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Here's a predictably enigmatic breakdown of each episode of Matthew Weiner's The Romanoffs

Corey Stoll and Janet Montgomery in “The Royal We”
Photo: Amazon Studios

As Matthew Weiner’s Mad Men follow-up The Romanoffs inches ever closer to its October 12 premiere, Amazon Prime has tried to entice us with the wattage of its stars rather than the stories themselves: Both a teaser and a trailer offer little beyond glimpses of the cast. That changes now (sort of), as Amazon just dropped a number of stills from the series alongside an episode breakdown that’s as vague as you’d expect from a notoriously prickly showrunner like Weiner.

An anthology series, The Romanoffs’ eight interconnected stories will unfold across seven different countries, chronicling those who claim to be the descendants of the famed Russian royal family. The first two episodes, both of which will drop on the premiere night, are “The Violet Hour” and “The Royal We,” though their official synopses read like those maddeningly opaque Mad Men “on the next episode’ teasers. In fact, all of them do.


Give them a read below, and scroll down for some images from the first two episodes.

“The Violet Hour” — Premieres on Friday, October 12

Set in Paris, an ancestral home holds the key to a family’s future.

Starring Aaron Eckhart, Marthe Keller, Inès Melab, and Louise Bourgoin

“The Royal We” — Premieres on Friday, October 12

With their marriage in a rut, a couple finds their own temptations.

Starring Corey Stoll, Kerry Bishé, Janet Montgomery, and Noah Wyle

“House of Special Purpose” – Premieres on Friday, October 19

A movie star and a director go head to head in a battle over what is real.

Starring Christina Hendricks, Isabelle Huppert, Jack Huston, Mike Doyle, and Paul Reiser


“Expectation” – Premieres on Friday, October 26

Over a single day in New York City a woman is confronted with every lie she ever told.


Starring Amanda Peet, John Slattery, Emily Rudd, Jon Tenney, Mary Kay Place, and Michael O’Neill

“Bright and High Circle” – Premieres on Friday, November 2

A trusted friend under suspicion tests the loyalties of a tightly-knit community.


Starring Diane Lane, Ron Livingston, Andrew Rannells, Cara Buono, and Nicole Ari Parker

“Panorama” – Premieres on Friday, November 9

In Mexico City, an idealistic reporter falls in love with his mysterious subject.


Starring Juan Pablo Castañeda, Radha Mitchell, and Griffin Dunne

“End of the Line” – Premieres on Friday, November 16

On a trip abroad to pursue their legacy, a couple faces destruction.

Starring Kathryn Hahn, Jay R. Ferguson, Annet Mahendru, and Clea Duvall

“The One That Holds Everything” – Premieres on Friday, November 23

In a story that circles the globe, a man tries to escape a family curse.

Starring Hugh Skinner, Adèle Anderson, Hera Hilmar, Ben Miles, and JJ Feild

Marthe Keller and Ines Melab in “The Violet Hour”
Photo: Amazon Studios
Aaron Eckhart and Marthe Keller in The Violet Hour
Photo: Amazon Studios
Noah Wyle and Kerry Bishe in “The Royal We”
Photo: Amazon Studios

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About the author

Randall Colburn

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.