THE GILDED AGE is a visual feast for our souls. Julian Fellowes (the DOWNTON ABBEY genius) has created, written, and executive produced a realistic community from 1882 in New York City. 

This series is just getting started, but I can already think of five fabulous reasons we should all watch and hope for its success. 

  1. The ensemble of actors…Strong, experienced, and well-cast with the likes of Agnes (Christine Baranski), Ada (Cynthia Nixon), Gladys (Taissa Farmiga), Dorothy (Audra McDonald), Marian (Louisa Jacobson), and George (Morgan Spector.) 
  2. The story…Julian is a consummate writer of period pieces. He has the ability to weave many twists and turns into a surprising package. We are following several families who are either “old money” or “new money” and never shall they mix together. All are wealthy, crafty, and “itching” to stir up gossip and spend obscene amounts of cash. There is also the separate downstairs plot line of each mansion. They should never run out of events or occasions to share. 
  3. The costumes…bold, creative, creations that make this time period fun to watch. There are the bustles, feathered hats, jewelry, evening and daytime wear to gawk and revel in all its beauty. Clothes certainly make the characters come alive and be believable. 
  4. The sets and cinematography…Oh my. I felt as though I was transported back to a delicious, spectacle of sights. And I haven’t even oohed and ahhed over the props and house furnishings. “To die for!” I want to live in any of the houses showcased. 
  5. The lighting effects…splendid and spectacular. The shadows and highlights draw your eyes to exactly where the director wants you to be. It adds to the emotions and look of the day. 

THE GILDED AGE is not for everyone, but if you are a fan of Julian Fellowes’ work, I don’t think you will be disappointed. The series is just getting started. I so look forward to being swept away while visiting “old” New York City.

It is available to stream on HBO MAX. 

Esta Rosevear

Esta Rosevear has been a Theatre Arts teacher and director for 35+ years, published Children’s author of the Rebecca series, and is passionate about playing her violin, walking, gardening, and reading murder mysteries.

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