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This show on Hulu will help you calm your mind and relax

Sometimes, you just need to relax at home, and sitting on your couch and streaming your favorite shows is a perfect way to do that. After a long day of working, studying, caring for the home, or managing a host of other responsibilities, sometimes you simply need a night off. You’re not alone. Hulu is here for you and has a long list of binge-able, stress-reducing TV shows.

If you’re already feeling tense, a documentary about 2020 or a horror flick may not be the best choice. If reality is stressing you out, you want a show that lets you escape to another place and time, and Hulu’s Emmy-nominated The Great is one of the best shows around to do just that.

The 10-episode first season, loosely based on the rise of Russian empress Catherine the Great, is full of satire, dark humor, and beautiful scenery. It’s escapism at its finest and the perfect show to watch if you’ve already binged Netflix’s period hits like The Crown and Bridgerton. Here are three reasons to add <em>The Great</em> to your queue of stress-reducing TV shows.

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Andrea Piacquadio/

The Great allows you to escape

Creator Tony McNamara built The Great hoping that it gives people the opportunity to escape the drama and stress of everyday life. Beginning with a disclaimer on its title card that it’s an “occasionally true story,” this show lets you know right off the bat that it will not be a dry history lesson. The basic plotline is true: Catherine really did marry Peter III, and she did manage to overthrow him in a military coup. The rest, as the LA Times noted, is “mostly made up.” Therefore, this show is great for those with an interest in history but is even better for fans of dark humor and drama galore.

The scenery is gorgeous

Netflix’s hit series Bridgerton is so captivating in part because of its beautiful scenery. For instance, the grass is always lush, green, and perfectly manicured. The trees are full of flowers and the crew beautifully stages the characters’ residences with all the Regency-era trimmings. If you enjoyed this aspect of Bridgerton or other shows like it, know that The Great delivers in the scenery department, too. This show used Hatfield House in England and La Reggia di Caserta in Naples for exterior shots, two of the grandest and most awe-inspiring pieces of architecture in the world. The grand hallway has gilded chairs, multiple chandeliers, and candles affixed to the walls, and this opulence provides the perfect escape from the day-to-day.   

The comedy lightens a heavy plot 

While <em>The Great</em> is dark and dramatic, it also manages to bring just as much comedy. “It’s fun, somehow, which is extra impressive amid so much torture,” wrote Vulture. Elle Fanning (Catherine) and Nicholas Holt (Peter) are perfect foils for one another. Peter is a heartless buffoon, torturing his wife while demanding his cronies laugh at his every joke. He adds “Huzzah” to the end of everything — it’s something of a catchphrase, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself walking around the house saying it, too. This quick wit and banter between the two leads add a light, fun touch to an otherwise dark and twisted plot.

Watching good TV is an easy way to relax, unwind, and take your mind off the pressures of everyday life. Hulu’s The Great is one of the best shows to relieve stress, allowing you to escape into a quasi-fictional world of gorgeous scenery, dark humor, and impeccable comedic timing. It’s an ideal choice for people who enjoyed other period dramas or those with a good sense of gallows humor. So pop some popcorn, and we’ll meet you in 18th century Russia.

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