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Is It Worth Watching Magnificent Century? Here's My Review

Have you been thinking about checking out that Turkish historical drama Magnificent Century? Everyone seems to be talking about it, and you're curious to see what all the hype is about. Well, as someone who recently binged all four seasons, let me give you the scoop on whether you should dive in or skip it. This show, set during the reign of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent in the 16th century, has everything you could want in a historical epic: royal intrigue, battle scenes, romance, betrayal, and of course those lavish costumes and sets. While it does take some artistic license with actual events, the stories of political maneuvering and forbidden love at the Ottoman court will sweep you away to another time and place. Overall, if you're in the mood for a decadent escape and don't mind reading subtitles, Magnificent Century deserves a spot at the top of your watch list.

What Is Magnificent Century About?

Magnificent Century is a historical drama set in the 16th century Ottoman Empire. It chronicles the life of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent and the rise of the Ottoman Empire through political intrigue, war, and romance.

The show primarily revolves around Suleiman’s relationship with his legal wife Hürrem Sultan, a slave girl who uses her wit and charm to gain power and influence in the Ottoman court. As Hürrem navigates the intrigues of the harem and rises to become Suleiman’s most trusted advisor, she makes many enemies along the way, including Suleiman’s mother, brother, and childhood love.

There are many storylines centered around political intrigue, betrayals, power struggles, and forbidden romances. You’ll see conniving viziers plotting coups, family drama between Suleiman’s sons vying for the throne, and enemies conspiring with neighboring kingdoms against the empire.

Of course, no historical drama is complete without lavish costumes, opulent sets, and melodramatic plot twists. Magnificent Century has all that in spades. The show is fast-paced, scandalous, and highly entertaining.

If you enjoy shows like The Tudors, Game of Thrones, or Versailles, you’ll likely get hooked on the Machiavellian world of the Magnificent Century. Overall, this Turkish period drama is a visually stunning escape into the secret lives of the sultans and their court. Definitely worth binge-watching!

My Review of Magnificent Century: The Acting and Production Values

The acting in Magnificent Century is superb, especially by the lead actors. Halit Ergenç who plays Sultan Süleyman is captivating. His delivery carries the gravitas and intensity you’d expect from an Ottoman Sultan, yet shows glimpses of humanity and warmth. Meryem Uzerli as Hürrem Sultan is equally compelling, portraying a woman who is charming yet cunning, and fiercely intelligent.

The lavish sets and costumes are stunning. Filmed primarily at the Topkapı Palace, the series authentically recreates 16th-century Constantinople. The Sultan’s palace is opulently decorated, filled with vibrant silks, velvets and jewel-toned cushions. Courtiers are dressed in intricately embroidered kaftans, fur-trimmed robes and feathered turbans.

While the plot centers around political intrigue and power struggles, there are plenty of lighter moments. The harem dynamics and jealousies between Hürrem and her rivals often border on slapstick comedy. Some storylines follow the forbidden romances and escapades of the princes with peasant girls and concubines.

At its heart though, Magnificent Century is a sweeping historical epic. It chronicles some of the most significant events of Süleyman’s 46-year reign, including military campaigns, alliances with European powers, and the rise and fall of viziers and statesmen. For any history buff or period drama fan, this show is a must-see. With four seasons and 139 episodes, it will keep you entertained for hours.

Is Magnificent Century Historically Accurate? My Take

If you're a history buff, you may be wondering how faithful Magnificent Century is to actual historical events. As a period drama, the show does take creative liberties, but many of the characters and plotlines are rooted in fact.

The series chronicles the life of Suleiman the Magnificent, the longest reigning Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, and his harem. Suleiman and his wife Hurrem Sultan (known as Roxelana) were real historical figures, though their romance was fictionalized for the show. The power struggles and political intrigue at court during Suleiman's reign were also true to history.

However, the timelines were compressed and events rearranged for dramatic effect. Many characters were combined or created for the show. The extravagant costumes and sets, while stunning, were not always period accurate.

If you go into Magnificent Century expecting a precise documentary, you'll likely be disappointed. But if you watch it as a lavish historical soap opera, full of forbidden romances, betrayals and scheming, you'll find it a thoroughly enjoyable escape. The show brings the Ottoman era to vivid life, even if it favors entertainment over exact accuracy.

Overall, I found Magnificent Century to be a fanciful retelling of a fascinating period in history. While not perfectly faithful to the facts, it captures the essence and spirit of the times. If you love getting lost in stories of political intrigue, royal scandals and forbidden love set against a stunning historical backdrop, Magnificent Century will sweep you away. Just keep in mind that truth can often be stranger - and more complex - than fiction.


You now have all the details to determine if Magnificent Century is the right show for you. With its mix of drama, intrigue, and historical elements, it has something for most viewers. Sure, the costumes and sets are stunning, but the complex characters and their relationships are really the heart of the show. If you enjoy getting swept away into a lavish world full of political maneuvering and forbidden love, give Magnificent Century a try. You may just find yourself as captivated by Suleiman and Hurrem's love story as the rest of us. At over 200 episodes, it will keep you entertained for a long time. Go ahead, transport yourself to 16th century Istanbul. You won't regret taking the journey.

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