Both different and similar, Downton Abbey and The Gilded Age bear the mark of their creator Julian Fellowes. His latest creation could become a new obsession!
What is it about ?
In 1882, young Marian Brook left her native Pennsylvania to try her luck in New York City after the death of her father to live with her aunts Agnes van Rhijn and Ada Brook. Accompanied by her friend Peggy Scott, a budding writer looking for a new start. Reluctantly, Marian finds herself in the middle of a conflict between one of her aunts, a descendant of a large family, and her neighbors George and Bertha Russel. He is a ruthless railroad magnate, while his wife, just as ambitious, accompanies him in his projects. In a world in full revolution, Marian will have to choose her side: Follow the rules due to her rank, or create her own path?
The Gilded Age, a series created by Julian Fellowes with Christine Baranski, Cynthia Nixon, Carrie Coon, Louisa Jacobson, Denée Benton… One episode every Monday at 8:40 p.m. on OCS City and available the same day on OCS Go.
Who is it with?
The young Marian Brook is played by Louisa Jacobson who makes her debut here in front of the camera and who is none other than the youngest daughter of Meryl Streep. In front of her, queens of the small screen. Christine Baranski (The Good Fight) and Cynthia Nixon (And Just Like That) both play Marian’s aunts, Agnes and Ada.
The first, Agnes, is a proud and headstrong Dutch-American socialite who clings to the old values of New York’s elite. Excessively snobbish and terribly endearing. The second, Ada, is an “old maid” in the sense that she has never married and she depends on her sister’s charity.
Opposite the three of them, that is to say on the other side of the street, the Russel family has just moved in, held with an iron fist by Bertha – played by Carrie Coon, who has become essential since The Leftovers. She is a woman determined to use her money and her position to break into a civilized society that fervently resists the slightest change.
She is the wife of a robber baron, a pejorative term attributed to the new fortunes that appeared in the United States at the end of the 19th century.th century. And the mother of an innocent and naive young woman, played by Taissa Farmiga, who dreams of Prince Charming.
Finally, Peggy Scott – a young African-American woman played by Denée Benton (UnREAL) – befriends Marian and starts working for her aunts and as a secretary while pursuing her dreams of becoming a journalist and writer.
Well worth a look ?
If you loved Downton Abbey, if you have a fetish for corsets and crinoline dresses, if you’re addicted to Gossip Girl for her gossip and you fell in love with Bridgerton, then The Gilded Age is for you!
It’s a bit Downton Abbey in XXL version. Julian Fellowes, English author adept at historical frescoes, sets out to conquer the United States at a time when conquest is in full swing. He scrutinizes the high society of New York where everything seems disproportionate. If the skyscrapers do not yet come to dress the skyline of the Big Apple, immense and sublime buildings are sprouting like mushrooms in Manhattan.
This time, the playing field is not limited to a single dwelling. It’s the whole city that Julian Fellowes travels. He is no longer interested in the interactions between aristocrats and servants. These are two other worlds that clash, but among the wealthy.
The squabble between the New York upper bourgeoisie and the new rich, considered as upstarts, then raged. And it is delicious! While auscultating the workings of a society above ground with which one cannot identify, Julian Fellowes manages to make them endearing thanks to dialogues or rather particularly tasty projections.
This is where this remix of Gossip Girl and Bridgerton – but in a less ostentatious form – flourishes for the greatest pleasure of the spectator. The Gilded Age is far from being a series that smells like mothballs, it takes hold of contemporary subjects such as the independence of women or the representation of African-Americans outside miserable stereotypes.
It is above all a series of powerful women, despite their feminine condition, despite the times. Powerful because they have in common that they take their destiny into their own hands. What happiness!