Amy Sherman-Palladino explained the show concept as follows: "I wanted to do a story about a woman who thought she'd scored...She'd gotten it all, and then, bam, it all falls apart. And in falling apart, she discovers an ambition and a need to speak, and a voice that she just frankly didn't know was there."
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The first TV show on a streaming platform to win the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series.
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The pilot episode of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel was one of Amazon Video's most successful ever, achieving an average viewer rating of 4.9 stars.
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Rachel Brosnahan's close friend, writer-comedienne Jasmine Pierce, whom she watched make the journey from 'open mic' clubs to writing for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (2014), provided Rachel with ample inspiration and advice for her role in this series.
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The fortune teller offers a charm filled with "tannis root" which is a fictional herb used by the occult in the film Rosemary's Baby (1968).
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Many of the doorposts throughout the series have a small box attached to them. This is a mezuzah, a case containing passages from the Torah (Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and 11:13-21), which Jews traditionally affix to the door frames of their houses as a constant reminder of God's presence. A mezuzah also functions as a sign that a Jewish person occupies the house or works in the building onto which it is affixed, so in this series, the frequent sight of mezuzahs on doorframes is one of many indications that most of the characters are Jewish.
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Although this has not been stressed on the show to nearly the extent that it has been for the Weissmans and the Maisels (Midge included) the character of Susie Myerson (Alex Borstein) is also supposed to be understood as Jewish. In a November 2017 interview with the Jewish women's magazine Hadassah, Borstein confirmed that Susie is Jewish: "Borstein describes the Jewish Susie as very strong, wanting to be part of her own destiny and not just letting life happen to her. 'I've always known most Jewish women to be that way,' she observes." In a December 2017 interview with The Jewish Journal, Borstein said that Susie reminds her of several of her own family members: "My grandmother, a Holocaust survivor, was very funny, very dark and bitchy. My mother went back to school later in life to get her MSW or MFT psychotherapy degree, one of those f-- series of letters with a bunch of "m's" in it. They were tough broads who kept reinventing themselves, and there's a piece of Susie in there."
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The series was renewed for a third season on May 20, 2018, before the second season had aired.
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The "apartment" where Midge and her husband Joel live was created on the same set as the apartment where Midge's parents live, but with more modern (late-1950s) design, inspired in part by Doris Day movies, according to production designer Bill Groom.
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Rachel Brosnahan wears a wig as Midge Maisel.
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The exterior and stairwell of the Gaslight were filmed at Under St. Marks Theatre on St. Marks just off 1st Ave, which is the site of a real open mic that happens every Tuesday from 9pm to 2am.
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On April 10, 2017 Amazon ordered 2 seasons of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel series. Amy Sherman-Palladino will be in charge again.
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Midge occasionally comments that jokes will land better if someone's speaking faster. This is perhaps a nod to Amy Sherman-Pallandino's use of fast paced dialogue in this series.
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The show takes place in 1958 from the first episode according to a diary entry.
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Amy Sherman-Palladino won the 2018 Emmy Award in the Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series category for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: Pilot (2017).
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Midge's (Rachel Brosnahan) first open mic takes place on September 23, 1958, which was in fact, Erev Yom Kippur. Although the family makes a big deal about having the Rabbi over for breakfast after Yom Kippur, Midge and her mother are both shown eating and drinking on Yom Kippur (despite it being a fasting holiday) and Abe and Moshe are both shown working on Yom Kippur (despite it being one of the few holiday even many secular Jews spend in synagogue).
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Amazon's official promotional copy for this series included the fact that Mrs. Maisel has "an elegant Upper West Side apartment perfect for hosting Yom Kippur dinner." For anyone who is Jewish or even remotely knowledgeable about Judaism, this is an odd assertion, since Yom Kippur is the best-known of several fasting observances in the Jewish calendar, and therefore no dinner would be served on the holiday. After Yom Kippur is over, Jewish families do traditionally gather for a meal to break the fast, but this meal is called a "Break-the-Fast," not "Yom Kippur dinner." The meal is referred to correctly in dialogue during the actual pilot episode.
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The typeface used for the title is the same as the one used for the TV show The Osbournes. It's called Sparkly and was designed by Stuart Sandler of Font Diner.
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The review of the pilot in The Guardian praised the "combination of Amy Sherman-Palladino's banging dialogue and the utterly winning charm of Brosnahan", while The A.V. Club praised the "outstanding" production design and said "this is a series that's as confident as its heroine-and what a heroine she is. Midge is already layered, conflicted, hilarious, and charming."
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The series's pilot premiered as a part of Amazon Studios' spring pilot season on March 17, 2017, to critical acclaim, and was picked up by Amazon for a two-season order on April 10, 2017.
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Amy Sherman-Palladino was also the creator of the popular TV series Gilmore Girls (2000). Fans will see some recurring actors and themes in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
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The three main cast members of the Maisel family, Michael Zegen, Kevin Pollak, and Caroline Aaron, are all Jewish. However the three main cast members of the Weissmann family, Rachel Brosnahan, Tony Shaloub, and Marin Hinkle, are not.
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Tony Shalhoub (Abe) and Katrina Lenk (Cosma) starred in the Broadway musical The Band's Visit. They both won the Tony award for Best Actor and Actress, respectively.
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Amy Sherman-Palladino was inspired by childhood memories of her father, a standup comedian based in NYC.
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During the Jewish holiday of Passover, instead of attending a service at a synagogue, it is traditional to hold a ritual service (called a Seder) at one's own home or to attend a Seder at the home of family or friends. The book that sets forth the ancient text and order ("seder" literally means "order") of the Passover service and recounts the story of the Exodus from Egypt is called a Haggadah (literally, "telling, tale, lesson"). Many editions of the Haggadah have been published over the centuries, but arguably the most frequently used twentieth-century American edition of the Haggadah is the one that was distributed by the Maxwell House coffee company, starting in 1932 as a marketing promotion to inform Jewish households that Maxwell House was Kosher for Passover. The Maxwell House Hagaddah has been used for Seders by the US Military, in prisons, and in the White House. In 2019, Maxwell House announced that the newest edition of their Haggadah was a limited edition tie-in with the TV show "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," combining a real 1950s edition of their Haggadah with illustrations of the show's characters and a brisket recipe supposedly from Midge herself. The special-edition Haggadah was only available to Maxwell House customers who ordered their coffee through Amazon; "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" is an Amazon Prime show.
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A critic for Slate called the pilot episode "a knockout", stating that the stand-up element "introduces a welcome streak of discipline, both verbal and thematic, into Amy Sherman-Palladino's charming but manic work."
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On November 13, 2017, the series held its official premiere at the Village East Cinema in New York City.
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Gilmore Girls (2000) fans will remember Alex Borstein, who was originally cast as Sookie, but played Drella, the harp player from the Independence Inn, appearing here as an East Village bar veteran, Susie, who takes Midge (Rachel Brosnahan) under her wing.
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Principal photography for the pilot took place from September 27 to October 14, 2016 in New York City. On October 4 and 5, 2016, filming took place at 96 St. Marks Place in New York City where exterior shots were being filmed. Residents of the building being used for filming were reportedly unhappy about the disruption that the production would cause.
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The series was created by Amy Sherman-Palladino. Sherman-Palladino and her husband Daniel Palladino serve as executive producers.
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The opening episode of season 3 Takes place somewhere around Christmas in 1959. During the USO show there is a very large American flag behind them which correctly shows 49 stars since this would have been during the brief period between Alaska and Hawaii becoming states.
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Rachel Brosnahan and Alex Borstein are from Highland Park, IL and Deerfield, IL, respectively; two northern suburbs of Chicago that are located right next to each other.
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Kevin Pollak (Moishe Maisel) & Caroline Aaron (Shirley Maisel) also worked together on House Arrest (1996) as Ned Beindorf & Louise Finley respectively.
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Tony Shalhoub (Abe Weissman) & Michael Zegen (Joel Maisel) also worked together on BrainDead (2016) as Red Wheatus & Ben Valderrama respectively.
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Oddly similar to the little seen This Is My Life (1992).
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Joel Johnstone (Archie Cleary) and Luke Kirby (Lenny Bruce) both appeared on ABC's The Astronauts Wives Club. They appeared as the ill fated Gus Grissom (Johnstone) and Max Kaplan.
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On October 10, 2017, the official trailer for the first season was released. On August 9, 2018, a teaser trailer for the second season was released.
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Among the main cast only Michael Zegen is from the New York area, having grown up in northern New Jersey. By contrast Rachel Brosnahan, Alex Bornstein, and Jane Lynch are all from the Chicago area.
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