The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (2017– )
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All that said - don't be afraid to have high expectations of this show. Just make sure you listen closely to the dialog so you don't miss one delicious bit of hilarity which often occurs in simultaneous dialogue at a dramatic moment.
The acting is crisp, the caricatures of a rich New York Jewish family in the 50s are spot on. Rachel Brosnahan is intelligent, independent, strong and funny. Her energy paired with Alex Borstein's drollness leaves me clamoring to find out how this all plays out.
(PS - if you like it, I encourage you to take the time to fill out Amazon's survey which will help them decide whether to continue this series. I'd hate to see it go the way of their terrific series, Good Girls Revolt, which was discontinued after one season because it premiered in the thick of the 2016 election when its primary audience was otherwise occupied.)
This is what it a real comedy series should be. They've also found a real charmer in Rachel Brosnahan, who's not just lovely and energetic, but genuinely funny. A cast of bright characters with great writing rounds out this great show. The other guys could learn a thing or three from The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
This fresh-feeling comedy, the brainchild of Daniel Palladino & Amy Sherman-Palladino leaves almost nothing to be desired. This is a full-bodied comedy series that really grabs your attention and never lets it go. Everything from the camera work, to the sets, to costuming is very well done and does a more than adequate job in immersing you in a lush, colorful, mid-century snapshot of 1960's New York.
Miriam "Midge" Maisel, the matriarch-in-training of her young nuclear family, exceeds by every measure to be the wife she believes her husband deserves. She dotes on him, cares for his emotional well- being, and is perfectly happy. Until changes happen that sets her on a path she's not sure she's able to handle.
I can name, both with TV shows and movies, many where the focus was to witness the genesis of a stand-up comedian, or where we look into the life of a seasoned comedian, or view the last bits of a comedian's career. Usually the actor portraying the comedian (or even sometimes an actual comedian portraying one) just isn't funny. We see the story taking pains to make us believe they're hilarious by cracking up the on screen audiences, winning awards or accolades, and receiving praise. It never really works, because unless you can make ME, the real audience, believe he or she is funny, it hasn't done its job.
Rachel Brosnahan is funny. Her timing is perfect. And obviously the jokes have to be good, so the writers are no slouches either, but the material goes nowhere unless you have the right person delivering that dialogue. They've found her. Effortlessly, Brosnahan delivers line after line of well written material with a confidence, brashness, and stereo-typically New York swagger that has you saying "yeah, I can see her doing stand-up". That's rare, and that's very special. De Niro couldn't do it in "The Comedian". Sally Field couldn't do it in "Punchline". Heck, Adam Sandler couldn't really pull it off well in "Funny People". And it has FUNNY in the name for Christ's sake!
The rest of the cast is a manic pleasure, and the show has done a great job with who they've cast to be her family. Tony Shalhoub wasn't in the pilot much, but now that the rest of the episodes have become available for streaming, I see that he stands out with great dialogue he was given and an intensity I hadn't before seen in him. It works. As well, Marin Hinkle who plays Midge's mom, does a wonderful job in the role. We see her character expand exponentially from the pilot with the new episodes.
Every fall that rolls around, I get excited to see the shows and which ones I think will swim or sink, and I believe we have a winner here.
What may seem to be a standard, formulaic "dramedy" really has a feel of its own. There are comparable shows in level of quality, but as far as I'm concerned, none just outright better. I hope it maintains its quality and has a nice, long run.
The writing is smart and fast paced, the acting is top notch and it runs just edgy enough to keep you stunned without devolving into a parody.
Give it a watch and vote for it on Amazon. This is TV that needs made.
It captures the period and NYC extremely well. Love the lead actress, and the woman who works the bar at the comedy club. Tony Shalhoub is fantastic as always as Mrs. Maisel's father.
The kicker was when after we'd watched it, we looked up who created it. Haha, no less than one of the greatest TV writers/creators/producers of all time, Amy Sherman-Palladino! I should have known.
This is going to be a hit and for all the right reasons.
The set and clothing design was spot on and fabulous. Everything about it just hit the mark.
I want more of Mrs. Maisel as soon as possible!
Does anyone really believe that this upper middle class Jewish housewife swears like a truck driver when "under the influence," whether it's alcohol or her first joint, shows off her breasts, and curses at a judge? If it wants to be funny, it will have to try a lot harder to avoid the clichés (and that includes casting such scenery chewers as Mary Testa and Caroline Aaron).
Know we're in the minority here, but this series needs a lot better writing to carry off the premise. I will admit that the third episode is slightly less irritating than the first two, but this will never be a go-to series for me in the long run.