7 Shows Like 'The Great' to Watch Next

Discover more period series like 'The Great' to add to your watchlist.

Hedy Phillips

Elle Fanning in 'The Great'


In Hulu's original comedy The GreatElle Fanning stars as the real-life Catherine the Great, a princess born in the former Kingdom of Prussia who goes on to marry Emperor Peter III of Russia (Nicholas Hoult).

The satirical series from Tony McNamara definitely takes liberties with her story as the show follows her journey of meeting, marrying, and trying to kill her husband in 18th century Russia so she can go on to be the longest-ruling female in that country's history. (And if you know your real-life history, you know she succeeds at that last part.)

Each episode of the two seasons so far is bold, colorful, and takes the world history you learned in school and turns it on its head. 

Fans of the Hulu show who want more historical dramas and comedies will be pleased to know that there are plenty of similar shows currently streaming. No matter the streaming service you favor, there are historical TV shows available — even including those with modern flair like The Great

Here, Metacritic highlights seven of those series, all chosen because of their Metascore.

Wolf Hall

Metascore: 86
Best for: Fans of historical fiction book adaptations
Where to watch: 

, Google Play, iTunesVudu
Seasons: 1

Thomas Cromwell (Mark Rylance) is at the center of it all in 1500s England. King Henry VIII (Damian Lewis) is on the throne and making waves — particularly with his romances. The one-season drama takes place over the span of a number of years, when Henry is on the brink of divorcing his first wife in favor of the later-beheaded Anne Boleyn (Claire Foy), and Cromwell — once a lowly blacksmith's son — rises through the ranks to be Henry's right hand. He acts as a sort of sounding board for the king, as well as a punching bag at times. But Cromwell is impenetrable and makes a name for himself among the royals.

"It takes some while before the immensity of the history it covers dawns on a viewer of this extraordinary series, so deftly is that history...woven into drama here." — Dorothy Rabinowitz, The Wall Street Journal

The Crown

Metascore: 82
Best for: Fans of the British monarchy
Where to watch: Netflix
Seasons: 4 (so far)

The award-winning Netflix drama provides a slightly fictionalized timeline of the British royal family, starting when Queen Elizabeth II takes the throne. The show follows her life through the years as she becomes queen when her father dies. Played by varying actors in different seasons as time passes (Claire FoyOlivia Colman, and soon Imelda Staunton), the queen remains the focal point. But as seasons wear on, The Crown also tackles the larger stories surrounding the royal family, including when Princess Diana (Emma Corrin) enters the picture and marries Prince Charles (Josh O'Connor).

"Sweeping historical significance aside, it's the intimate, internal battles make this season just as riveting — if not stronger — as the last two." — Lorraine Ali, Los Angeles Times

Downton Abbey

Metascore: 80
Best for: Fans of prim and proper historical fiction
Where to watch: 

, Google Play, iTunes, Netflix, ,
Seasons: 6 (and a movie)

It all begins with the sinking of the Titanic. Lord Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham's (Hugh Bonneville) next of kin, his cousin James, as well as James's son, die when the ship goes down, leaving Lord Crawley's estate, Downton Abbey, in question. Suddenly his cousin, Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens), is next in line for it and moves into the home. Over the coming years, the family presides over their land, marries off the young ladies, and declares war with Germany.

"There's nothing in Downton you won't recognize, and almost nothing you won't enjoy." — Robert Bianco, USA Today


Metascore: 76
Best for: Fans of steamy historical fiction 
Where to watch: 

, Google Play, iTunes, Netflix, ,
Seasons: 6 (so far)

Based on the books by Diana Gabaldon, historical romance Outlander finds Claire (Caitriona Balfe) going back in time to the 1700s where she meets Jamie (Sam Heughan). Despite being married back home in her own time, Claire falls in love with Jamie after being essentially stuck in this alternate universe. As time wears on, though, Claire is torn between this new life she's created and the one she's left behind. 

"Outlander is by far the best of these Starz costume dramas I've seen. It knows the stories it wants to tell and the strongest way to tell them." — Alan Sepinwall, Hitfix


Metascore: 75
Best for: Fans of romantic period dramas
Where to watch: Netflix
Seasons: 2 (so far)

This Netflix drama, based on the Bridgerton series by Julia Quinn, takes viewers back to Regency England. In the first season, based on the first book, Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) is courted by a few men before striking up a challenge with the handsome Duke of Hastings, Simon Basset (Regé-Jean Page). Despite their differences at the start, the two fall in love and start their lives together. But as with any budding romance, they have their ups and downs as they figure out how to navigate life together. Add in an eclectic soundtrack of orchestral pop music, an eccentric cast of supporting characters, and a feisty gossip writer known as Lady Whistledown who knows everything there is to know about everyone, and you've got a period piece that'll keep you on your toes. The second season, based on the second book, follows Daphne's brother Anthony (Jonathan Bailey) as he gets involved in a love triangle while searching for a wife.

"Bridgerton's end result is a heady cloud of pleasure and true love set in an idealized, more inclusive milieu. At a time when I'm longing to escape the real world, few fantasies are more inviting." — Kathryn VanArendonk, Vulture


Metascore: 73
Best for: Fans of strong female leads
Where to watch: 

Seasons: 3

Margaret Wells (Samantha Morton) is a prominent brothel owner in 18th century London who splits her time between her work and her daughters. But just as everything is smooth sailing, Margaret's brothel is the target of an attack by a rival brothel madame, Lydia Quigley (Lesley Manville). Margaret stops at nothing to defend her work and her girls, but it takes everything she has. The taboo business of sex is now at the forefront in London with these two women going head to head to be the city's preeminent madame. 

"The plot [is] more intricate (and enthralling) than filigree. Yet, the storylines — involving heist, blackmail and arson in just the first three episodes — merely pay homage to the heart-wrenching themes of weaponized sexuality and the shackles of status." — Robyn Bahr, The Hollywood Reporter


Metascore: 72
Best for: Hailee Steinfeld fans and Emily Dickinson fans
Where to watch: 

Seasons: 3

Steinfeld plays the titular poet in this comedic biopic that mixes modern elements and the occasional fantasy with the harsh truths of being a queer woman who longed to be a writer in a time when that was not allowed. While production certainly takes creative liberties, this show depicts a delightful look at what a young Emily may have been like. The modernized tale sees the young woman and budding writer examining the world around her and jotting down her thoughts on class, gender, society, and any other topic she wants to challenge.

"Dickinson is so fun and so strange and so tireless in handing out little moments of character development, with wildly original mood setting." — Alexis Gunderson, Paste