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What HBO’s The Gilded Age Gets Right That Downton Abbey Didn’t

The new HBO original series, which begins airing on Jan. 24, is set in New York City, with all the complications that requires.

Denée Benton (left) and Louisa Jacobson in The Gilded Age.

Denée Benton (left) and Louisa Jacobson in The Gilded Age.

Photographer: Alison Cohen Rosa/HBO Max

If you enjoy escaping into low-stakes, long-simmering historical dramas, HBO’s series The Gilded Age, which begins airing on Jan. 24, might be your new favorite show.

This time, Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes sets his plot in New York City in the late 1800s, an era marked by industrialization, newfound affluence, and immigration—perfect conditions for a class-conscious drama about affluent, anxious White people.