Bertha Russell, the new-money industrialist’s spouse performed with flint and mettle by Carrie Coon, lays it plain in an early episode of season two: “The opera is the place society places itself on show, the place the elite meet one another and their kids court docket one another and the place the wheels of society flip.”
And so we’ll watch these wheels flip, and wrench. As dramatized by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, The Gilded Age provides viewers the vicarious delight of swanning round opulent estates and fabulous Newport events—in addition to maybe the slight queasiness of guilt. In spite of everything, ought to we actually be fawning over such blithe plutocrats?
Govt producer Michael Engler, who additionally directs many episodes of the sequence, says that ethical shading is a deliberate a part of The Gilded Age image, maybe much more so in season two. “They’ve ethical selections,” Engler says of the present’s many wealthy of us. “As you watch them make [those choices], that’s how you establish their ethical character and worth. It’s not, We love the wealthy and we love watching them, so we don’t actually care how they act. You see what it takes and what it prices folks to behave a sure method.”
Season two may also increase on the primary season’s glimpse of Black society in Brooklyn, the house turf of Denée Benton’s Peggy Scott, who works for a white household—amongst them the imperious and very previous cash Agnes van Rhijn (Christine Baranski) and her spinster sister, Ada (Cynthia Nixon)—whereas negotiating political and social issues throughout the river. Ada, in the meantime, might lastly be getting a love curiosity.