The Gilded Age: Money Isn't Everything
January 31, 2022 7:11 PM - Season 1, Episode 2 - Subscribe

In New York City, Marian finds herself exposed to a world on the brink of the modern age.

"Summary" courtesy of IMDb.

Marian’s scenes with Tom are like a community theater Oscar Wilde production, only none of your friends are in it, so there’s really nothing there for you.—from Alice Burton's 3-star* recap for Vulture

* Pretty sure it's one star for Carrie Coon throwing her breakfast tray, one star for Jeanne Tripplehorn's outfit at the charity event (is she literally a witch, please let her be literally a witch), and one star for hats.
posted by bcwinters (4 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Yeah, I watched this episode but the writing/acting continues to be terrible. Like, I felt such embarrassment for the tough guy who was harrassing Mrs Bauer about her gambling debt, to say nothing of every scene that Marian is in. I'm not sure I can finish this series without it being just a complete hate-watch.
posted by TwoStride at 5:06 AM on February 2, 2022

Despite the talent and how pretty everyone is, it's a slog.

I don't care at all about the new money beard dude, who's motivation is more money for himself and status for his wife. The "old money" is kind of tedious in wanting to preserve status but are not above making more money. Even the burns that they give each other are pretty pallid.

The staff are a rather pale imitation of 'Downton,' but I "like" the catty and conservative head housekeeper. I do want to know why the French chef is so depressed.

Peggy Scott might be worth watching, but I suspect the narrative is that some gross injustice will occur to her and she will have to decide on whether to lie/ keep secrets, or not.

Maybe I should be watching the similarly panned 'Reacher,' instead.
posted by porpoise at 6:12 PM on February 5, 2022

I kind of like this but am disappointed at how boring the direction is and how flat the lighting is. It's all lit with a bland neutral light when all of the interiors would have been lit by flickering yellowish gaslighting. Even the outside looks bland without the coal smoke and smog that would have even blanketed the rich neighborhoods.
posted by octothorpe at 8:30 PM on February 6, 2022 [2 favorites]

I enjoyed this so much more than everyone seems to be. I can't defend the criticisms: the plots are a bit dull, the writing is awfully on the nose. But I'm entranced by the costumes and the performances of some of the actors. Louisa Jacobson as Marian Brook, Denée Benton as Peggy Scott, Cynthia Nixon as Ada Brook, and particularly Carrie Coon as Bertha Russell. All are imbuing their performances with a lot more character than the writing alone produces.

What's really not working for me is Christine Baranski as Agnes van Rijn. The writing is just awful, she's practically twirling her mustache with her old money villainy. There's a spark of something making her more interesting with her acceptance of Peggy as a secretary, but that hasn't come through enough. The introduction of Mrs. Astor (Donna Murphy) may help, if she's a recurring character. She's the real old money and her floating above all the squabbles we see in the rest of the show is fun.
posted by Nelson at 9:39 AM on February 7, 2022 [2 favorites]

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