The Gilded Age, the long-awaited American-set period drama from Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellows is finally making its way to our screens in 2022 after years of behind-the-scenes delays and drama. And, if the first trailer is anything to go by, it looks as though it’s going to be more than worth the wait.
The series, which has been in development for the better part of a decade, was initially rumored to be in the works all the way back in 2012. (It was originally conceptualized as something of a Downton Abbey spinoff, only set in America.) Since then it’s undergone some narrative retooling (it’s no longer connected to Downton), switched networks from NBC to HBO Max, and suffered through multiple pandemic-related production delays. But now, finally, we’ll get to see this series for ourselves: Its premiere is slated for Monday, January 24, 2022.
Set in New York City during the 1880s, The Gilded Age takes place in a time period when up-and-coming new moneyed families were trying to buy their way into respectability by doing things like marrying their daughters off to cash-poor but land-rich titled aristocrats in England. (See also: Precisely what Cora Levinson’s family did by sending her to wed the Earl of Grantham on Downton, and why this setting made so much sense for a spinoff.) But this was hardly the only way in which nouveau riche types clashed with old-world, old-money families who saw these industrialists as brash upstarts.
Though the first teaser trailer is brief – clocking in at just a minute in length – it also manages to convey quite a bit, from the Downton Abbey-esque feel of its opening to the succinct summation of the clash between established, old school New York society and the rapidly evolving new world where anyone could suddenly find themselves on top.
Watch for yourselves below.
The nine-part series boasts a thoroughly stacked cast that includes Carrie Coon, Morgan Spector, Denée Benton, Louisa Jacobson, Taissa Farmiga, Blake Ritson, Simon Jones, Harry Richardson, Thomas Cocquerel, Jack Gilpin, Cynthia Nixon, and Christine Baranski.
The official HBO description provides some details about the specifics of The Gilded Age’s story.
"In a new world, a new age is about to begin. The Gilded Age begins in 1882 with young Marian Brook (Jacobson) moving from rural Pennsylvania to New York City after the death of her father to live with her thoroughly old money aunts Agnes van Rhijn (Baranski) and Ada Brook (Nixon). Exposed to a world on the brink of the modern age, will Marian follow the established rules of society, or forge her own path?"
All of this sounds great, obviously, but if you’re not already hooked after 30 seconds of Christine Baranski in that trailer, well. I don’t know what to tell you. Bring on Aunt Agnes, I say.
The Gilded Age officially arrives on HBO Max on January 24, 2022. Will you be watching?