‘The Gilded Age’ Season 2 Is The Period Drama We’ve Been Waiting For

Get ready for a dose of much-needed glamour.

Opulence, wealthy tycoons, female empowerment, corruption… season two of The Gilded Age has landed and it’s a feast for the senses. (And in case you missed season one, it’s not too late to catch up on Paramount+.)

The American Gilded Age was a period of huge economic growth and social change and conflict between old ways and new systems leading up to the 1900s. Dynasties were created, fortunes were made and lost, and epic battles for social supremacy waged between old money families and the new billionaires of industry rising through the ranks. So significant was this era in American history, it inspired the 2022 Met Gala theme ‘Gilded Glamour’. (The year co-chair Blake Lively delivered a glamour masterclass in metallic Atelier Versace and Kim K slightly missed the brief but broke the internet regardless in Marilyn Monroe’s iconic ‘Happy Birthday Mr President’ dress.)

Season 2: Old Money vs New Money

Created, written and executive produced by Oscar® and Emmy® winner Julian Fellowes, The Gilded Age follows Marian, a strong-willed young woman who moves in with her old-money aunts and quickly gets entangled in a social war with their new-money neighbours. In a world on the brink of the modern age, will she follow the rules of society or forge her own path?

Two women in 1890s period costume
Cynthia Nixon and Christine Baranski star as Ada and Agnes, New York City society doyennes. Supplied.

The female-led cast stars Cynthia Nixon (Sex and the City, And Just Like That) with Christine Baranski (Mamma Mia!) as Ada and Agnes, society’s old money doyennes at war with the socially ambitious Bertha (played by Carrie Coon). As the families and supporting characters amass greater power, wealth and social ambition, they must also navigate the changing times and some potentially scandalous liaisons.

In season two of The Gilded Age, Bertha inches toward a leading role in society, Ada begins a surprising new courtship, and Peggy (played by Denee Benton) taps into her activist spirit while pursuing her dream of becoming a writer.

Watch Cynthia Nixon talk about her character, Ada, here: 

Recreating The Age of Opulence

With stunning sets and glamorous locations, a standout of The Gilded Age is the lavish costume collection that embodies the immense wealth and glamour of late 19th century New York City. With no expense spared on costumes and accessories created by lead designer Kasia Walicka Maimone and her team, the show’s wardrobe department created over 1,200 women’s dresses, 1,000 men’s suits, over 1,000 hats, 100 tiaras and more than 4,000 pairs of shoes in season one alone. Eat your heart out, Bridgerton.

The stunning costumes of The Gilded Age reflect the opulence and wealth of New York City in the industrial era. Supplied.

Created, written and executive produced by Julian Fellowes and a who’s-who of producers and creatives, all episodes of The Gilded Age is streaming now exclusively on Paramount+.

Related stories