Knit to This: The Gilded Age

By Ann Shayne
March 26, 2022

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54 Comments
  • The sets may look fake but much of the show was filmed in actually guided age mansions here in NY much the way DA was at Highclere. Specifically Glenview, part of the Hudson River Museum.

    • Love your last comment!

  • You are a very forgiving person. That woman’s (orange/blue) dress says it all. Polyester if I’m not mistaken.

  • Gosh, if backing up 6 cars in a tight garage in a cooperative square dance is possible, you would think anything could be possible, even world peace. I think one Nathan Lane trumps three bad actors. Bring on Season Two!

    • Same, even a bad phoning it in Nathan Lane would convince me to watch

  • If you took a swig of something every time a Broadway actor appeared you’d be drunk in 15 minutes, sometimes yelling ‘SING’ (Audra, Denee, Kelli, Christine, Nathan…. The list goes on and on). Faults, yes – but fun, sure; and I want Bertha’s bedroom.
    (Edith Wharton Fellowes isn’t nor is this Scorsese’s great ‘Age of Innocence …) but bring on season 2.

  • You made me smile! <3

  • Love your take on it! And way to go for the parking garage situation, but is she still in there???!!

  • We loved the spectacle of it (and the homes), and we are coming back for Nathan Lane and season 2 also.

  • I’m completely enjoying this lush bit of fluff. It’s a perfect choice for Knit to This.

    (And for more Gilded Age splendor, I recommend Gary Lawrance’s Insta @mansionsofthegildedage and his lectures at NYAdventureCub.com.)

  • And it is kind of interesting in a history truly does repeat itself kind of way …. Watch the real housewives of any of it and you get the exact same story lines. Maybe he actually pulled the storylines from one of those shows? 😉 (but I am in! I don’t care if the costumes are made from polyester or any other what not I just love seeing them!)

  • You write the most delightful reviews. You believe we can do this!

    I have some really complicated square dancing report writing due this month. Think I could hit you up for some suggestions?

  • I think even *science* could prove that The Gilded Age has been alarmingly terrible from the start, but the final episode had a funny scene where Mrs Astor basically said “What if I decide to DESTROY YOU?” – I mean, no one outside of an Aaron Spelling production has EVER talked like that – and then I realized oh, the whole thing is just a “Dynasty” kind of thing. Once I started thinking of it like that, I could forgive it for being absolutely nutrient-free. So, so dumb, but so, so fun to make fun of.

  • It’s no Downton Abbey for sure but I really like the show and can’t wait for season 2. Christine Baranski does such a good job at the over the top snooty aunt. And well it has Nathan Lane. I take the show for what it is. At least it doesn’t pretend to be “reality” tv.

  • I’m rather enjoying this bit of entertaining fun in a world that is not so great at the moment.

  • After Downton, I’m pretty shocked at how stilted it feels, but I’m soldiering on with it myself.

  • Your story of good will gave me such a boost this morning! RE: The Gilded Age – sold it. I’m watching. Even had to sub to HBO. The “Nathan Lane” was ‘nuf said. Thanks.

  • This may be heresy, but I stopped watching Downton Abbey after they killed off one person too many and I couldn’t deal with the growing soap opera tone–not even for the costumes. (Can the viewers really not deal with a new person in a role??? It’s such an odd situation–all of this is make believe, you can’t substitute an actor because someone wants to leave the show?). I’m weary of drama after the last few years, and the Gilded Age show had no appeal. Or perhaps it’s because I didn’t feel I needed to see someone try to re-do Age of Innocence. But you are right, it’s not AoI, it’s Gilded Housewives! Brilliant point. Still not watching.
    What IS appealing is the great garage story. I hope, once she recovers, that poor young woman will reflect gratefully over how cooperative and supportive you all were, and maybe what a funny situation it was. No one honked or swore at her? How wonderful.

  • It isn’t D.A. but I’m enjoying it. Took a couple of episodes to get into it. Gilded Age history YouTube videos started showing up in my feed and I’m learning and knitting to them. There’s so much awfulness in the world that a decent period drama is fine with me. I’ve been that frantic woman trying to get out of the dumb parking garage! And now a touch of controversy – I love Nathan Lane but not so much in this role.

  • Julian Fellows is a victim of his own ego. Thanks for the honest review; I’ve arrived at the point where I can’t be bothered watching anything I don’t like. If you want a truly awesome historical series, look for Sharpe’s Rifles. It’s about British soldiers during the Napoleonic wars & it’s excellent from start to finish. Brilliant writing, acting, scenery. Based on novels by Bernard Cornwell.

    • And it has Sean Bean!!!

  • I feel that young person’s pain. I was once trapped in a parking garage that only took credit cards and all I had was a debit card and cash.

  • I would watch Christine Baranski in just about anything, and she delivers her zingers in a delicious manner. The costumes, particularly in the ballroom scene in the last episode, were beautiful. I’m up for another season.

  • “It doesn’t take coins reminds me of finally finding a parking place in Montgomery County Maryland and the meter would ONLY take money via iPhone. And mine wasn’t set up with whatever I was supposed to have. I’ve been avoiding subscribing to HBO but I may have to break down for a month or so for Nathan Lane policing the social register.

    • My experience was completely the opposite — after driving cross country using a credit card at all the toll stations, I hit the Illinois-Indiana border, where the technology was from about when I moved away from Chicago in 1968, Stop every few miles and feed coins into the basket! After the third basket, I was reduced to pulling over and diving under the seats for fallen change….

  • My husband can no longer follow complex story lines but this will keep him entertained even if he can’t keep the characters straight! And I am not forced to watch Military channel! Love knitting to this! I am impressed that there were patient pleasant people to be found in cars in a parking garage all waiting to leave! I also appreciate the suggestion of Sharp’s rifles; I will look that up for my husband! My day can’t start without MDK! Thank you!!

    • Oh…you said a lot in that first line. Best wishes.

    • love the husband with a military channel habit…. mine too, sister!

    • My friend’s husband, an old college friend, is in a similar situation and I recommended it to them. God bless you out and your husband

  • You didn’t mention on what platform can we watch this movie / series?

    • It’s an HBO show and they already rerun it quite a bit, or you can stream it via HBO Max

  • Thanks for this gentle reminder to give folks a break right now. I try to remember we are all doing the best we can.

    • yes indeed

  • If you want the straight dope on the real players, check out

    https://openlibrary.org/authors/OL2261497A/Consuelo_Vanderbilt_Balsan

    which is the autobiography – and a great one – of Consuelo Vanderbilt, the model for the Russell’s daughter who was being groomed for a big catch of a husband (in Consuelo’s case, the Duke of Marlborough).

  • I enjoyed trying to figure out where I’d seen the actors before, and I loved the elaborate costumes. But Nathan Lane as Foghorn Leghorn was classic!

    • Nathan Lane as Foghorn Leghorn… you’re killing me!

  • LOL – I was that woman in the parking garage last night. Only I was at the airport parking lot. You need a ticket to enter. There was a new ticket dispensing machine since the last time I was there. It has a sign “wave here for ticket”. I tried that – nothing. There was a button “press here for ticket”. I tried that. Again no success. There was a THIRD button that also said, “press here for ticket”. I tried that as well. Again NOTHING. At which point my daughter calls and says, I’m standing on the curb, just drive through and come get me. But I can’t just drive through without a ticket as this lot has no attendant. And you need a ticket to exit said lot. So I got out of my car and attempted all the ticket dispensing suggestions again. I say suggestions because nothing was working for me. Finally I had to walk back and ask everyone behind me to back up because at that point I just wanted out of the line. I felt so ridiculous. In the meantime my daughter had managed to walk all the way to the lot and was just standing there laughing as she watched me do the dance to the ticket god’s who were clearly ignoring my pleas. I was finally able to back up just enough to drive over the curb to get out of the line. Thank goodness I drive a SUV with big tires and enough clearance. It was quite the adventure. This, of course, is apropos of nothing related to The Gilded Age and have now idea why I feel the need to share this with a knitting forum … but there you are. Hope everyone is having a fantastic day.

    • I admire your ability to recount this story so calmly. If I had been in your situation my nerves would still have the better of me, especially if my daughter had been watching. Well done!

  • But Ann, part of the reason for watching a period drama is the knitwear. What about the knits? (P.S.: It is good to know you can back up your car if you need to.)

  • Giving grace is a wonderful thing! Thanks for the reminder !

  • Yes, we are all changed in so many ways. This show has been on a back-burner list but the lure of Nathan Lane…. I can only imagine how fun it would be to see him with Christine Baranski – but either of them in any scene in any show is good enough for me.

  • i’m actually enjoying this show quite a bit/- started off with some of the naysayers but started to like it for what it was, instead of being disappointed it wasn’t what i had hoped it would be — and it’s great Knit to This tv, plus it has Christine Baranski. i could watch her read a telephone book ( if they still existed! )

  • Gosh I guess I am the only one here who loves it…all of it! The costumes and sets are fabulous and the supporting videos about this series are really wonderful, as is the podcast for fact checking. Much of the decor is based on the Breakers in Newport. While the original buildings in NYC are mostly gone, a painstaking effort was made to build the sets and for historical accuracy. The actors are top notch…ALL of them!

  • Well I love it ! It shows us how society really hasn’t evolved very much same problems different clothing

  • I’m with you! Just taking it as it is, going along for the ride!

  • I wonder whether it’s just more obvious it’s bad when it’s set in your own country? I’m from the UK and only got round to watching a few clips of Downton recently. The whole thing seemed incredibly wooden. Dialogue especially.

  • Nathan Lane is gloriously hammy in this and I adore him for it. It needs a more deft hand with the costumes (hello Outlander and Little Women), but it’s easy viewing for hard times. If you can get your hands on it, Fellowes’ 2000-2005 offering Monarch of the Glen. Equally easy knit to this viewing with Fellowes himself in the cast.

  • I’ve been meaning to watch this. Some of my friends from the local community theatre scene were extras during the filming in Troy. Nathan Lane would be an added bonus – I love him!

  • I love a costume drama. It’s not Downton Abbey, but I still enjoyed it. Looking forward to season 2!

  • I never expect television to exceed my expectations, and therefore am rarely disappointed. Guilded Age is nothing if not predictable but it fills the bill as vacuous eye candy. That, and a pile of knitting in my lap, is all I need from it. Can’t wait for season 2!

  • I wasn’t enjoying GA until I started listening to the accompanying podcasts for each episode (on HBO Max, they are listed under Extras). The backstory made the show more interesting.

  • I’m thoroughly enjoying it and looking forward to season 2! My sister recommended it, so that’s two of us.

  • We’ve been hate watching it at our house too, particularly for the horrible stilted dialogue. Thanks for putting into words why we come back week after week.

  • In a world where so much happened & left so many of us exhausted, mentally, physically & emotionally, The Gilded Age is a wee glimpse of escapism. The costumes & sets are beautifully gaudy & don’t require too much of my brain to follow the plots. It’s eye candy comfort food for me, worthy of binging. My knitting & I are here for it.