The Gilded Age: Face the Music
February 7, 2022 7:11 PM - Season 1, Episode 3 - Subscribe

An unfortunate development finds George’s new rail station under threat. Despite Agnes’ warnings, Marian continues to see Mr. Raikes, who lays his ambitions bare. Peggy learns that a publisher is interested in her stories. At a talk given by Clara Barton, Ada reunites with a childhood friend. Oscar grows attached to his plan, while Jack invites Bridget to a show.

"Is this Days of Our Lives: The Gilded Age? No, the plots in that would be more fun. Remember when Marlena was trapped in a giant golden birdcage under Paris and then had to save John from getting guillotined by the evil Stefano? Why can’t The Gilded Age be like THAT?"—from Alice Burton's 2-star review for Vulture

I like Tom Lenk's TikToks about Downton Abbey: America more than I like this show: Christine Baranski is Mean Aunt, Carrie Coon is Carrie Coon, British Actor is Playing American.

Presented without context: Donna Murphy ‘Laughed My Ass Off’ at Her Gilded Age Portrait
posted by bcwinters (8 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Carrie Coon's portrait; I would like to collect trading cards of all of these like Pokémon please.
posted by bcwinters at 8:16 AM on February 8 [2 favorites]


Too bad Vulture doesn't seem to think well of this one but I still enjoy their recaps. I'm watching this to the bitter end because Carrie Coon is in it. It was weird seeing Morris kneel to Russell because what popped into my head was (no kidding) Paulson kneeling to Pelosi.
posted by kingless at 11:04 AM on February 8 [1 favorite]


I'm thoroughly enjoying this. I get that it's not great television, but things happen in very pretty places, and I love Carrie Coon. That's enough.

I really enjoyed George Russell bringing the aldermen to their knees, literally in Morris's case. And I get that means that puts me on the side of the robber barons, but I'm too American not to enjoy that in this limited case.
posted by gladly at 3:31 PM on February 8 [2 favorites]


It's funny watching this at the same time as Billions, it's the same people having the same conversations in the same buildings, pushing the same money back & forth.

I think it's interesting how the style of the dresses seems so 1776. Like if there was never a world war do you think fashion would keep going around the circles forever.
posted by bleep at 7:49 PM on February 8


I loved this episode!

Of course Oscar is gay. Of course. I hope they do a better job with this plot than they did with Barrow in Downton Abbey. Also what's with his look? His hair, his beard, it seems very strange somehow.

Finally Agnes van Rhijn gets a turn other than pure villainy. The way she read Ada's suitor, broke him in 90 seconds of sharp insight... All while protecting her sister's feelings and making her think he was just rude. Amazing! It turns out under all Agnes' nastiness is a good, protective big sister. Also we get the sense she's been controlling Ada's world this way their entire lives, a new depth of sinister spinsterism.

I admit that the story is pretty clumsy. But let's look back on international sensation Downton Abbey, shall we? The first season's primary plot was how the oldest daughter shchtuped a visiting foreigner who then died in bed with her. Then she got pregnant. It's practically Shakespeare in how ludicrous it is. Measure for measure, Gilded Age is remarkably restrained.

The story that felt a bit clumsy was Peggy's experience of racism at the publisher. The stakes are higher in this story line, it's an opportunity to do something novel and meaningful on the show. I don't really care if the train station dealings are written well or not, the whole purpose is to set up entertaining conflict (and I did like the mixture of business and social status!) But Peggy is so interesting: she's a great character in an interesting milieu. A chance to tell nuanced stories about racial politics in New York! There's still hope for the writing; Peggy's line about how the competing writers wouldn't be in her position was good. Peggy's Dad looks to be interesting.

So I hold out hope for the show. The production is just fantastic, I could watch an hour of nothing but close-ups of the fabrics of everyone's clothing.
posted by Nelson at 5:22 AM on February 9 [4 favorites]


Tom and Lorenzo interviewed the costume designer for the show, who said that due to the lack of garments from the period in costume rental houses and the sheer number of characters, costume changes, and extras, there were 4,000-5,000 costumes made for this show.
posted by jeoc at 11:13 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]




Also what's with his look? His hair, his beard, it seems very strange somehow.

Maybe the Edgar Allan Poe look, and his intimate work with John Keats?

The whole era with Byron and the Shelley's et al. is fascinating.
posted by porpoise at 9:42 PM on February 10


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