Updated: Oct 11, 2022
Hey, you! 👑
Fans of historical dramas will definitely want to watch Netflix's new German period series - The Empress!
For people like me, growing up exposed to European movies, the story of The Empress is nothing new. We, at least once in our lives, have all watched the Sissi Trilogy. Heck, even my own 14-year old daughter has watched them several times as it is every so often featured on French television.
The Sissi trilogy was released in 1955 and was directed by Ernst Marischka starring the beautiful Romy Schneider, a one-of-a-kind beauty! I loved the trilogy when I was a young girl. Imagine this - a beautiful princess falling in love with an emperor, moving to a big castle. All of that opulence, lavish lifestyle, and valse dancing! There were a few sad moments, but it was understood that the ending was a happily ever after one. I had stars in my eyes until ....
I was old enough to research the real story. Shockingly, it was not as beautiful as it was portrayed, which is what I was worried about watching the series, The Empress. Would it be as wildly romanticized as the movies? Would this be portrayed as simply a tale of love and rebellion? 🤔🤔
The Empress transports you to another time and place, but unfortunately don't go into it expecting an accurate historical fiction. You'll just be disappointed if you do.
"When a thing doesn't bend, it must break." - Archduchess Sophie of Austria
Set in the mid-19th century, the story is centered around 16-year old Duchess Elisabeth "Sissi" who marries Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria. She is thrust into the Austrian court, and has to deal with a mother-in-law from hell, a power hungry brother-in-law, and a questionable lady-in-waiting. Add to that a story filled with political intrigue, the rumbles of a growing people rebellion, and threatening wars from other nations. Sissi was not raised to become a Empress, while Franz Joseph was (emperor), but nevertheless both face their own struggles.
People will be quick to compare this to Bridgerton - I completely disagree! This is much darker, has more twists, more depth, and is way more political. Overall, it is an entirely different show. In fact, my husband loved watching this with us. "Engaging" was how he described it. I'm just a bit upset about how short season 1 was.
Which is why I really do hope that there is a season 2. That last scene was simply powerful and ... I want more!
P.S. I found out that there was another Sissi related series which was released last year. I'm hoping to watch it soon and will let you know all about it!