A Gentleman In Moscow Season 1 Review – A decent drama despite its flaws

Season 1



Episode Guide

Episode 1 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 2 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 3 -| Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 4 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 5 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 6 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 7 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 8 -| Review Score – 3/5


A Gentleman In Moscow is based on the novel sporting the same name, and Paramount’s series does a decent job adapting the source material. However, it’s not without its faults.

The story starts in 1922 and follows the downfall of the royal hierarchy in Russia. Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat and sentenced to house arrest at the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin.

Rostov has never worked a day in his life, but now finds himself in a dingy attic room, living out the most tumultuous decades in Russian history as it unfolds outside the hotel’s doors. However, Rostov’s world is not without its surprises, and some of that stems from a little girl called Nina at the hotel. Rostov’s unfolding friendship with this girl ultimately paves way for big changes in the Count’s life, ones that see him reckoning with the past whilst simultaneously forging an unlikely future.

The story itself is pretty good but A Gentleman In Moscow suffers from some casting issues. In its bid to try and be as historically accurate as possible, the jarring contradiction with adhering to DEI standards makes for some rather questionable choices. We won’t go into that here and it doesn’t detract from the overall enjoyment of this one, but those after a truly authentic representation of Russia through the ages are unlikely to get that here. And in some ways, this does besmirch the original source material this is based on.

The other casting choices, especially Ewan McGregor as Count Rostov, are inspired choices and do a great job at elevating the material. There are some episodes that drag on a bit too much and a couple of segments that could have been cut completely but on the whole, this historical drama is very enjoyable. 

The show mostly sticks to a pretty rigid structure, with no antagonist beyond that being Mother Russia’s changing world outside. There is one character called Bishop who remains a bit of a thorn in Rostov’s side, but he’s never overbearing or that much of a threat in all honesty.

Instead, the fascination with this series comes from the way those inside the hotel act and react to changes in the government and ideological values. Seeing things like labels on the wine bottles removed or large banners for Russia pinned up are neat inclusions and help to show that political needle swinging back and forth between the left and the right.

While the ending may be a point of contention for some, and some of the casting choices are historically inaccurate, A Gentleman In Moscow has enough in the tank to make it worth watching despite those drawbacks. The story develops well, there’s some great acting and the visual design, alongside its reliance on key themes, makes for an engaging watch.

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  • Verdict - 6/10

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