The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: Pilot Recap and Review
Amy Sherman-Palladino does it again with her new historical dramedy, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Trust me on this! It’s smart, clever, refreshing and doesn’t have “Chicago” in it’s title!
Meet Miriam “Midge” Maisel
From the creators of Gilmore Girls comes to you a story about Miriam “Midge” Maisel (portrayed by House of Cards’ Rachel Brosnahan), your perfect 1950s Jewish wife living the American Dream in Upper West Side of New York. She is the kind of girl who gives a toast at her own wedding, as you see in the opening of the pilot episode. She had her entire life figured out from what her signature haircut would be, what school she would attend, and the kind of man she was going to marry, specifically Joel Maisel (portrayed by Michael Zegen).
The Perfect Life?
Skipping ahead four years to 1958, we see Midge in her marvelous pink coat (do all the leading ladies the Palladino’s shows have a signature pink coat because I love it!), now a mother of two, skipping along town announcing that rabbi will be breaking fast at her home on Yom Kippur. As a good wife, she supported Joel’s hobby as a stand-up comedian by cooking the perfect brisket to bribe the Gaslight Cafe, the club where he performed his act, for a better performance time slot. Midge even carefully documented how Joel’s act went every evening including how many laughs each joke received in her pink notebook, which they reviewed on the way home.
Following a bad night at the Gaslight, Joel blamed Midge for his unsuccessful comedy career and unhappiness. He was leaving her. She begged him not to leave, asking him how she could do better, but then he told her he was having an affair with Penny, his secretary. Her parents (played by Monk‘s Tony Shalhoub and Two and Half Men‘s Marin Hinkle) also blamed her for her failed marriage. So she went back home and drowned her sorrows in wine. Then, she donned on her pink coat over her nightgown and got on the subway in the pouring rain.
A Star was Born
She arrived at the Gaslight and demanded for her Pyrex dish back and as fate had it, she stumbled on to stage for an impromptu comedy act, getting all the laughs that husband didn’t that night. Her act took a turn when she started shedding her nightgown and was arrested for public indecency and performing without a cabaret license. Lucky for her, Susie, the surly bartender at the Gaslight (played by Alex Borstein), bailed her out of jail and attempted to convince Midge that she had the talent of a stand-up comedian, offering to help her. After initially rejecting her offer, Midge ultimately decided to work with Susie to become a stand-up comic.
Reasons to watch the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
1. Fast-paced and witty dialogue
Miriam Maisel and Lorelai Gilmore could very well be related somehow. They are both spunky, full of wit, and not afraid to take chances/talk like a sailor. Rachel Brosnahan really nails the dialogue too! In fact, I would love to see all of Amy’s leading ladies, Lauren Graham, Sutton Foster, and Rachel Brosnahan together in an episode. Does anyone know how to make that happen?
2. Amazing costume/wardrobe/sets
Set in the 1950s, we get to see modern-day New York transformed into the 50s since the show films in New York City. Plus, the period wardrobe includes amazing coats, hats, and so much more as seen in the pilot and the trailer.
3. It’s from the Creator of Gilmore Girls. (Do you really need anymore reasons?)
Amy Sherman-Palladino is the brains behind this show so we can expect rapid-fire dialogue with historically and culturally accurate pop-culture. Let’s get one thing straight, these two shows are not alike. They have a similar tone in terms of the quick and smart writing, but Mrs. Maisel stands out on its own. Don’t expect quirky Stars Hollow characters suddenly walking around New York planning the next crazy town festival. I also cannot wait to see the characters development continued on throughout the series.
4. Treats for Gilmore Girls/Bunhead fans:
While not the same as Stars Hollow, you can still prepare to see some familiar faces if you are fans of Gilmore Girls and Bunheads. In the pilot episode alone, we see Gilmore Girls alums, Alex Borstein (who played Drella/Miss Celine, but was originally supposed to play Sookie) and Brian Tarantina (Bootsy), and Bunhead‘s Bailey De Young. I wonder who else AS-P has in store for us! Perhaps some Sean Gunn?
5. Refreshing storyline about female empowerment
Whoever said, “women aren’t funny”, are completely wrong and Midge is going to set out to do exactly that. It’s no secret that Midge is going to succeed as a stand-up comic, but it’s the journey she is going to take to get there that we are going to see. Plus, I cannot wait to see Susie and Midge’s relationship as they work together. Something tells me they aren’t always going to be on the same page.
(also did I mention it’s from the creators of Gilmore Girls?)
Season one of the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel begins streaming on Amazon Prime Wednesday, November 29. Good news! Amazon has already picked it up for season 2!