Despicable, Impoverished Revisionist History: HBO’s CATHERINE THE GREAT

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Despicable, Impoverished Revisionist History:


By Dr. Ted Baehr, Publisher

There have been several streaming series about Catherine the Great. Regrettably, the HBO series starring Helen Mirren is bad revisionist history, with terrible casting, bad acting and salacious content, so it’s not worth the time or money to watch.

First of all, Catherine the Great was known as the Great because she actually helped Russia and brought progress and culture to the country. One of her greatest accomplishments was developing St. Petersburg. She wanted to free the serfs and wanted Russia to become a more civilized country. Like everyone else she had her flaws, which in her case probably the most notable was her series of lovers. However, according to the major historical works on Catherine, she always kept her friendships with her former lovers; didn’t kill, torture, or get rid of them; and they always supported her.

Anyone who reads history knows that the people out of power will often publish defamatory stories about the people they don’t like. One of the best examples is Dante’s INFERNO, which was written while he was in exile and which bashed everyone who had taken over his hometown of Florence, Italy. However, INFERNO is brilliant writing and well recommended.

In the Helen Mirren series, it is pathetic writing, bad casting, overly violent, and pornographic. Catherine was 33 when she became Empress of Russia and stayed in office for 33 years because she was beloved. Helen Mirren is too old and, unfortunately, looks too old to be anybody’s paramour. Jason Clarke does a miserable job of playing Admiral Potemkin as a second-rate dolt; although in real life, Potemkin was very wise, helped develop the Crimea and was a dashing military officer. Both Clarke and Mirren are terrific actors, so when great actors do miserable acting, it’s usually the director’s fault, as well as the screenwriter.

For some reason, the screenwriter inserts 21st Century obscenities, full pornographic nudity and horrible spurting blood decapitation as if the screenwriter was a second-rate college sophomore writing a third-rate history drama.

Russia, where I’ve spoken (even at the Duma), my daughter has spoken, and my son has spoken, has lived through hundreds of years of tyranny, autocracy and classism. So, what you see on the surface is not what’s going on underneath because people are so guarded. In contrast, the “Catherine the Great” series makes everything blatant and anachronistic, with no sense of subtlety. The dialogue and directing is, as we say, on the nose.

Now, the problem with all this is that our children and people who aren’t devotees of history are getting a lot of fake history. We have written about other movies that were totally fake history. The New York Times just received a Pulitzer Prize for its 1619 Project, which is filled with misinformation, disinformation and fake history and has been torn apart by not just conservative scholars but also by socialist scholars, which shows you how bad it is. In response, the News York Times often talks about the Pulitzer Prize in the 1930s received by its Russian correspondent Walter Durante. Durante loved Stalin and spread lies and more lies about the Soviet Union at a time when Stalin was killing six to nine million Ukrainians and millions of other people, including the intellectuals. Not only was Durante exposed at that time, he was totally exposed when THE BLACK BOOK OF COMMUNISM based on KGB files was published in 1997, listing all the killings, mutilations and tortures.

So, is the New York Times proud of fake history? Are streaming platforms proud of fake history?

They are destroying the future by rewriting the past as third-rate revisionist soap opera.

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