The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel premieres November 29th on Amazon Prime Video.
By Ariba Bhuvad
From the creators of Gilmore Girls, comes the absolutely delightful and hilarious, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Equal parts adorable and comedic, this new Amazon series explores the life of a 1958 housewife, Miriam “Midge” Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan) living in Manhattan with her perfect husband, perfect family, and perfect life. The series encapsulates the 50’s with a nostalgic, jazzy soundtrack that whisks the audience away into the decade of a cookie-cutter lifestyle and doo-wop music.
When Midge is first introduced, we meet her as a simple, charming, cute woman who goes above and beyond for her husband, Joel (Michael Zegen), who is an aspiring comedian. So much so, that she prepares a brisket (EVERY TIME!) to convince the booker at the comedy club in Greenwich Village to give him the optimal time slot. She is basically the epitome of a supportive wife, jotting down notes during his performances and giving him ideas for his acts. However, all this comes to a startling halt one night, when his (plagiarized) act fails, and in total frustration, he walks away from their marriage. This night reveals and defines Midge’s marvelous character for the series as she finds herself in a drunken stupor on the stage cracking jokes, with the audience laughing in uproar.
From here on, we see Midge’s character find herself, and discover a passion she never knew she had. The transformation from a 1950’s housewife to finding herself as a stand-up comedian was executed beautifully by Brosnahan, who was the perfect casting for this role. She possessed the sweet and sour essence of Midge who becomes a force to be reckoned with as she realizes her importance in the world goes far beyond the social expectations of the 50’s; the idea one must be a perfect mother, daughter, and wife. Midge’s journey continues as she finds a friend in comedy club employee, Susie Meyerson (Alex Borstein) who witnesses her drunken act and becomes her number one advocate, and later her manager. Borstein delivers a hilariously epic performance as Brosnahan’s counterpart, and their dynamic is the soul of the show.
The supporting cast is nothing short of amazing including Midge’s uptight and high-strung parents played by Tony Shaloub and Marin Hinkle, and Joel’s overbearing and pushy parents played by Kevin Pollak and Caroline Aaron. Together, they bring an entertaining addition to the show with their prying and nosy parental involvement.
The series is through and through everything that is amazing and frustrating about the 50’s, ranging from social expectations of females to the phenomenal music. It was a treat and an absolute delight to watch a series that didn’t falter in shattering the social norms via Midge’s character, who herself underestimated the power she possessed. With Brosnahan’s unbelievable portrayal of Midge and Amy Sherman-Palladino’s creation, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel does NOT disappoint and is a series worth checking out.
I give The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel an A-.