Updated: Jun 3
You will have a smorgasbord of emotions while watching Midge Maisel’s journey from housewife to stand-up star.
By Meg Taylor, News Editor
Amazon’s comedic series “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” has already been renewed for a third season and has stolen the hearts of many along with nabbing numerous Emmys and Golden Globes.
Set in the late 1950s, the show follows the life of Miriam "Midge" Maisel. Portrayed by Rachel Brosnahan, Midge has everything she has ever wanted — the perfect husband, two kids and an elegant apartment on New York's Upper West Side. Her seemingly splendid life takes a surprising turn when her marriage falls apart, and she discovers her hidden talent — stand-up comedy. With her newfound friend turned manager Susie Myerson, portrayed by Alex Borstein, Midge embarks on a journey of self-discovery where she learns what it means to be an independent working woman.
Created by Amy Sherman-Palladino (“Gilmore Girls”), this show encompasses New York City in the 50s through its authentic set design and costumes. The scenes are filled with vibrant and detailed couture looks on the Upper West Side and beat styles of the West Village. Each episode takes the audience to popular NYC spots like the lavish department store B. Altman, the iconic Copacabana nightclub and the gritty comedy club world of Greenwich Village.
New York Jewish culture in the 1950s is an integral part of this show. When the first season begins, Midge depicts the persona of the stereotypical New York Jewish housewife: tends to her husband and children, makes her daily trips to the deli, and plans out every holiday to a tee while making sure the Rabbi can make an appearance to solidify her hard work. She has the overbearing yet incredibly loving parents and in-laws along with a smorgasbord of Yiddish and Jewish phrases and jokes that anyone can grasp and laugh along at.
The script is another main contributor to this show’s success. This comedy is written in a way that grabs your attention and never lets go. It is fast-paced yet easy to follow. While humor plays a big part in this script, the show tackles many themes such as friendship, transformation, gender roles, dependency and self-love.
Brosnahan (“House of Cards,” “Manhattan”) is a breath of fresh air. The 28-year-old actress fully embodies Midge, leaving no room for separation between herself and the character. Her quick wit and energy, paired with her inner and outer beauty, is what makes her shine in this role and compels the audience to become fully invested in her story.
Borstein (“Shameless,” “The Lizzie McGuire Movie”) is exceptionally funny and raw in the role of Susie. Her character symbolizes the stereotypical New Yorker: a loud, pushy, ball-buster. Some days you love her, some days you hate her, but you always care about and root for her; she constantly speaks her mind and never censors herself. Borstein perfectly depicts the “fake it till you make it” mentality and reminds the audience that everyone has their own personal struggles, but they cannot let those struggles get in the way of them getting what they want — and more importantly, what they deserve.
Susie is the best partner for Midge because they are polar opposites. Where Midge lacks in certain areas, Susie thrives and vice versa. Although their differences cause them to frequently butt heads, it also allows them to learn from one another and for their business relationship to flourish into a whacky and beautiful friendship.
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” received seven major nominations in 2019, winning four awards including Rachel Brosnahan’s second Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Musical Or Comedy. Last year, the show swept the Emmys, winning eight awards, and also won two Critics’ Choice Awards.
There is still plenty of time to dive into the Maisel madness before the upcoming season. Viewers can binge watch the first two seasons on Amazon Prime Video. Season three of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” will be available to start streaming Dec. 5.