7 Shows Like The Gilded Age You Must See

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Created by Julian Fellowes, ‘The Gilded Age’ tells the story of the eponymous era in American history when incredible economic expansion and technological advancements camouflaged the rampant social issues. The show is set in New York in the early 1880s and focuses on the struggle between the new and old money individuals and families for the control of the polite society. If you love ‘The Gilded Age’ and want to watch similar shows, we have the perfect list of recommendations. You can watch most of these shows similar to ‘The Gilded Age’ on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.

7. Mad Men (2007-2015)

Like ‘The Gilded Age,’ ‘Mad Men’ is set in New York in one of the most formative decades in American history — the 1960s. It initially revolves around the personal and professional lives of the employees of the fictional Sterling Cooper advertising agency, with a special focus on Don Draper (Jon Hamm), the charming advertising executive with a mysterious past. While ‘Mad Men’ is much more cynical in its approach to historical fiction than ‘The Gilded Age,’ it still strives to look at the future with hope.

6. Pride and Prejudice (1995)

The 1995 miniseries ‘Pride and Prejudice’ is arguably the most iconic and influential adaptation of Jane Austen’s 1813 eponymous classic novel. It stars Oscar-winning actor Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy, a performance that garnered him widespread recognition for the first time, while Jennifer Ehle portrays Elizabeth Bennet. The lavish sets, the painstakingly perfect costumes, and the grand parties are some of the things that make ‘The Gilded Age’ such a great period drama. These things are in abundance in ‘Pride and Prejudice.’

5. Anne with an E (2017-2019)

The TV adaptation of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s 1908 children’s literature ‘Anne of Green Gables,’ ‘Anne with an E’ follows Anne Shirley, a 13-year-old orphan girl adopted by elderly siblings Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert. Like Marian Brook in ‘The Gilded Age,’ the imaginative, optimistic, and loquacious Anne finds herself in a completely unfamiliar situation after she comes to live with her new family. While Matthew immediately grows attached to her, it takes some time for Anne to win over Marilla. The show takes place in a fictional town in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island, and it’s quite far from the glittery New York of the late 1800s. And yet, both shows are imbued with this infectious positivity, much of which stems from their respective protagonists.

4. Bridgerton (2020-)

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Like ‘The Gilded Age’ and ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ ‘Bridgerton’ has spectacular sets, marvelous costumes, and decadent parties. It is adapted from the series of novels by Julia Quinn and set in Regency-era London. Both ‘The Gilded Age’ and ‘Bridgerton’ use high society as their backdrop; in ‘Bridgerton’s case, it’s the top tier of the contemporary English society, known as the tons. The similarities don’t end there. Just like ‘The Gilded Age,’ ‘Bridgerton’ depicts the pursuit of love and status in polite society.

3. The Knick (2014-2015)

‘The Knick’ is a period medical drama series also set in New York, albeit a couple of decades later than ‘The Gilded Age’ — in 1900. The story centers around Dr. John W. “Thack” Thackery (Clive Owen), the visionary but tortured chief surgeon at the Knickerbocker Hospital. At an age when people had become absurdly complacent — believing that everything that could have been discovered had been discovered — Thack swims against the tide in the realm of medicine and goes on to pioneer several revolutionary methods of healthcare. While ‘The Knick’ is decidedly grimmer than ‘The Gilded Age,’ neither show shies away from depicting political corruption, gender issues, and racial inequalities.

2. 1883 (2021-)

Image Credit: Emerson Miller/Paramount+

The prequel to the immensely popular Paramount Network series ‘Yellowstone,’ ‘1883’ is about the grand journey of the Dutton family from Fort Worth, Texas, to Montana, where they eventually will establish the Yellowstone Ranch. ‘The Gilded Age’ and ‘1883’ are set almost at the same time in America but revolve around vastly different characters. This dichotomy embodies the vastness of America and the complexity of its history.

1. Downton Abbey (2010-2015)

Fellowes, the creator of ‘The Gilded Age,’ also made ‘Downton Abbey,’ the internationally popular British TV series about the aristocratic Crawley family and their friends, relatives, and staff. The two shows are thematically similar to each other, but they are not interchangeable, being bound to their respective setting. The timeline of ‘Downton Abbey’ begins in 1912. Both shows regard the era they depict with a starry-eyed fascination, which is reflected in the dialogues, characterizations, and overall narrative. However, they are also incredibly earnest in portraying the privileged class.

Read More: Are The Gilded Age’s Bertha and George Russell Based on a Real Couple?