TV Review: ‘The Romanoffs’

For his first act after the triumphant end of his landmark series “Mad Men,” Matthew Weiner is bringing his opulent vision to Amazon for an ambitious new drama that lets him roam as free as he likes. The connective thread of the sprawling new series is ostensibly, as the title promises, “The Romanoffs,” the Russian royal family whose murders made them mythic. While each episode follows an entirely different story and cast of characters than the rest, all of them feature descendants of that troubled bloodline — or that’s what they claim, anyway.

With no way to know for sure, the Romanoffs — or Romanovs, depending — scattered across the world prefer to assume they’re part of something bigger and more compelling rather than accept the probability that they and their ancestors are just like anyone else. (And in fairness, who wouldn’t want to be special?) So outside the tenuous familial connections, the true through-line of the series, at least in the first three episodes screened for critics, is how aligning oneself with such a titanic narrative can engender a truly toxic combination of ego and fragility.

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