the romanoffs

the romanoffs

We all know that Netflix reigns supreme when it comes to amazing original content.  But that doesn’t mean that we should discredit Amazon.  They are making a dent, albeit a slow one, in the world of original content, but slow is better than not at all.  Why am I saying that?  Well, lots of reasons, but most recently Amazon has announced that The Romanoffs will premiere on October 12th.  The Romanoffs is an anthology series from Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner.  Of course, it will have a star-studded cast, including Cara Buono, Jay R. Ferguson, Noah Wylie, Ron Livingston, Christina Hendricks, John Slattery, Aaron Eckhart, Diane Lane, Amanda Peet and Paul Reiser.  I mean, it can’t get much more star-studded than that, can it?

When you hear the name of the show, you automatically assume that it’s a period piece.  Which, if I’m being honest, doesn’t sound all that interesting.  That’s why I’m excited to hear that it’s actually a collection of eight stories about modern people who believe that they’re descendants of the Romanoffs. Historical mysteries like this one are incredibly fascinating.  Could there actually be people who are descendants of the last Russian royal family?  If so, what would that mean for Russia?  And the world?

Of course, the whole idea of there being a Romanoff descendant is a bit far-fetched, so it’s safe to say that there will be doubts about the lineage of the characters.  What you might not know is that there are descendants of the Romanoff’s, but not in the way that you think.  Queen Elizabeth II’s husband (Prince Philip) is actually the grandnephew of the last tsarina, Alexandra Romanov.  He is also the great-great-grandson of Nicholas I.  In fact, his DNA was used to identify the murdered Romanoff’s.  That means many of his descendants are also related to the murdered Romanoffs.

While I think that another story about the Romanoff’s could be really dry and maybe a bit boring, this actually has an edge.  What’s old is new again when it comes to TV, and while there hasn’t been a Romanoff TV show, that I can remember, this takes an old concept and puts a new spin on it.  I’m also thrilled to see that it will have such a celebrity cast.  I honestly think that this is a great concept and will do really well.  I also think that Amazon is going to continue making these kinds of shows and prove that while they aren’t Netflix, they are a contender when it comes to original content. 

The Romanoffs will come relatively soon after Amazon’s other giant series for the second half of the year, Jack Ryan, and epitomizes the company’s recent take-no-chances approach to Prime Video series. It wants shows that are virtually guaranteed to get international buzz and critical acclaim.  There are a lot of people who don’t believe that this strategy is going to work, but I definitely disagree with them.  I think it’s going to draw big numbers, but if I’m wrong, I’ll write about that in a few months.