To at the present time, considered one of my crowning achievements is getting my S.O. to fall in love with Downton Abbey. When the trailer for the film got here on on the theater (previous to him utterly catching up on the sequence), he lined his ears and ran to the foyer, in worry the trailer would one way or the other spoil the present for him. He was proper; it could have been fairly the shock seeing (spoiler alert) Mary and Henry Talbot collectively within the trailer when he was nonetheless blissfully unaware of Matthew’s destiny. Downton Abbey is a pleasant present with upstairs-downstairs drama and extremely low-stakes plotlines you possibly can’t assist however get wrapped up in (keep in mind the case of Violet’s lacking letter opener?). For sure, he and I’ve been chasing the Downton Abbey excessive for fairly a while, and with The Gilded Age now gracing our screens, we could have discovered it.

From the creator that gave us Downton Abbey, The Gilded Age follows Marian Brook (performed by Louisa Jacobson, and when you can’t fairly determine why she appears to be like so acquainted to you, it’s as a result of she’s the Meryl Streep’s daughter) as she strikes from a no-name city in Pennsylvania to New York Metropolis to reside together with her estranged aunts, Agnes and Ada. Whereas Agnes and Ada are previous cash and resistant to vary, Marian is extra open-minded, inflicting a rift when an up-and-coming, new-money household builds a positively garish palace simply throughout the road (I imply, are you able to consider the audacity?). Although we’re just one episode in, I can already inform that The Gilded Age has every little thing I really like about Downton Abbey—and I’m all in.

Stream The Gilded Age on HBO Max on Mondays at 9 p.m. ET.



Why Downton Abbey Followers Will Love It


Characters You’ll Love… or Love To Hate

Beginning with our heroine, Marian Brook is already somebody I’m rooting for. She’s loyal, defiant, and desires to make one thing of herself in a world the place ladies of her class are supposed to sit down round and await a husband. In only one episode, she proves she doesn’t care about the established order and may very well be the bridge between the warring old-money and new-money households.

Marian’s aunts have a dynamic to die for. Cynthia Nixon’s Ada Brook is the barely extra open of the 2, which explains Marian got here to New York within the first place. Agnes, then again, exudes an air of superiority that intimidates me though I’m safely behind a display screen. The 2 make for a compelling pair of guardians for Marian, whose youthful openness to the altering occasions doesn’t precisely mesh with their steadfast traditionalism. This battle instantly comes into play with the introduction of their new neighbors.

These new neighbors are the Russells, and I can’t inform simply but whether or not I really like them or like to hate them. Both manner, they already present limitless leisure. Bertha, the Russell matriarch, will cease at nothing to be accepted by New York’s elite, regardless of the very fact they need completely nothing to do together with her. And Larry, her son, is already shaping as much as be the lovable inheritor of the sequence, a la Downton’s Matthew Crawley.

It wouldn’t be a present after Downton’s coronary heart if it didn’t function a billion characters we one way or the other develop to like, detest, and root for. Although the primary episode of The Gilded Age targeted on the households upstairs, it’s solely a matter of time till we get to know the downstairs solid as nicely. And if I’m being trustworthy, that’s the place a number of the better of Downton’s leisure occurred.


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A Setting To Get Misplaced In

Should you fell in love with the Abbey, The Russell palace will probably be proper up your alley. It’s a monstrous house constructed on prime New York actual property with an inside to die for. That is in stark distinction to the Brook’s house throughout the road, which screams, “we’ve been wealthy because the Revolution.” Whereas the houses are a marvel in their very own proper, the backdrop of New York Metropolis guarantees an expansive setting we simply didn’t get with Downton—and I, for one, can’t wait to dive in.

It was all the time onerous to put myself within the English countryside, however listening to the characters in The Gilded Age point out streets like Fifth Avenue brings the sequence all the way down to Earth in a manner that’s sort of spectacular for being set so way back. I’ll by no means reside in a house as grand because the Russells’ or sit in a parlor just like the one on the Brooks’, however the New York exterior of their houses doesn’t look too completely different from the one I’ve seen in individual—after all, other than the horse-drawn carriages and filth roads. There’s one thing particular about watching a historic drama and with the ability to shout “I’ve been there!” on the display screen.


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Plotlines That Pull You In

One in every of my absolute favourite components of Downton Abbey was the largely lighthearted, low-stakes nature of a number of the plotlines. Don’t get me fallacious—they completely handled extra critical points, however the coronary heart of the present, and what saved me coming again, was the each day drama on the Crawley property. Violet’s utter confusion with the altering occasions (keep in mind when she didn’t know what a weekend was?), Sybil daring to put on pants as a substitute of a gown or skirt, and Carson’s shameful historical past as a stage performer, amongst so many others. As I’ve stated earlier than, The Gilded Age is simply starting, nevertheless it’s already exhibiting hints of the foolish, endearing plotlines that saved me completely enthralled by Downton Abbey. With out giving an excessive amount of away, there’s a scene in episode one which got here straight out of a rom-com and I’m nonetheless giddy eager about it.


Ultimate Ideas

Pay attention, I get it. There’s a ton of nice TV reveals begging to your consideration. However for one hour on Monday evenings, that spotlight ought to completely go to The Gilded Age. Should you’re somebody who may rewatch Downton Abbey‘s six seasons till the top of time—and I’m proper there with you—you positively received’t need to miss The Gilded Age. Simply give the primary episode a attempt, and I promise you’ll be again for extra. Like I stated in the beginning of this text, I’m a diehard Downton fan, and I’m all in. 

Stream The Gilded Age on HBO Max on Mondays at 9 p.m. ET.


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