Downtown Abbey's American Successor, The Gilded Age, Has Finally Arrived on HBO Go

It’s a battle of wits between Old Money and New Money in this Gilded Age era of New York City.
IMAGE HBO

Get ready to dive into another era of upper-crust glamor and social intrigue, because a new show has arrived on HBO Go—The Gilded Age. Touted as the American successor of Downtown Abbey, The Gilded Age dives into the alluring era of the same name in American history. Where British dramas like Downtown Abbey and Bridgerton highlighted aristocracy and nobility, The Gilded Age will focus on what Americans have always considered power—money. 

It’s a battle of wits between Old Money and New Money in this Gilded Age era of New York City in 1882. Set in the time of the Vanderbilts and Astors, The Gilded Age will follow the family of Agnes van Rhijn (Christine Baranski), who hails from an Old Money family of Dutch-American lineage; her sister Ada Brook (Cynthia Nixon), who relies on her sister’s charity; and their niece, Marian Brook (Louisa Jacobson), whose new orphan status sends her to the home of her estranged aunts. 

Bertha and George Russell

Photo by HBO.
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On the other side of Fifth Avenue are the New Money heralds, the Russells, led by Bertha (Carrie Coon) who butts heads with Agnes in her ruthless attempt to break into high society. Meanwhile, her husband George (Morgan Spector) will represent the robber barons of the era who were known to exploit workers to amass wealth. Famous robber barons of the era include history’s most well-known steel magnates and railroad millionaires: John Jacob Astor, Andrew Carnegie, J.P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller, and Cornelius Vanderbilt. 

Of the real-life social leaders of the Gilded Age, two will be making an appearance on the show: the famed socialite Caroline Astor (Amy Forsyth) whose mother ruled New York elite, and the creator of The 400 List Ward McAllister (Nathan Lane). 

Marian Brook and Peggy Scott

Photo by HBO.

But it’s not all fancy balls and society intrigue in The Gilded Age. Also among the main cast are Peggy Scott (Denee Benton), a Black woman seeking a new life as a writer in New York City; Bannister, the butler of the Van Rhijns’; and Church, the butler of the Russell’s. If the butlers in The Gilded Age are anything like the butlers in Downtown Abbey, then we know to look to them to know all the tea. 

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Created by Julian Fellowes, who also created Downtown Abbey, The Gilded Age has been a decade in the making. The show was originally slated for NBC in 2012 before being delayed again and again before production finally pushed through in 2018. The highly-anticipated period drama has now found a home on HBO, and Philippine viewers can enjoy a new episode every week on HBO Go starting today, January 25. 

Visit hbogoasia.ph to watch The Gilded Age or download HBO Go on your phone for as low as P99 per month.

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Anri Ichimura
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