The Great vs Shogun

We are currently alternating between two hour-long historical dramas in the evening, The Great and Shogun. We’re enjoying both shows quite a bit, so today I thought I’d share my early impressions.

The Great follows young Catherine the Great as she marries Peter, Emporer of Russia, and navigates the royal court. The show balances a mix of crude and clever humor with incredible set and costume design–it’s a stunning production.

Shogun is an epic series in 1600s Japan that some have compared to Game of Thrones. Two episodes in, I can see why: The show combines political intrigue with spurts of violence and a vast cast of characters. It shows Japan in a way I’ve never seen, and many of the words far preclude the modern Japanese I studied in school.

I’m not here to compare the shows or say that one is better than the other. I think they’re both excellent, and I actually think they complement each other well. Tonight, for example, we watched the second episode of Shogun, which is dry, epic, and subtitled, and then we switched over to the levity of the third episode of The Great. I’d recommend trying the same method if you’re curious about them.

Have you watched either shows? What do you think?

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