Filming continues in full swing in New York and Newport, in time for the second season of The Gilded Age to air a year after the first, in January or February 2023.
A major casualty has already been announced before work has even resumed: Tom Cocquerel does not return as our obnoxious Tom Raikes, who broke the heart of young lady Marian Brook (Louisa Jacobson). It’s a shame because his absence ends any new version of the lawyer’s irresponsible attitude towards the young woman, even if we can still dream that she is a millionaire without knowing it. But that’s all right, our cheering was for each other (hello Larry Russell (Harry Richardson)), although there’s uncertainty about that relationship too.
The first phase flirted with some appearances from Newport, but in the second it will be more present in Rhode Island. One of the details is that the real home that was Alva Vanderbilt‘s will be the setting for the Russells’, only making the feminist’s inspiration for Carrie Coon‘s character Bertha even clearer.
As showrunner Julian Fellowes himself told a local newspaper in Newport, “She ended up changing the game… (Newport) was a matriarchal city – I mean, women always dominated high society and they always chose who was in and who. was out… (but) I think Newport was a particularly strong case of that because the male upper class in America, unlike their European counterparts, was still working,” he explained. “Alva was very imaginative, and she was kind of making up the ‘Golden Age’ as she went along, and others were following her lead. I mean, I think that’s the other reason they couldn’t get rid of her when she got divorced because she was really the spiritual leader in so many ways,” he said.
Potential Spoiler Alert for divorce issue. I’ve already talked about the trajectory of the real Alva, there is a great possibility that one of the couples we love the most, Bertha and George Russell (Morgan Spector) will not reach the end of the story together. But we’re running over each other here.
With the character tips, new and already presented, we have some tips from some stories. In the first phase of the story, Marian Brook was “forced” to submit to live with her aunts in New York after the death and bankruptcy of her father. On the way, she meets and is saved by Peggy Scott (Deneé Benton), whose story should be more prominent in the second phase. Once in New York, Marian has had to adjust to the strict conservative views of her aunts, Agnes van Rhijn (Christine Baranski) and Ada Brook (Cynthia Nixon), but she is slowly finding her voice and making friends (not necessarily with her aunt’s approval).
Neighbors to van Rhijn, the Russells are the “new” millionaires, but Bertha is determined to be accepted by high society, going to great lengths to get there. This includes choosing a husband for their daughter, Gladys (Taissa Farmiga), and a wife to George. Many are eyeing Gladys’ fortune, including Agnes’ son Oscar (Blake Ritson) who wants an equally inexperienced young woman to stifle his true relationship with another man. After many mishaps, Bertha manages to get the inaccessible Mrs. Caroline Astor (Donna Murphy) comes to her house, thus giving her the status she wanted so much.
Peggy, who is an educated young black woman, at first accepts a position as a secretary at the van Rhijn household to avoid contacting her own family in Brooklyn. But we soon find out that she is well-born, her father has a family they have a comfortable situation economically, but Peggy – in the past – fell in love with a man who left her alone and pregnant, being rejected and believing that she lost her son in childbirth. Her heartache only gets worse when she discovers the child is alive and becomes determined to find him. “Peggy’s whole driving force is that she thinks her son is alive, at least that’s how I interpreted it. That’s what brought her to Doylestown, that’s what made her leave the house. I think she had this burning feeling that her father wasn’t telling the whole story. When she finds out, it feels like confirmation of intuition even more than a shock,” the actress explained to Elle.
And Marian, well, almost loses her reputation by agreeing to run away with Tom Raikes, but he trades her for another – rich – and she ends the season more vivid, but sadder.
There are many other subplots, but this is the basic one of the main ones. Let’s go to what we know of the second season.
Well, as we mentioned, of the cast of the first season, only Tom Cocquerel will be absent. They all come back, with Donna Murphy and Kelli O’Hara now fixed as well.
Following the formula that is his signature, the two worlds of a house (upstairs and downstairs), we can expect a greater space for the dramas that were left in the shadow of the opulence of the rich.
Laura Benanti will play Susan Blane, a wealthy young widow who hires Larry as an architect for a major renovation of her Newport home (a sign of something else in the air?). Not even Oscar will be alone, Nicole Brydon Bloom will be the sociable Caroline Stuyvesant, whom he comes to regard as a better potential wife than Gladys, who in turn, will have to deal with the new obsession of Bertha, the Duke of Buckingham (Ben Lamb), the British aristocrat she sees as ideal for her daughter. As we know, this even happened to Alva’s daughter, Consuelo Vanderbilt. “I think they [Bertha and George] are always united about the end game, which is really the proper marriage for their kids. The ultimate goal is to always leave your kids in a better position than you started out,” Carrie Coon explained to Wrap.
Robert Sean Leonard will play Reverend Matthew Forte, a young man coming from Boston as the new dean of the church attended by all of New York’s highest society. Other newcomers are banker Robert McNeil (Christopher Denham) and his wife, who also have to learn to deal with the complex local society, as Flora McNeil (Rebecca Haden) knows, another new face, living as a woman who “was raised to believe the lie that her father abandoned her and her mother.”
The van Rhijn house will also be active with the arrival of Agnes’ nephew (on her husband’s side), Dashiell Montgomery (David Furr), a wealthy widower who moves to New York with his daughter, Frances (Matilda Lawler). I predict the candidate to console Marian…
And of rich widowers, history will be full. In addition to Laura and Dashiell, we will also have Mr. Winterton (Dakin Matthews), a man of fortune who married so quickly he knew nothing of his wife’s past.
Finally, Michael Braugher will play Booker T. Washington, the famous educator who becomes a subject for Thomas Fortune and Peggy Scott when they visit their new school in Tuskegee. Considering that Denée Scott has already commented that she will “develop her political voice more”, it will certainly come from this.
We don’t have a release date set yet, but we can expect something between January and February. That is, at most six months! Excited? I am!