THE GILDED AGE: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON – A DVD and Digital HD Review by John Strange

THE GILDED AGE: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON – A DVD and Digital HD Review by John Strange

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the DVD I reviewed in this Blog Post.  The opinions I share are my own.

There is a plethora of period piece shows on television.  Most are offered on cable TV channels like Lifetime, Hallmark, and A&E (among many others).  HBO has one worth the time to binge.  The Gilded Age is set in New York City in the 1880s giving us a look at the goings on of the rich upper class with the lesser folks added in for seasoning but also because those of the upper class needed the lower classes to exist, whether they would acknowledge this fact or not is beside the point.

Further, the drama of the show is between “old” money (those who originally settled NYC and its boroughs) and “new” money (the nouveau riche, those robber barons and masters of industry who are making their fortunes due to the industrial revolution and their families).  It also gives us a well-scripted look at the goings on behind the scenes of the history we “know” with all of the character’s greed, pride, and lust bursting out from our TV screens.

The members of “New” Money must fight to be accepted into the ranks of New York Society represented by the “Old” Money.  Some of that fighting is down-and-dirty with gloves off and the rules kicked to the curb.

Heading up the side of “Old” Money is Agnes Van Rhijn (Christine Baranski) and her sister Ada (Cynthia Nixon) vs “New” Money personified by Bertha Russell (Carrie Coon) and her “robber baron” husband George (Morgan Spector).  And, of course, their children and servants.

The show takes great pride in recreating New York City, the Hamptons, and Newport as they looked back in that era.  The homes, the clothing, and the attitudes all look spot-on.

This is like watching a good documentary but with the spice and action only available in fictionalized recreations.  Needless to say, the history buff/film lover in me ate this show up!  I hope they can keep this level of quality for many seasons to come (I know the second season has already aired but I have not yet watched it).

Now to the good stuff!   The box for the DVD offering of The Gilded Age: The Complete First Season looks good.  The cover features the two rival matriarchs (Baranski and Coon) in their finest costumes with old New York in the background.  The slogan is “New Money.  Old Rules”

The three-disc set spreads the episodes out evenly with three episodes per disc.  This allows the addition of bonus extras to also be apportioned out across the entire disc set (see my notes on what featurettes are presented on each disc below).

Selecting one or even several of the featurettes as better than the rest or as lesser than the rest is nearly impossible.  This set is a history buff’s dream as the cast talk about their characters and the crew take us behind the scenes to fill us in on how they recreated the locations and costumes of the series.

If I am forced to praise one set of featurettes above the others, It would have to be the group of “Inside the Episode” videos where they give us additional background on the reasons and thoughts behind some of the scripts, with more information on the historical reasoning used.

The filmmakers have given us what I can honestly say is the strongest home offering I have seen in the last two or three years.  This is a 5-star offering hands down.  A big thank you to the cast and crew, especially the writers, directors, and producers, for giving us this show!

 

Creator/Executive Producer:

  • Julian Fellows

Directed by:

  • Michael Engler; Salli Richardson Whitfield

Cast:

  • Carrie Coon, Morgan Spector, Louisa Jacobson, Denée Benton, Taissa Farmiga, Harry Richardson, Blake Ritson, Thomas Cocquerel, Simon Jones, Jack Gilpin, Christine Baranski, Cynthia Nixon, Kelli O’Hara, Donna Murphy, Debra Monk, Kristine Nielsen, Taylor Richardson, Ben Ahlers, Kelley Curran, Douglas Sills, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Michael Cerveris, Erin Wilhelmi, Patrick Page, Sullivan Jones, Audra McDonald, John Douglas Thompson, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Ashlie Atkinson, Claybourne Elder, Katie Finneran, Amy Forsyth, John Sanders, Michel Gill, Linda Emond, Ward Horton, Nathan Lane

Episodes:

  1. Never The New
  2. Money Isn’t Everything
  3. Face The Music
  4. A Long Ladder
  5. Charity Has Two Functions
  6. Heads Have Rolled For Less
  7. Irresistible Change
  8. Tucked Up In Newport
  9. Let The Tournament Begin

Extras:

Digital:

  • Invitation to Set
  • Inside the Episode: Never the New
  • Inside the Episode: Money Isn’t Everything
  • Inside the Episode: Face the Music
  • Inside the Episode: A Long Ladder
  • Inside the Episode: Charity Has Two Functions
  • Inside the Episode: Heads Have Rolled For Less
  • Old Money s New: The Heart of the Matter
  • Who’s Who Featurettes
    • Cynthia Nixon As Ada Brook
    • Morgan Spector As George Russell
    • Denee Benton As Peggy Scott
    • Louisa Jacobson As Marian Brook
    • Carrie Coon As Bertha Russell
    • Simon Jones As Bannister
    • Thomas Cocquerel As Tom Raikes
    • Jack Gilpin As Church
    • Taissa Farmiga As Gladys Russell
    • Blake Ritson As Oscar Van Rhijn
    • Harry Richardson As Larry Russell
    • Christine Baranski As Agnes Van Rhijn
  • Carrie Coon BTS
  • Writing Peggy

DVD:

Disc 1

  • Invitation to Set
  • Inside the Episode: Never the New
  • Inside the Episode: Money Isn’t Everything
  • Inside the Episode: Face the Music
  • Who’s Who Featurettes
    • Cynthia Nixon As Ada Brook
    • Christine Baranski As Agnes Van Rhijn
    • Taissa Farmiga As Gladys Russell

Disc 2

  • Inside the Episode: A Long Ladder
  • Inside the Episode: Charity Has Two Functions
  • Inside the Episode: Heads Have Rolled For Less
  • Who’s Who Featurettes
    • Harry Richardson As Larry Russell
    • Blake Ritson As Oscar Van Rhijn
    • Thomas Cocquerel As Tom Raikes
    • Simon Jones As Bannister
    • Jack Gilpin As Church
    • Louisa Jacobson As Marian Brook
    • Denee Benton As Peggy Scott
    • Morgan Spector As George Russell
    • Carrie Coon As Bertha Russell

Disc 3

  • The Russell House Set Tour Featuring Carrie Coon
  • The Gilded Age: The Black Elite of New York
  • Inside the Episode: Irresistible Change
  • Inside the Episode: Tuck Up in Newport
  • Inside the Episode: Let the Tournament Begin
  • Designing The Gilded Age
  • Old Money vs New: The Heart of the Matter
  • All That Glitters: Creating The Gilded Age (Exclusive for DVD)

Specifications:

Runtime:

Feature:

  • 540 Minutes

Enhanced Content:

  • 135 Minutes

Studio:

  • Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Release Date:

DVD

  • 07/26/2022

Region:

  • A/1 (U.S. and Canada only)

Trailer:

MPAA Rating:

  • TV-MA

Selig Rating:

Film Rating:

  • 5 Stars

Bonus Features Rating:

  • 5 Stare

Picture Quality Rating:

  • 5 Stars

Audio Quality Rating:

  • 5 Stars

 

Selig Rating Scale:

5 Stars: Should add to your DVD collection at any cost

4 Stars: Worth owning, but try to catch it on sale

3 Stars: Plan to get it, but wait to buy it used

2 Stars: Worth taking a look at, but not owning

1 Star: Pick it up at a garage sale and use it for drinks

0 Stars: Makes a great Trap Shooting target

Written By
More from John Strange
THE MARCEL PEREZ COLLECTION, Volume 2 – A DVD Review by John Strange
  THE MARCEL PEREZ COLLECTION, Volume 2 – A DVD Review by John...
Read More
0 replies on “THE GILDED AGE: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON – A DVD and Digital HD Review by John Strange”