After it snagged Golden Globes for best musical or comedy and best actress in a musical or comedy I couldn’t help but binge Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
The series begins with Midge Maisel doing everything she can to help her husband, Joel, succeed with his stand-up comedy routine in the late 1950s. After a disappointing day, Joel announces to Midge that he’s leaving her for his bland secretary and runs off with Midge’s suitcase. From there the viewer watches as Midge has an amusingly spontaneous meltdown on stage at a comedy club in the Village. That’s just in the first episode.
As the series rolls on with Midge trying to figure out what her next step is after her husband’s departure, the plot is punctuated with her hilarious monologues. Rachel Brosnahan plays the captivating Midge with plenty of charm and pluck as she rides out the highs and lows of a crumbling marriage. Brosnahan’s performance is brilliant — not just for her comedic timing, but for the delicacy she adds to Midge’s character during the somber scenes. Alex Borstein as Susie Meyerson balances out Midge’s Upper West Side life as Susie shows her the ropes and works to make Midge a great comedian.
Fans of Gilmore Girls are certain to recognize Amy Sherman-Palladino’s particular brand of writing in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. The humor in the writing and even some of the character dynamics serve as echos to Sherman-Palladino’s Gilmore Girls. In particular, Tony Shalhoub’s distantly affectionate and studious portrayal of Midge’s father, Abe Weissman, reminded me of another one Sherman-Palladino’s fictional patriarchs, Richard Gilmore.
When Midge isn’t honing her comedy skills, the series can feel a bit slow, but never slow enough to cause the viewer to hit pause on the show.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel has eight hour-long episodes that are available for viewing through Amazon Prime Video. The show is rated TV-MA for language and the occasional nudity.
For viewers who enjoy the company of Mrs. Maisel, check out Gilmore Girls (the original series, not A Year in the Life) for laughs from the fast-talking, caffeine-guzzling Lorelai Gilmore. Viewers might also enjoy Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23, a similarly zany comedy that was unfortunately short-lived. It has the added bonus of starring Jessica Jones’ Krysten Ritter.