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10 Shows Like 'The Great' to Watch Next

Whether you're looking for more irreverent historical comedies, women-led period dramas about power, or shows with sharp comedic sentiments, this list will have something great for you.
by Annie Lyons — 
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Elle Fanning in 'The Great'

Hulu

The Great isn't your typical period piece. 

The Hulu original show stars Elle Fanning as Catherine the Great, the real-life figure who became the longest-reigning female ruler in Russian history after initially rising to power by overthrowing her husband, Emperor Peter the III (Nicholas Hoult). But rather than give a strait-laced account, The Great gleefully plays fast and loose with the facts as it casts a modern lens toward Catherine's quest for power. It's even titled onscreen as The Great: An Occasionally True Story, which the second season updates to The Great: An Almost Entirely Untrue Story

Created by The Favourite co-writer Tony McNamara, the show has punchy dialogue and a sharp satirical edge. Its singular tone blends dark comedy and a raunchy sense of humor with intense drama. The ruthless and bickering royals (especially Peter) can be absurd, but they're also grounded in very human emotions. The Great's unique tone resonated with critics, and it currently has a Metascore of 77. The show has also received six Emmy nominations between its first two seasons, including nominations for Fanning's and Hoult's performances. 

The historical comedy begins with Catherine's arrival to 18th century Russia and marriage to Peter. She initially dreams of a fairy-tale prince but has a rude awakening after discovering that Peter, though charismatic, is immature, ignorant, and violent. Idealist Catherine wants to introduce Enlightenment ideas to the royal court and soon assembles a motley crew to plan a coup. However, Catherine and Peter realize they have more complicated emotions for one another than their initial strife, which the second season explores further. Don't worry, the third season's already been confirmed. Huzzah! 

If you're stuck on picking what to watch after The Great, Metacritic has got you covered. Whether you're looking for more irreverent historical comedies, women-led period dramas about power, or shows with sharp comedic sentiments, this list will have something great for you. 

Here, Metacritic highlights 10 shows like The Great to watch next. 


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Phoebe Waller-Bridge in 'Fleabag'

Amazon Studios

Fleabag

Metascore: 92
Best for: Fans of tragicomedies and dysfunctional heroines
Where to watch:

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Seasons: 2

Phoebe Waller-Bridge's highly acclaimed Fleabag has its own unique sensibility, thanks to its fast-paced dialogue, dark humor, and unpredictable tone that careens easily from comedy to emotional devastation. Based on her one-woman play of the same name, the show stars Waller-Bridge as a charismatic and filthy-minded but self-loathing young woman who frequently breaks the fourth wall to provide commentary to the audience. The show chronicles her grief over the shocking death of her best friend, her sexual escapades, and her often contentious relationship with her more proper older sister Claire (Sian Clifford). Fleabag won six out of 11 Emmy nominations, including one for Waller-Bridge's performance. 

"Waller-Bridge has a bracing willingness to let entire scenes play out just to build to one absurd joke at the end, and she proves adept at giving characters and moments the touch of specificity that makes them feel real and human." — Lisa Weidenfeld, The A.V. Club


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Julia Louis-Dreyfus in 'Veep'

HBO

Veep

Metascore: 82
Best for: Fans of political satires
Where to watch:

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Seasons: 7

If you're looking for more satirical examinations of power, Veep's fast-paced and biting political comedy might be for you. Created by Armando Iannucci as an adaptation of his British sitcom The Thick of It, Veep follows Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), a fictional vice president with an inept staff and a dysfunctional relationship with the president. The show focuses less on concrete public policies and more on Selina's struggle to gain more power and influence within a political circus. Veep received widespread critical acclaim and won 17 out of 68 Emmy nominations, including a record-breaking six consecutive wins for Louis-Dreyfus' performance. 

"Thanks to Louis-Dreyfus, and the show's remarkable knack for dialogue and timing, Veep is instantly engaging and outrageously fun." — Hank Stuever, Washington Post


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'Harlots'

Hulu

Harlots

Metascore: 73
Best for: Fans of complicated women and period dramas focused on society's margins
Where to watch:

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Seasons: 3

Similar to The Great, Harlots is a raunchier take on the typical period piece. Created by Alison Newman and Moira Buffini, the gritty drama takes place in 18th century London and centers on Margaret Wells (Samantha Morton), a calculating brothel owner and mother to two daughters. In a world that gives them few options, Margaret and the brothel's other ambitious women seek personal agency however they can. The series delves into their multi-faceted relationships and provides a nuanced, unsensationalized view of sex work. Harlots offers plenty of social commentary alongside its scandals and twists, particularly on ideas of class, gender, and power. 

"It's a bawdy, funny, gritty, and at times moving drama that flies in the face [of] most of the period costume dramas we've seen on TV over the years." — Matthew Gilbert, Boston Globe


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Hailee Steinfeld and Wiz Khalifa in 'Dickinson'

Apple TV+

Dickinson

Metascore: 72
Best for: Fans of irreverent period pieces and coming-of-age stories
Where to watch:


Seasons: 3

Created by Alena Smith, Dickinson is an offbeat period comedy focused on a young queer woman, the titular poet, trying to figure out her place in the world. Emily Dickinson (played by Hailee Steinfeld) often clashes with her father and struggles against 19th century societal constraints. Delightfully anachronistic, the show strives more for emotional accuracy than historical accuracy, infusing modern language and music alongside the real Dickinson's poetry. Dream sequences add to the show's surreal touch, such as Emily's recurring conversations with a personification of Death (Wiz Khalifa). The series grew in critical acclaim over time, with the final season having a Metascore of 91. 

"The series is a smart, funny, irreverent ride — a coming-of-age comedy fused with a rich costume drama." — Lorraine Ali, Los Angeles Times


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'The Righteous Gemstones'

HBO

The Righteous Gemstones

Metascore: 72
Best for: Fans of absurd humor and dark comedies about dysfunctional families
Where to watch:

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Seasons: 2 (so far)

In The Righteous Gemstones, a famous Southern family of televangelists and megachurch pastors ward off scandals and other threats to their lavish, church-funded lifestyle. Widowed patriarch Eli Gemstone (John Goodman) leads the group, which includes his three spoiled children: dissolute Jesse (Danny McBride, also the show's creator), neurotic Judy (Edi Patterson), and immature Kelvin (Adam Devine). Contrary to the pristine image they try to present to the public, the Gemstones have inflated egos and engage in vulgar immaturity and petty power squabbles. The dark comedy has an absurd sense of humor, while still exploring the very human emotions that drive the characters' ridiculous behavior amidst politics of a different kind. 

"Gemstones delicately balances the ridiculous and extreme with surprisingly subtle character moments that keeps the show from drifting too far away from legitimate emotion and humanity." — Garrett Martin, Paste Magazine


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From left to right: Taika Waititi and Rhys Darby in 'Our Flag Means Death'

HBO Max

Our Flag Means Death

Metascore: 70
Best for: Fans of offbeat historical comedies and LGBTQIA+ romantic comedies
Where to watch:


Seasons: 1 (so far)

Much like The Great, Our Flag Means Death is a pointedly historical comedy that's loosely based on real figures and brings a modern sensibility to its 1700s setting. Created by David Jenkins, the show takes place during the Golden Age of Piracy and follows the adventures of Stede Bonnet (Rhys Darby), an aristocrat-turned-pirate. Bonnet and his dysfunctional crew encounter the infamous Blackbeard (Taika Waititi), only to learn that the feared pirate captain is undergoing a midlife crisis of his own. The first season explores their connection and journey of self-discovery, balancing light-hearted comedy with an emotionally resonant arc. 

"An example of something that Our Flag Means Death pulls off so well: the blending of comedy and sincerity, especially between the type of people who are still trying to discover the truest versions of themselves." — Carly Lane, Collider


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'The White Queen'

Starz

The White Queen

Metascore: 70
Best for: Fans of historical fiction adaptations and tales of court intrigue focused on women
Where to watch:

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Seasons: 1

The White Queen also features a royal court that has plenty of seduction, manipulation, and betrayal. Based on Philippa Gregory's novel series, the British period dramatakes place during 15th century England's War of the Roses and tells the stories of Elizabeth Woodville (Rebecca Ferguson), Margaret Beaufort (Amanda Hale), and Anne Neville (Faye Marsay). The three women all vie for power in their own ways while immersed in the lengthy royal conflict. The White Queen received four Emmy nominations, including one for Outstanding Limited Series. The show was followed by two sequel series: The White Princess (Metascore: 71) and The Spanish Princess (Metascore: 73).

"This enjoyably propulsive high melodrama replays the classic Wars of the Roses family feud (York vs. Lancaster) from the perspective of the women who are both pawns and players in a violent, turbulent game of claiming and keeping the English throne." — Matt Roush, TV Guide Magazine


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From left to right: Riki Lindhome and Natasha Leggero in 'Another Period'

Comedy Central

Another Period

Metascore: 68
Best for: Fans of raunchy historical comedies and genre parodies
Where to watch:

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Seasons: 3

This bawdy historical comedy takes inspiration from two polar opposite genres: reality shows and period dramas. Created by Natasha Leggero and Riki Lindhome, who also star, the show follows the Bellacourt family, who dominate the Rhode Island social scene at the turn of the 20th century. Immensely wealthy and shallow, the Bellacourts have a good time acting terribly. Sisters Lillian (Leggero) and Beatrice (Lindhome) dream especially of achieving fame — or notoriety. Another Period structures itself like a reality show, complete with talking heads and dramatic music cues, while also satirizing the lavish lifestyle and class differences often found in period dramas. 

"While Another Period sometimes leans too heavily on 'It's 1902!' gags, it's buoyed by an absurdist sensibility, genuinely surprising jokes, and a strong cast." — Hillary Busis, Entertainment Weekly


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'Galavant'

ABC

Galavant

Metascore: 64
Best for: Fans of musical spoofs and irreverent historical fantasies
Where to watch:

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Seasons: 2

This medieval-themed musical comedy from Dan Fogelman blends a farcical sense of humor with heartfelt characters. Joshua Sasse stars as the titular character, a knight who strives to win back his love Madalena (Mallory Jansen) from his rival King Richard (Timothy Omundson). Only, as it's quickly revealed, she doesn't want to be saved — the first of many instances of the show playfully sending up fairy tale tropes. The show follows Galavant and his motley crew on a variety of quests, complete with witty songs that often break the fourth wall written by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater.

"No part of the equation that makes up Galavant is subtle. It piles on the songs, the choreography, the bawdy humor and the clever writing. That deep dive into the genre is what will help viewers shake off the doubts we had going into it." — Jethro Nededog, The Wrap


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From left to right: Daniel Radcliffe and Karan Soni in 'Miracle Workers'

TBS

Miracle Workers

Metascore: 63
Best for: Fans of historical comedies and absurd humor
Where to watch:

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Seasons: 3 (so far)

Created by Simon Rich, Miracle Workers is a comedy anthology that looks at dismal times with an absurdist sense of humor and optimist streak. The first season follows two bureaucratic angels (played by Daniel Radcliffe and Geraldine Viswanathan) who must pull off a miracle to prevent a depressed God (Steve Buscemi) from destroying Earth. Fans of The Great may especially enjoy the subsequent two seasons, which move the silliness to distinct period settings: Season 2 takes on the Dark Ages via characters struggling with familial expectations, while Season 3 follows a reverend leading his desperate community on the Oregon Trail. 

"What ensues is strange, eccentric but fitfully funny." — Brian Lowry, CNN