Parents' Guide to

The Gilded Age

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Race and class consciousness in flawed, lavish period drama.

TV HBO Drama 2022
The Gilded Age Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 16+

No Good Reason for Nude Scene

It's a good story, but flawed because of the long nude scene. There was no point for this except I guess, because being on HBO, they could. Very let down by this attitude and I don't think it would be appropriate for children to watch.

This title has:

Too much sex
2 people found this helpful.
age 16+

Wooden, but interesting. A shame about introducing nudity to otherwise family programme

As a previous reviewer said, around episode 4 nudity was introduced - female of course, totally unecessary and prolonged and close-up at times with graphic view of nipples for a good few minutes. It made it uncomfortable to watch with my young son and his friend! Up to this point it was quite sweet and very proper, so it’s a shame because it wasn’t needed at all to continue the storyline! I will carry on watching, but on mi tod!

This title has:

Great role models
Too much sex
Too much consumerism
2 people found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (4):
Kids say: Not yet rated

It's staffed with wonderful actors and extraordinary to look at, and it has a promising premise in the clash between old money and new in Gilded Age NYC, so why does this period drama feel so meh? Perhaps it's unfair to compare The Gilded Age with Julian Fellowes' most prominent and beloved creation, Downton Abbey, but the similarity between the two shows' setups, with upstairs and downstairs action from wealthy characters and servants among a rarefied social milieu, make it impossible not to do so, and Gilded comes off worse. Perhaps the problem is that the show has so many characters that it's difficult to get invested in any particular one. Whereas Downtown focused on the travails of one family and its servants, Gilded focuses in on two grand houses and their staff and introduces us to dozens of other characters too, from the snooty queens of society to the working-class New Yorkers who ensure they get their newspapers and groceries.

Some of the actors do manage to make an impression: Carrie Coon is vivid as the society-invading Bertha Russell; Christine Baranski is arch as snobby Aunt Agnes (though unfortunately not as funny as her obvious counterpart, Downton's Maggie Smith). But many of the main characters are just dull and underwritten, including the character of Peggy -- a real pity since she's clearly meant to interject some racial consciousness into Gilded's society-so-White class politics. The microaggressions she suffers in the van Rhijn household and beyond are interesting, but hardly illuminating, and we simply don't spend enough time with Peggy to get to know her on a personal level. Thus, although Gilded takes place in an interesting time and place, and holds a certain soapish appeal, it's ultimately more of a mildly diverting spectacle than the sort of emotionally involving drama that becomes an instant classic.

TV Details

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