The Marvelous Mrs Maisel
I started watching this series when I was feeling particularly miserable about somethings happening in my life at that point. As I finished watching the first episode I knew I had made a marvelous decision. What I thought to be a comedy-centric show had so much more to offer. Breaking stereotypes, women breaking shackles and society’s norms, courage to start over from scratch. All this and hilarious. No not just hilarious HaHa but hilarious laughing my ass off. Thinking and suddenly breaking out laughing hilarious.
The series in based in the 1950s in New York around this uber cool (and rich) Jewish family. Miriam “Midge” Maisel is a happily married woman with porcelain skin and an enviable wardrobe. She is in shape and perky in-spite of having 3 children. A girl and a boy. Her life is perfection. However suddenly her stand up comedy enthusiast husband leaves her for a much younger secretary. What could have been devastating comes as a blessing in disguise. In an unsettling state Miriam decides to rant at the club they used to frequent as a couple, invariably giving her first stand up performance and catching the attention of the club manager, a certain Ms Susie Myerson (More about her later).
So, that sets the ball rolling. What follows is a joyous ride of 3 seasons. A lot of stand-up acts, sizzling chemistry, banters (especially the ones between Susie and Miriam) and bonds. The eccentricities for each character is what I liked best about the series. Miriam’s parents are this typical rich Jewish family, who do not like to intermingle much. They have a good social presence and an impeccable style of living. Her in-laws on the other hand are loud, brash and money minded. The interactions between these two families create some mind-blowing scenes. But the understated star of the show is Ms Susie Myerson. I have fallen in love with this character. Her attitude, style, dressing sense, sass and demeanor is awe-inspiring and damn hilarious.
The dialogues and especially the dialogue delivery is amazingly executed. The stand-up bits are a riot. Punch lines delivered with a straight face and many a times hitting under the belt. The very idea of women in stand-up comedy is new even in today’s time. Now think back to 50’s, a woman, oh wait a divorced woman, Jewish, with 2 kids was something unheard off. Her topics which range from family, Jewish stereotypes, marriage, sexual in tunes often land her and Susie in trouble. But that’s the fun and frolic of their relationship. And both of them together make a strong case for feminism and women empowerment which has been subtly covered in the show.
The cinematography is lit, considering its a period drama – makers have ensured to capture the essence of old times. So you see a lot of vintage cars, outfits, decors and slang. The ever vibrant and romantic city of NY and jazz clubs have been beautifully captured. The series also touches upon important historic moments, so in the third season you have the girls performing for WW soldiers. The actors are all cast perfectly to their roles, doing utmost justice. Miriam (Rachel Brosnahan) is a fabulous actress and that pretty face with perfect outfits make her a delight to watch on screen. Joel Maisel (Michael Zegen) the on and off husband plays the role of spineless husband perfectly having a good moments here and there. Parents though not central to the story or having many scenes are a hoot. But the kind of exposure this series has given to Alex Borstein (actor who plays Susie) is unmatched. You may remember her playing blink-and-you-will-miss roles previously but this series has literally brought out the best in her. As you might have guessed by now – she is my absolute favorite.
After reading this review, if you are still not convinced to watch this series, then do me a favor please. Go to YouTube and search “Susie Myerson one liners”. If that doesn’t convince you nothing will! In fact its my go-to watch whenever I feel a little down and out. Watch and be transported back in time, a fabulous time where women are not just pretty little things, but have a voice, are independent and kiss some ass when required. Tits Up (you gotta watch to know this).
Disclaimer: The above review solely illustrates the views of the writer.