“The Gilded Age” is a hit.
On Monday night, Julian Fellowes’ “Downton America” soap opera drew 604,000 viewers. Every week has seen an increase since the costume drama debuted a month ago. That’s an 11% increase over last week, although the key demo dropped 16% (maybe because of the Olympics).
As a reward, HBO has renewed the show for a second season.
The fourth episode was a decided improvement over its predecessors, that’s for sure. The first couple of installments were very clunky in their set up. They also looked not cheap exactly but poorly made. “The Gilded Age” was intended at first for NBC, and looked like it.
But episode 4 seemed a little more sure footed and less glare-y. (They’ve got to work on the lighting.) The highlights are Christine Baranski, Cynthia Nixon, and Louise Jacobson, not to mention Morgan Spector. Baranski and Nixon almost seem like they’re in a different show, but that maybe because of their theater training.
There’s also a thrill seeing so many Broadway stars coming and going. You can’t get enough Audra McDonald. Michael Cerveris seems like he’s about to get a mystery storyline. Next week Nathan Lane makes an appearance. He’ll either chew all the chinoiserie in one bite or give us a good chuckle. It could go either way.
Best scene this week was with the two butlers from “old” and “new” money discussing the placement of table settings. A lot of times this show seems very “on the nose” but that one worked.