The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

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Up until recently, I had never heard of this show, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.  I stumbled upon it as I was scrolling through the Firestick this past weekend, while folding a load of laundry, looking for something new to watch.

This is not a new show. And once again, I am the last person to find out about great shows until they’ve been out for a while.

Background

Miriam and husband Joel are a young married Jewish couple that live in the Upper West Side (NYC), close to their parents.  He has a cushiony office job set up by his uncle as a vice president of a plastics company.  At night he is an aspiring comedian playing small bits at the local Gaslight Café in Greenwhich Village.

However, his work is not original and his bit isn’t funny.  Joel blames his lack of success on his picture-perfect wife.  Miriam is his biggest cheerleader though.  She goes to his routines and she bakes homemade brisket in designer Pyrex dishes so she can bribe the manager at the Gaslight to get him better time slots in the evening talent line up.

This is not a one-time favor.  She does this numerous nights in a row to try and help him get his big break.

Joel decides he doesn’t want this life anymore- the perfect apartment, trophy wife, his 2 kids (a boy and a girl).  He has a meaningless affair with his secretary, and then tells Miriam he is leaving her.  He does this the night before their Yom Kippur dinner, an event she has spent two years trying and finally succeeding at securing the Rabbi for.

After some wine and contemplating her current situation, Miriam goes down to the comedy club in her nightgown, overcoat and slippers, to recover her Pyrex dish.  When she arrives, she storms on the stage and performs an impromptu comedy bit.

She and everyone else in the club discovers she is funnier than her husband.

This sets up the entire series.  Her pursuit to create a name for herself and be successful at something she never pictured herself doing in a situation she never pictured herself in.

Marvelous Scenery and Backdrops

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is a period piece that takes place in the 1950s.  Manhattan serves at the backdrop.  The character’s apartments on the Upper West Side are decorated with exquisite detail, including the glass ware.

The wardrobes for all of the characters rival the level of accuracy that the characters in the TV show Mad Men used to wear- right down to the fabric used for the men’s suits and women’s dresses.

Marvelous Writing

The writing is excellent.  The show has a Broadway feel to it too with the use of music playing in the background or prominently during a significant scene.  The timing and speed of the dialogue makes the show very smart.

The characters are written with great depth and their dynamic and chemistry between with each other makes it fun to watch.  You care about each character, none more than the other.  Including philandering Joel and his annoying parents (Miriam’s in-laws).

This show is another success from Amy Sherma-Palladino (known for the hit Gilmore Girls). It’s an Amazon Prime original series, and they have produced three seasons so far. I won’t spoil the remainder of the plot.  But if you are looking for something original and fresh and upbeat, you will get many laughs with a show about an up and coming female comedian.

Awards

After discovering this great series, I’ve brushed up on it quite a bit.  Not surprisingly, the show has been very well received by the critics and has won several awards.

Two Golden Globes:

  • Best Television Series—Musical or Comedy
  • Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series- Musical or Comedy.

The series has also been nominated for fourteen Primetime Emmy Awards:

  • Outstanding Comedy Series
  • Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (Rachel Brosnahan for playing Miriam “Midge” Maisel.
  • Jane Lynch (from Glee) was nominated for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series.
  • Alex Borstein was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for playing Susie Myerson
  • And rounding out this star-powered cast, is one of my personal favorites, Tony Shalhoub (remember him from Monk) for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Is The Marvelous Mrs Maisel a series you have watched or are watching?  What did you think, do you like it?

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