a dangerous, depraved, backward world that she resolves to change. All she has to do is kill her husband, defeat the church, baffle the military and get the court on her side." Yeah, that's all! While The Great does incorporate historical fact, Hulu calls it "an occasionally true story," so expect a lot of liberties to be taken.

Catherine the Great has been portrayed on screen many times before. In fact, just last year, Helen Mirren played the empress in a Sky/HBO miniseries. 

Here's everything you need to know about how to watch The Great online around the world.

How to watch The Great from anywhere in the world with a VPN

If you're in a country with geo-restrictions, you don't need to miss out on watching The Great online. It's pretty easy with the right VPN (virtual private network), you can stream the show from wherever you go.

Our pick for the best VPN is ExpressVPN. It meets the VPN needs of the vast majority of users, offering outstanding compatibility with most devices and impressive connection speeds. You'll even get an extra 3 months free if you sign up for a year, or there's a 30-day money-back guarantee if you just want to give it a try.


Our favorite VPN service, ExpressVPN, really shines thanks to its safety, speed and simplicity-to-use. It's also compatible with loads of devices - from iOS and Android to Roku, Apple TV and PlayStations.

How to watch The Great in the US

If you're in the U.S., you can now watch the entire first season of The Great on Hulu. It released at 12 a.m. Eastern today (Friday, May 15), meaning West Coast viewers got to start it at the more tolerable time of 9 p.m. Pacific. on Thursday.


The Great is just one of many truly great shows and movies streaming on Hulu. In addition to next-day airings of current TV shows and library content from FX, Hulu offers award-winning series like The Handmaid's Tale. Other originals include Little Fires Everywhere, High Fidelity, Shrill, PEN15, Casual and Ramy.

How to watch The Great in the UK

Sorry, Brits! Since The Great is a Hulu original, it's not available to watch on any UK channels or services. Americans who want to get their binge on should read above to find out how to use ExpressVPN.

How to watch The Great in Canada

We've also got bad news for Canadians. Hulu isn't in Canada —  but you can still watch The Great. Just check out our above section on how to use ExpressVPN to watch.

How to watch The Great in Australia

It's not a very g'day, mate, since Aussies aren't able to watch The Great online. Like your British and Canadian pals, if you're in American abroad, Just check out our above section on how to use ExpressVPN to watch.

The Great on Hulu trailer

For a taste of the wit, hijinks and satire found in Hulu's new show, just watch The Great trailer. Fanning's Catherine seems like an earnest young woman who just wants to do some good in the world. Unfortunately, her boorish husband and his courtiers seem to only see her as a vessel for bearing his children. 

The Great on Hulu cast

Hulu's The Great cast is led by Elle Fanning as Catherine and Nicholas Hoult as Emperor Peter.

They are joined by recurring cast members, including:

  • Phoebe Fox as Marial
  • Gwilym Lee as Grigory Orlov
  • Louis Hynes as Vlad
  • Sacha Dhawan
  • Sebastian De Souza
  • Adam Godley
  • Charity Wakefield
  • Douglas Hodge
  • Belinda Bromilow as Aunt Elizabeth
  • Richard Pyros as Count Raskolnikov

The Great on Hulu reviews

Overall, reviews of The Great are mixed. All make favorable comparison to The Favourite, which was written by show creator Tony McNamara. Most praise the acting, particularly by Fanning and Hoult. But they also point out some awkward tonal transitions and room for more humor. Here's a roundup of The Great reviews. 

Hollywood Reporter: "The Great's deliberate anachronisms, surreal exoticisms and justifiably cynical observations of the ways privilege breeds rot recall Yorgos Lanthimos' The Favourite — an unsurprising comparison, since its Oscar-nominated co-writer, Tony McNamara, is the creator here."

Indiewire: "Between Fanning, Fox, and Hoult there’s enough humor to derive from their performances to make things sail. But once the series attempts to engage with the political machinations of the war with Sweden and internal strife the acerbic humor just doesn’t gel. It almost feels like an R-rated parody swathed in some of the most breathtaking set and costume design you’re likely to see."

Time: "It isn’t quite the perfectly paced masterpiece that [The Favourite] was; some episodes drag, including a smallpox romp that’s more tiresome than timely. Still, its witty dialogue and lively performances yield a sharp, fun dramedy."

Variety: "... with its sly and hilarious eye for court intrigue, 'The Great' becomes a wickedly entertaining piece of historical fudging that lays bare the myopic nature of aristocracy, the root causes of revolt, and the danger inherent in thoughtless leaders surrounded by unquestioning yes-men."

Kelly Woo
Streaming Editor

Kelly is the streaming channel editor for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.