The season finale of the first season of The Gilded Age aired tonight, And with the show already renewed for a second season, we got to see a satisfying payoff for the patience demanded by a Julian Fellowes project, with some dignified confrontation and drama.
This season has been all about the power play being made by the Russells, with George using his money, and Bertha her growing influence to make the selective and often cruel New York social class bow. It’s what made the top tier performances from Carrie Coon (who I adored before this show) and Morgan Spector, even more impressive. They’re the high society anti heroes we need on TV right now and watching them win was both fun and a little scary.
Things didn’t go so well for Marian and Peggy. But show runners knew that we’d need a reason to comeback if the show got renewed. We’ve got some arcs to look forward to next season.
Shout out to Michael Engler for directing a gorgeous dancing sequence surrounded by perfect scenery and wardrobe. The pageantry is a big reason why we show up for these things and it was the second best scene of the season besides the electricity demonstration.
This cast did such a terrific job this season though. Cynthia Nixon was her usual great self. I know they’re using Christine Baranski in the Maggie Smith slot here, but I would like to see some more development with Agnes next season too. That is too much talent for one or two scenes an hour.
The Gilded Age was not a given. And many would tell you it’s still a “Downton Abbey” light. But it’s good TV.
And I’ll be here next season with you guys.
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