With Its Predictable Twists, Is The Gilded Age Season 2 Worth Watching?

With Its Predictable Twists, Is The Gilded Age Season 2 Worth Watching?
Image credit: HBO

Having previewed the new installment, critics have already handed down their verdict.


  • The Gilded Age is HBO's most popular period drama, and it's about to drop its second season.
  • Season 2 will see the development of the main characters' struggle.
  • It's been getting mostly positive critical reviews.

Starring Christine Baranski, Carrie Coon, Cynthia Nixon, and Denée Benton, HBO's The Gilded Age made a huge splash upon its debut in early 2022, rapidly becoming a hit and amassing a large fan base. In this context, a second season seemed inevitable. However, it's been almost two years since the show's release, and season 2 has yet to premiere.

Set in New York during the titular historical period, The Gilded Age focuses on the rivalry between the old-money van Rhijns family and the nouveau riche Russells while also delving into the lives of their servants and other city residents, including people of color. Season 1 chronicled the Russells' introduction to New York's social scene and their quest for recognition, while season 2 will depict the expansion of their influence and their continued conflict with the van Rhijns.

What Is Season 2 of The Gilded Age About?

In a bid to impress her new peers, Bertha Russell endorsed the construction of the New York Metropolitan Opera, which is set to open in the second installment of the show. Meanwhile, her husband George faces fresh challenges as his plant workers are on the verge of striking in protest against exploitation.

In contrast, the van Rhijns find themselves embroiled in a family crisis while also attempting to curb the Russells' influence over New York's high society. As for the other characters, Denée Benton's Peggy Scott embarks on a journey to the South to establish a school for people of color.

Is the Second Season Worth Watching?

Since season 2 of The Gilded Age has not yet premiered, we must defer to the handful of fortunate critics who've been given the chance to preview it. The preview-based critical response has been mostly positive, with the new season being described as aesthetically pleasing and engaging.

'An excellent mix of soap opera drama & American history! Even better than the first season, Julian Fellowes and his creative team have turned up the heat yet still retained the Downton Abbey magic of this American Version. Extremely satisfying television,' a critic shared after previewing the new installment.

Interestingly, many have drawn comparisons between the HBO show and Downton Abbey due to their shared creator. However, quite a few critics believe that The Gilded Age is better because it doesn't shy away from social issues the way its 'British cousin does.'

'The Gilded Age preserves everything that made Downton Abbey so addictive in its day, with far more American star power and its own historical quirks to explore,' another critic wrote.

The Gilded Age's new season is scheduled to premiere on October 29, and judging by the reactions of the critics who previewed it, you should probably check it out.

Source: Rotten Tomatoes.

Are you going to watch The Gilded Age's second season?