When Mrs. Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan) discovers that her husband, Joel (Michael Zegen) has cheated on her, she doesn’t mope, she doesn’t cry, she goes straight down to the club where her husband has been failing as a stand-up comic for months, and absolutely kills it…you know as any 1960s housewife would.
From the very start of, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” as Midge delivers a series of zingers at her own wedding, it’s pretty clear that Midge is no ordinary housewife. And if it’s not love at first punchline, well then frankly…
Mrs. Maisel aka Midge is a fabulous, fierce, opinionated woman, who up until this point has spent her life focused on what she thought she was supposed to—getting married, having children, and making a comfortable home for her family. And she’s pretty good at it.
But when the floor drops out from under her life, that’s when she truly shines, and when this story soars. Not only because of her stand-up ambitions, championed by her manager, Susie (Alex Borstein), but because Midge continues being the same curious outgoing person that she always was, but even more so. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll learn (and not just about some truly bogus laws that existed at the time).
It will probably come as no surprise that this gloriously feminist piece of television was created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, the woman who brought us “Gilmore Girls.” But before you back away from what has (infuriatingly so) become a four-letter word, let me finish…
Yes, there is clearly a message here about the ridiculous double standards and limitations that woman faced and, in many ways, still face, and Midge’s stand-up provides the perfect platform (literally) to pick those inequalities apart. For instance, the extraordinary efforts that Midge (pre-breakup) goes to maintain an illusion of perfection are utterly soul-crushing to watch (when did she sleep?).
However, seeing as this is the work of Amy Sherman-Palladino, it’s no surprise that what makes this show truly shine is its depth (Just the Gilmore Girls did not a Stars Hollow make). That includes both a stellar ensemble (Tony Shalhoub, Marin Hinkle, Kevin Pollak, Caroline Aaron, and I could be here for days, because it’s a parade of excellence) but also in its deep respect for each of its characters and the stories they have to tell together.
No one is written off as one-dimensional. No one. Even the cheating husband is a redeemable character. Everyone has value, no one is treated as a less than. And although Midge is undeniably a superhero, even she isn’t perfect, and I’m not just talking about the times she bombs on stage. She’s learning about stand-up and about standing up on her own, something that she has clearly always excelled at.
If you were drawn in with the promise of “Gilmore Girls” glory, you will not be disappointed, and that includes some familiar faces and the whip-smart, lightning-fast dialogue we all know and love with some new faces and new places to enjoy. Top it off with some truly well-chosen music, and I cannot put into words how joyful this show is. You’ll just have to see for yourself…
If you’ve been anywhere near social media or a child of the nineties in the last day, you’ve likely seen (one of the many joys of the age of social media, shrieks can be visualized) or heard more than a few shrieks of enthusiasm. The well-versed in fan squeals will have recognized the unique sound of the fandom of the “Gilmore Girls.”
Brace yourself, here comes another… Read the rest of this entry
Welcome, to 2WC’s weekend of television. I realize that we spend a lot of time on movies here. Heck, Friday’s are exclusively dedicated to film, but we are equal opportunists here, and also lovers of the small screen as well.
And in this, what many are calling, a golden age of television, (scripted, I cannot emphasize this enough, I’m talking about the scripted shows) you’re just as likely (if not more) to find great storytelling on TV as on the silver screen. Read the rest of this entry