Should You Try It: The Regime on HBO and MAX

Kate Winslet takes the lead as the Chancellor of an unnamed European nation in crisis.
The Regime. HBO.
The Regime. HBO. /

We’re barely into March and already getting some interesting new show options. But with all these shows available, it can be a challenge to know what’s worth your time. Let this series be your guide as we explore new shows hitting the air! Today, I’m looking at a new limited series from HBO set in a fictional European nation in crisis.

Series: The Regime

Where to Find It: The series airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO and drops at the same time on Max. The first episode is now available to stream with new episodes airing weekly.

What’s It About: This series is set in an unnamed—and fictional—European country that is in the midst of something of a crisis. The Chancellor, Elena Vernham (Kate Winslet), is a bit odd. She won a sweeping election seven years earlier seeking to reform. But she has some phobias about her health, which makes her somewhat difficult to deal with.

She brings in a new aid—to help measure the relative humidity in every room she enters. A low-level soldier, Herbert Zubak (Matthias Schoenaerts), to fill the position. He was part of a unit that was disgraced after a violent clash with miners. But Elena believes in him. Despite that, their interactions are rocky at best.

Just when it looks like Herbert might be falling into disgrace, he foils a plot and becomes indispensable to Elena. Using his newfound position and influence, he makes some observations that lead to a few suggestions that might alter the future of Elena’s government.

You Should Try It If: You enjoy quirky dramas, the strong cast of the show, or the latest prestige TV options on HBO.

One Man’s Opinion of The Regime

This series comes from creator Will Tracy. He previously worked on Succession and scripted the black comedy The Menu. The series pilot was directed by Stephen Frears, who directs three of the six episodes in this limited series. I liked the basic idea and the cast involved. In addition to Winslet and Schoenaerts, the cast includes Andrea Riseborough, Hugh Grant, and Martha Plimpton, among others.

The pilot introduces the key players and the world. It’s an odd world populated by some odd characters. There’s drama here but also a bit of black comedy, which is in keeping with the previous stories Tracy has helped craft. The performances in the pilot are strong and the world building is somewhat intriguing.

That being said, the pilot played out a bit slow and awkward. There’s potential in the premise, and a six-episode run means a short commitment. I like the potential, but I want to see a bit more about how this series plays out before deciding whether I want to take the complete journey. For now, I’m intrigued.

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