Cube Critics review ‘Shōgun’ and ‘The Regime’

Two side by sides of tv shows
“Shōgun” on Hulu and “The Regime” on HBO Max.
FX | HBO Max

Cube Critics Regina Medina and Alex V. Cipolle review “Shōgun” and “The Regime.”

The following is a transcription of the audio heard using the player above, lightly edited for clarity.

MPR News senior arts reporter and critic Alex V. Cipolle: Why did you want to watch this show in the first place? Like, what what drew you into it?

MPR News correspondent Regina Medina: It wasn’t even the trailer. It was, like, what’s going on here?

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Cipolle: I’m Alex V. Cipolle.

Medina: I’m Regina Medina

Cipolle: And this is Cube Critics.

Regina, what did you watch this week?

Medina: I watched a show called “Shōgun” on Hulu, which is a 10-part miniseries that is based on the book by James Clavell called “Shōgun,” which was also a 1980s miniseries.

It takes place in late 16th-century feudal Japan. And it’s a historical drama that is very sweeping and epic, and it involves political intrigue, and, really, to tell you the truth, I’m not grasping half of what’s going on here — but I love it.

Hiroyuki Sanada, who you've seen in “Avengers: Endgame” and “Lost,” he plays Lord Toranaga, our lead protagonist — and his rivals are trying to get ahold of him, trying to eliminate him from the group.

Anyway, what’s my point? My point is, the production design is gorgeous. The Japanese landscape is gorgeous. And if you just want fun, here it is.

Cipolle: So, I also watched a show that deals in political intrigue, except the show I watched was a satire. So it is called “The Regime.” It’s a mini-series on HBO Max starring Kate Winslet and, wow, does she just take the reins of the show and run with it.

Medina: Don’t doubt it.

Cipolle: It is in the form of a sort-of head-of-state show. So it’s got some commonalities with the “The West Wing” and even “Veep.” Like, it has a lot of “Veep” — another HBO show.

Kate Winslet plays Madame Chancellor, the head of state of a place only identified as “Middle Europe,” a small country that could be Germany, it could be Hungary, we don’t really know. But it’s sort of this alternative universe.

And this show pulls from basically every head of state you can think of — she is Hillary Clinton. She is Trump. She is Putin.

MedinaL She’s a lot of people.

Cipolle: Angela Merkel. She even compares herself to Charlemagne.

It could have been a really muddy mix of trying to do too much, but instead, it’s taking all these ingredients and doing something entirely new with it. I’ve never seen her display her comedic chops quite like this. She does this crazy, sort-of British version of a mid-Atlantic accent. It’s both posh and strange at the same time.

Anyway, HBO Max — highly recommend.