“The Gilded Age: The Complete First Season” Review by Suzanne 7/22/22
I enjoyed this show a lot. I missed it when it came out, so I’m very glad to have watched the DVD. I never saw “Downton Abbey,” which was created by the same person (Julian Fellowes), so I can’t compare them. I think this is really good. Most period costume dramas are basically soap operas. They show you characters against a pretty backdrop from history. This one has better production values than most PBS series, which is probably why it’s on HBO. The acting and story are very good, and the sets and costumes are fabulous.
The story really draws you in. In 1882, a young woman named Marian (Louisa Jacobs) finds out that her late father left her no money or possessions to speak of, so she travels from her home in Philadelphia to live with two aunts that she’s never met. One of them, Agnes Van Rhijn (Christine Baranski, who never disappoints) is a snobby widow. She represents the “old money” of wealthy New Yorkers and resents the people with “new money” who are trying to push their way into society. At that time, there was a list of the top 400 most respectable people in NYC, which represented the “old money” people. They didn’t invite others to their parties and such. Because of railroads and other businesses, there were many “new money” people in NYC that wanted to be involved in society, so the others felt threatened. Agnes represents those people, along with the famous Mrs. Astor (based on the real person) and many others. Agnes’ sister, Ada (the luminous Cynthia Nixon) is much kinder than Agnes.
Marian is robbed at the train station, so a young black woman, Peggy (Denée Benton) lends her money for a ticket. Marian in turn helps her out in NYC by getting her aunts to let her stay for the night (she is headed home to Brooklyn but the ferry is washed out). This was before they had subways- they only traveled by horse-drawn carriages, trains and ferries. Anyway, through Marian’s eyes, we meet all of the people in the series, including the people who live across the street, The Russells. They are very rich “new money” people who have built a big palace and hope to get involved with society. Bertha Russell (Carrie Coon) is a very pushy, determined woman, and her husband, George (Morgan Spector) is used to getting his way in business.
There are two main plots of the season. One is about Marian become romantically involved in a lawyer, Tom (Thomas Cocquerel), that she knew in Philadelphia (who moves to NYC) as she struggles to find her place in NYC and tries to make her own way without angering her stern Aunt Agnes too much. The other is about the Russells trying to win over society. Then there are many smaller plots with Peggy and her parents and Agnes’ son, Oscar (Blake Ritson), who is secretly gay but trying to find a wife so that he can avoid scandal. Like “Downton Abbey” and its predecessor, “Upstairs Downstairs,” both families have many servants, whom we also learn about.
Some of the best parts of the show are how they show us some of the new technology of the time, such as “magic lanterns,” trains and electricity. Also, thy have a lot of great historical background and characters, and they use that to show us the plight of women and black people at the time (but without being preachy).
At first, I worried that the story would be predictable, as it seemed to be headed that way. However, I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t. At least, it wasn’t to me. You may have a different opinion. I’m looking forward to season 2! The DVD is well worth getting because it has many extras to watch that you can’t find anywhere else. I know because I looked on YouTube to find them, and they’re not available. The best of them are on Disk 3. Do yourself a favor and buy the set, and also give it out to others during the holidays!
Buy this DVD
Created by Emmy® and Academy Award® Winner, Julian Fellowes, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Takes You Back In Time
THE GILDED AGE: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON
Get a Glimpse of Historical High Society When The
DVD Arrives on July 26, 2022
BURBANK, CA (May 24, 2022) Get ready to embark on a compelling journey through life in New York in the late 1800s, as Warner Bros. Home Entertainment brings The Gilded Age: The Complete First Season to DVD on July 26, 2022. Indulge in all 9 episodes from the first season of the historical drama that won fans over with its charming cast and compelling storylines with over two hours of bonus content including an all-new featurette. The Gilded Age: The Complete First Season is available to own on DVD for $24.98 SRP ($29.99 in Canada) and will also be available to own on Digital via purchase from all major digital retailers. The series is now available exclusively for streaming on HBO Max.
From Emmy® and Academy Award® Winning Writer Julian Fellowes (“Downton Abbey”, Best Original Screenplay Gosford Park), and recently renewed for a second season by HBO, The Gilded Age the Complete First Season takes place during a period of immense economic change, of huge fortunes made and lost, and the rise of disparity between old money and new. A wide-eyed young scion of a conservative family, Marian, embarks on a mission to infiltrate the wealthy neighboring clan of her aunts Agnes van Rhijn and Ada Brook, dominated by ruthless railroad tycoon George Russell and his ambitious wife, Bertha, meeting new people like aspiring writer Peggy Scott, along the way. In this exciting new world that is on the brink of the modern age, will Marian follow the established rules of society, or forge her own path?
The Gilded Age boasts a star-studded cast with HBO’s Cynthia Nixon (“Sex and the City”), Carrie Coon (“The Leftovers”), Morgan Spector (“Boardwalk Empire”), and Jeanne Tripplehorn (“Big Love). Other notable cast members include Christine Baranski (Mamma Mia!), Denée Benton (“unREAL”), Louisa Jacobson (“Gone Hollywood”), Taissa Farmiga (“American Horror Story”), Blake Ritson (The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard), Simon Jones (“Downton Abbey”), and Harry Richardson (“Poldark”).
The Gilded Age is a co-production between HBO and Universal Television. Julian Fellowes (“Downton Abbey”) is the creator, writer & executive producer. Other executive producers include Gareth Neame (“Downton Abbey”), David Crockett (Captive State), Michael Engler (“Downton Abbey”) and Salli Richardson-Whitfield (“Teachers”) – both for directing and executive producing. Co-executive producers are Sonja Warfield (“Will and Grace”), who also writes, and Dr. Erica Armstrong Dunbar, who serves as historical consultant.
- All That Glitters: Creating The Gilded Age (Exclusive for DVD)
- Old Money vs New: The Heart of the Matter
- Who’s Who Featurettes
- Invitation To Set
- Carrie Coon BTS
- Writing Peggy
- Inside the Episodes
- Never The New
- Money Isn’t Everything
- Face The Music
- A Long Ladder
- Charity Has Two Functions
- Heads Have Rolled For Less
- Irresistible Change
- Tucked Up in Newport
- Let The Tournament Begin
The Gilded Age is currently available to own on Digital. Digital purchase allows consumers to instantly stream and download to watch anywhere and anytime on their favorite devices. Digital movies and TV shows are available from various digital retailers including Prime Video, Apple TV, Google Play, Vudu and others.
Release Date: July 26, 2022
Presented in 16×9 widescreen format
Running Time: Feature: Approx. 540 mins
Enhanced Content: Approx. 135 mins
DVD Price: $24.98 SRP ($29.99 in Canada)
3 Discs (3 DVD-9s)
Audio: English (5.1)
About Warner Bros. Home Entertaiment
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) brings together Warner Bros. Entertainment’s physical and digital distribution businesses in order to maximize current and next-generation distribution scenarios. An industry leader since its inception, WBHE oversees the global distribution of content through packaged goods (Blu-ray Disc™ and DVD) and digital media in the form of electronic sell-through and video-on-demand via cable, satellite, online and mobile channels. WBHE distributes its product through third party retail partners and licensees.
About Warner Bros. Discovery
Warner Bros. Discovery (NASDAQ: WBD) is a leading global media and entertainment company that creates and distributes the world’s most differentiated and complete portfolio of content and brands across television, film and streaming. Available in more than 220 countries and territories and 50 languages, Warner Bros. Discovery inspires, informs and entertains audiences worldwide through its iconic brands and products including: Discovery Channel, discovery+, CNN, DC, Eurosport, HBO, HBO Max, HGTV, Food Network, OWN, Investigation Discovery, TLC, Magnolia Network, TNT, TBS, truTV, Travel Channel, MotorTrend, Animal Planet, Science Channel, Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Bros. Television, WB Games, New Line Cinema, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Turner Classic Movies, Discovery en Español, Hogar de HGTV and others. For more information, please visit www.wbd.com.
Proofread and Edited by Brenda
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