Because I qualified for an Amazon Prime free trail I’m able to enjoy one of my favorite series of last year, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
I’m going to try write a review for the season two episodes before my trial runs out at the end of the month.
I was very much looking forward to this shows return because of the cast, the great costuming, and the brilliant writing.
The cast is a powerhouse Rachel Brosnahan as Midge is so darn likable it’s no surprise she took her the gold at last year’s Emmys and Golden Globes.
Tony Schalhoub as Abe brings a character I’ve never seen on television.
Though he can be absentminded he’s not portrayed as a dullard instead he’s an accomplished professor.
Marin Hinkle’s Rose Weissman has a grace about her that just oozes off screen. And even when chaos arises she can be cool and collected but as seen last season she has a limit and isn’t afraid of voicing her opinion.
Joel though he’s no longer with Midge he still isn’t grating in fact I rather like him and am looking forward to what happens this season with Michael Zegen’s character.
And of course Alex Borenstein as Susie Myerson is phenomenal. The jokes about her being mistaken for a man don’t bother her at all instead her character is so determined to make it as Midge’s manager. Her chemistry with Midge is second to none. It’s like our generations Lucy & Ethel.
This season starts revealing Midge has a new position with B. Altman as a call center rep. She’s successful at this position but Midge is determined to get back to “the show”, as a counter girl where the action happens.
She receives a frantic call from her father telling her return home at once worried that something has happened to her children.
He explains that her mother hasn’t returned her trip and he’s worried because he figured she’d be back for this anticipated dinner party.
It’s revealed that she’s actually went to France and not just to visit but to live.
The humor was phenomenal, Abe was hilarious and him being in his own world was shown to have possibly dire consequences.
Because of the events of the first season Rose feels like she’s lost and doesn’t have control so she decides to move to Paris.
When Midge asks him to recount what happens we finally get to see what actually occurs.
Her explaining her discontent and him only acknowledging the dinner plans with him saying “Lamb is good”.
The fact that in the first episode they actually showed them going to Paris shows that this show isn’t scared of taking risks and that Amazon has stepped up their budget .
The skyline transition from New York to Paris’ Eifel Tower was amazing.
The writing on this show is so good.
From the Sylvia Path reference to the fact that the manager actually gets along with the henchman.
This show I feel does a good job of not swerving but playing with expectations.
I know once Abe & Midge went to Paris and the way they commented I assumed Rose would be miserable after she ventured out on her own.
Turns out she has the ability to live below her means.
She’s taken to France like a fish to water. She’s already fluent in French, has taken in a dog, and in spite of the lack of furnishings she seems content with the same apartment she used in college.
This episode accomplished so much in a hour.
It both met and surpassed the hype & expectations coming fresh after the awards season.
The show felt like itself and the change of country didn’t feel like it wasn’t jumping the shark but instead was an expansion of the world similar to what Master of None did it’s second season.
I feel it showed new sides to each character with Abe’s resilience, Susie’s charm with Henry Drake’s goons, and Midge dealing with the consequences of her newfound platform and the casualties of her choices.
I think my favorite scene was when Midge took the stage in Paris.
The way this played was perfect and they didn’t disappoint.
After dinner with her parents didn’t end like they hoped, with the mom agreeing to travel back to New York, Midge ventures out and ends up at a nightclub.
There’s great humor in how the locals treat tourists. Once the waiter finds out she’s American they add an extra surcharge to her entrance.
We as an audience is taking into this world with flamboyant bartenders and a diverse crowd throughout.
On stage was a trio of ladies who were performing and were interacting with the crowd. As this was happening Midge notices one of the singers’ dresses were unzipped and while she tried to help she ended being pulled on stage.
The big reveal is that in actually these were men in drag who delivered a great performance.
I hoped after she had her wits that she’d naturally take the opportunity of being on stage to express herself which she did.
It felt like the first time she was on stage and it was great seeing the vulnerability as she spoke.
As she spoke to a crowd of Parisians she began to seek common ground finally finding some in a patron who hailed from New York.
The way they set up the cross cultural differences was perfect.
Though no one else could understand what she was saying the fellow New Yorker began to translate to her table and Midge began getting laughs.
When this was happening I really wanted the translator to speak to the entire crowd so they wouldn’t be left out, the writers agreed and soon there after this is what took place.
Her set itself was used to show what was not known to us, the viewing audience, beforehand.
Through her words we pick up where the series left out at the end of the first season with her finishing her set & greeting Lenny Bruce offstage.
The high Midge received from this defining performance was deflated down after she was told Joel saw her and that Susie said some unsavory things in comparison to their talents.
“Paris” Midge talks about how the stage can have power which can be intoxicating.
The acting in the next scene was beautiful.
The scene where she’s at a pay phone calling collect to her husband across the globe.
Though they both love each other and she’s still in love with him they can’t be together.
For them to make it work she would have to give up stand up.
He, who was an aspiring comedian in his own right, knows the business but he’s just not comfortable being talked about on stage.
This episode ends with some questions answered and more raised:
How is Susie gonna make peace with Henry Drake, the talent manager, who wanted her to be roughed up?
Will Midge find peace in her craft during this period of singleness?
Is Rose ever coming back from France?
I’m excited to see what happens next and how this series will develop.