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Is The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Marvelous?

by Surbhi Gupta
Mrs Marvelous

Gilmore Girls’ Amy Shalman-Palladino brought The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel at the perfect time. Exactly when the audience was looking for female-driven and maybe cloying content, the premier of Mrs. Maisel in 2017 garnered a whopping fanbase. 

So let me tell you how we’re going to go about this review, I have two personalities; one loves the show, and the other has found all kinds of flaws in it. We’re going to listen to both of them and decide. 

Disclaimer: This is not a spoiler free review, I don’t think it’s even a review, it’s a rant.

As many of us know, this is a patriarchal world. So obviously women in comedy and women who write comedy are not very chartered territories. So streaming a series based in the 1950s about a woman who has the knack for being a comic could either be a great hit or an utterly flop idea. 

But behold, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel swept the audience off the floor. It gained commendable reviews, and also went on to become the first Amazon streaming series to win an Emmy in the Best Comedy Series category. Mrs. Maisel season 1 thrived and had a rating of 94% on Rotten Tomatoes. But what’s difficult for every sitcom is to maintain the graph and take it upwards. It’s a divided house, let’s see what my dual observations are;

The I think The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is Marvelous Take

A sweet Upper-West side girl whose marriage falls apart, and she begins a journey to rediscover, or as some would say, bring out her real self. The rather fancy Jewish girl had immense talent, and this was just the beginning.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, in my opinion, is a comedic fury full of poignant character details and artistic choices. The casting of Rachel Brosnahan adds a different delight to the show, as the actress delivers all the sucker punch one-liners like she was born to play the character. Season 1 of the show sent shivers down the spine of fashion enthusiasts as the 1950s came back to fashion. 

Miriam, nicknamed Midge, shows a regular uptown Jewish wife with two kids who is doing her best to support her husband. She portrays the lady who waits for her husband to fall asleep so she can remove her makeup, and wakes up before him so he cannot see her without at least that coat of beauty. The show is full of life and colors and is not tragic, like Amazon’s previous female-driven British dark comedy series Fleabag

The trajectory of Mrs. Maisel’s character just goes upwards, from her spiral and the first gig at the Gaslight after her husband, Joel announces he is leaving her happens, she just finds her groove. Season 2 goes on about her struggles as a female comic, blasphemous content, and other profane jokes, which in all honestly are really funny. She has her ups and downs with her personal life, managing a romance or two, and finding a mentor in Lenny Bruce, a character based on the great comedian late Lenny Bruce himself. 

She bombs once, and Susie, her manager hits her hard with the realization that Comedy is no joke. It is not a side job, which is when she leaves her cosmetic sales rep job ( which again she excelled at ) calling out all kinds of misogynists and anti-democrats in her life on a daily basis.

The show in its entirety is a full rollercoaster of a story, with The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 3 peaking as a sitcom. In all it’s comic glory, here’s hoping the graph goes upwards in the upcoming seasons. 

The I think The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is not that Marvelous Take

First of all, what is wrong with you, my alternate personality. The entire show is less comedy and feels more like a TED Talk on feminism and Midge’s life, which in all honesty, is no struggle. Midge’s character does not even follow the person she’s based on, that being Joan Rivers. 

For starters, Rivers didn’t have kids and it doesn’t really feel like Miriam does either. She is not burdened with the responsibilities of her kids and defers them on to her parents, which just adds to the show’s unrealistic attitude especially if it is set in the 1950s.  

Unlike Rivers, most of her sets are based on her superiority and the fact that she is married, or divorced, or how she couldn’t find the right color of the hat to match her dress. Rivers’ comedy resonates more in After Life on Netflix through manifestation. It was more or less based on her struggle with feeling like an ugly unf**kable loser. 

This is often referred to as the show’s most thrilling part, but which comic in history has the tendency to just write and make up stuff every time that gives the license to kill. The unrealistic nature of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel doesn’t end here, the woman never bombs. Now that one time doesn’t count, not for her at least ( more on it later ). 

Now, coming back to the time she actually bombs she only feels the momentary shift. It is her manager Susie who knocks some sense into her. The scrappy manager played by Alex Borstein throws disdain and is the only acceptance of Mrs. Maisel giddy’s character when she says, “Look at you”, ” “It’s like a dollop of whipped cream grew a head.” Because Susie knows, unlike Midge, the whole standup thing for her is her life, the difference between paying bills and sleeping on the road.

I’m not saying the show is a bust, or that it’s not worth watching. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 3 does try to knock some real doors. But it somehow just falls short on logic and reality, but I guess that’s what sitcoms are about.

May the Rabbiah officiate your Thanksgiving too!

There’s more to come ( yes, Season 4 is on its way ) and I hope The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel keeps making fans with her briskets and her jokes!

So watch it and comment down below to tell me which of my personalities was correct. Keep reading for more such reviews, Voila!


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Devashish Miglani June 30, 2020 - 5:41 pm

A commendable job! Mrs. Maisel deserves such a great review!✨💯

Mike August 4, 2020 - 2:02 am

I have just finished Season 1 after a friend recommended it to me. What a bittersweet ride. All the actors are superb in delivering a great storyline and the period feel of 1950s America looks totally authentic. This is not just comic but great drama too which I felt really involved in.


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