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The Red Queen

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A 12-part Russian series, on Amazon Prime (and possibly elsewhere).  It's loosely based on the life of Regina Barsky, a famous Russian model from the 1960's. 

Everything about this series is exceptional -- the acting, set design, music, cinematography, costumes.  It's a rags to riches love story with all the tropes, but somehow manages to not feel cliched.  There's some eroticism but no gratuitous sex.   There's also scenery, as the models travel to Paris and Samarkand for shows (in buses).

I particularly enjoyed seeing how the fashion industry works, or at least how it worked in the Soviet Union.  Seeing life in the Soviet Union in general in the 50's and 60's was eye-opening.  There was no clumsy exposition but we see the deprivation -- housing shortages, people sharing a kitchen, finagling to get more space, etc.  We also see how everyone was watched -- sometimes watchers were watched.  The Party controlled everything, or tried to.

The main character is gorgeous, and managed to "age" from an insecure teenager to a confident mature woman in her 30's, all without makeup -- it was all in her expressions. 

My only quibble is the subtitles -- some of them were just too simple, as if the Russians thought English-speakers would be too slow to understand more complex conversations.

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