The Romanoffs, Season 1
Are you watching the Romanoff’s yet on Amazon Prime? I haven’t heard a lot of people talking about it yet, so I wanted to bring it to your attention in case you are not watching it. The anthology series by Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner (don’t forget he also wrote for The Sopranos), is about the stories of the people who are believed to be descendants of the infamous Russian royal family of the same name. Each episode is its’ own unique short story and by the end they leave you wanting more of each character.
There has only been 5 episodes thus far and each one is neatly and elegantly detailed with nuanced characters that are complex and different. We wouldn’t expect anything less from Weiner, who gave the world Don Draper, the infamous anti-hero of the ad age. He was multifaceted and far from perfect, and I can glean some of that Draper-ish style vibe in his new show.
Episode 1, The Violet Hour, is set in France (the show will go around the world with each story), and we are introduced to Anushka La Charney (Marthe Keller). A stylish older woman with a mean streak, who makes Miranda Priestly look like a saint. She is mean-spirited, racist, and grumpy to name a few, but there is something about her that makes us sort of root for her. We learn of her heritage, as she tells her Muslim caregiver, that her family had a real Fabergé egg and that she is a Romanov. There is something haughty and grand about her and we see later in different episodes that every person who considers themselves a descendant has a similar air to them.
Each episode dives into a few characters, fleshes them out a bit, and moves on. Nonetheless, they have been pretty interesting and captivating to watch. Episode 3, House of Special Purpose, with Christina Hendricks, was very odd, yet totally different from everything else that is on TV right now. On a side note, I am enjoying seeing a lot of the old Mad Men alum in the series.
As I mentioned before so far so good, although I didn’t care for Episode 4 (the one with Amanda Peet). I have seen some skeptical reviews about the show, but I am enjoying it and will keep watching it for the time being. Can we compare it Alfred Hitchcock Presents? I am not sure it is at the level, but it certainly tries. My only fear is that it could fizzle out or that each episode won’t be as good as others, or that Season 2 won’t live up to the hype. That has been my issue with some Amazon shows, but I will continue to watch and see how this one fairs.
New episodes are released every Friday on Amazon Prime. If you watched it, let me know what you think. Inquiring minds need to know.