I’ve found myself with quite a bit of time on my hands, as I’m sure you all can relate. So, what does one do with at least a month of staying indoors at one’s disposal? Binge watch TV, of course! Now, I’ve been obsessing over Amazon Prime’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Quarantine has put me in a nostalgic mood, wherein I’m reminiscing of a time when we didn’t have to stand six feet apart. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is, at its core, a feel-good comedy rife with strong familial ties and a heaping helping of heart. We could all use copious amounts of laughter and escapism (I suggest veering away from heavy-handed dramas) right now. This show provides all of that in spades.
Below, I’ve compiled a list of eight reasons why The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel should be your next TV obsession. Created by husband/wife duo Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino (both of Gilmore Girls fame), this series will fill that giant joy-shaped hole in your heart.
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1. The acting!
Do you love watching actors act? Well, there’s plenty of that happening in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Okay, I’m being facetious, but the performances in this show are simply astounding. The actors who bring these characters to life inject them with so much nuance that I have a hard time believing they didn’t exist in the 1950s. They’re performing acting gymnastics as far as I’m concerned. Couple Sherman-Palladino’s penchant for fast-paced, witty dialogue with incessant movement and you’ve got a legitimate Olympic sport. Rachel Brosnahan soars as Midge Maisel. Hot on her heels is Alex Borstein as the no-nonsense Susie Myerson. Borstein is damn funny and always armed with a dry quip. Tony Shalhoub is, naturally, a shining star in the Maisel sky. The Monk alum, who portrays Midge’s father Abe Weissman, has a wonderful arc throughout the show’s three seasons.
Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Marin Hinkle as Midge’s mother Rose, who knows a thing or two about comedy. Rising star Michael Zegen plays Midge’s ex-husband Joel Maisel who, try as I might, I just can’t seem to hate. Kevin Pollak as Joel’s father Moishe is also a knockout and provides plenty of laughs. In short – everyone in the core cast is brilliant beyond belief.
2. The costumes!
Now, I’m an avid lover of period pieces. In particular, anything that takes place in the ’40s and ’50s. Ever since my grandmother showed me photos of her elegant clothing from her youth, I became obsessed. The effortless style, striking colors, and timeless pieces! The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel delivers on the decadent costume front. Costume designer Donna Zakowska‘s intricate pieces are to die for. Enviable, even. If you love gushing over beautiful clothing, then you’ll love The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
3. Fast-paced, witty dialogue!
In my opinion, Aaron Sorkin has nothing on the Palladinos. The dialogue in this series is rapid-fire, with 90-miles-an-hour lines of pure comedic genius. For some inexplicable reason, the faster pace makes everything said that much funnier. Of course, wedged in between the moments of levity are genuinely heartbreaking scenes, so naturally the tempo is slower. This show keeps you on your toes, so it’s imperative that you pay attention. You never know what clever one-liner you may miss.
4. Female empowerment!
Midge Maisel epitomizes feminism with her pursuit of being a comedian in the 1950s. You know, when men still believed women belonged in the kitchen and raising the kids while they worked. Midge put the kibosh on all of that by going against the grain. Who says women can’t be funny? Midge proves that, yes, women indeed have a sense of humor, contrary to mid-20th century belief. She pulls no punches, and deals with the constant misogyny thrown her way like a pro.
5. Intriguing characters!
Now, Midge isn’t the only interesting character in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Joel embarks on a redemption arc that makes me root for him wholeheartedly, despite his initial philandering ways. Abe comes to grips with Midge’s comedy career and even learns to let go a bit himself. Rose’s struggle to understand her daughter’s foray into comedy (and not equate it to prostitution) is altogether humorous and heartbreaking. Susie herself is not a woman you’d expect to see in that time period. Overall, everyone has their own intriguing story on this show.
6. The music!
Do you love Frank Sinatra? Blossom Dearie? Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald, and Duke Ellington? Then The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is definitely for you. There are plenty of artists from the golden age of jazz and big band eras to sate any classic music lover’s appetite.
7. Familial ties that bind!
Family is a central theme in this series. We see Midge’s family constantly getting together for parties and dinners. For Passover and the occasional bris. Even though Midge and Joel suffer a relationship strain, they still manage to maintain some sense of normalcy for the sake of their children. Family is crucial, and you can’t help but feel like you’re part of the Maisels and Weissmans when watching this show.
8. It feels like home.
Now, I’m not saying every moment in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is sunshine and roses, but something about the nostalgic aura of it brings comfort. It’s like a good home-cooked meal. The show is whimsical and colorful (literally), and it manages to strike a good balance between said whimsy and its more somber scenes. It feels like a good, long embrace. Which is a nice change of pace when you’re stuck in self-isolation and practicing social distancing.
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Well, I hope this convinces you to give The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel a shot. However, if it fails to capture your heart, check out these shows we at GGA recommend here.
Happy binge watching, friends!
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