The rise of streaming services over the past few years has brought a rise of incredible new shows available with just a click of a button. One new show that may have flown under the radar for many is Amazon Prime Video’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”
Set in the 1950s, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” finds an unlikely feminist icon in its leading lady Miriam “Midge” Maisel. The show follows Maisel’s journey from sheltered wife and mother to stand-up comedian and working girl after her husband leaves her.
Seemingly coming out of nowhere, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” has taken the country by storm, already winning multiple awards this year, including a Golden Globe for best comedy series. Rachel Brosnahan, who plays Mrs. Maisel, has also taken home a Golden Globe and Critic’s Choice Award for her incredible performance as the newly independent leading lady. While “Maisel” is an incredible show with endless laughs to be had, there’s so much more to it than that, and many more reasons why this show should be at the top of everyone’s binge list.
1. The Comedy
At the very core of the show is Midge’s journey to becoming a stand-up comedian. Although her first venture into the comedy world was a rocky one (she drunkenly stormed the stage of a comedy club after her husband left her), it was clear that Maisel was a force to be reckoned with from the very beginning. Although her first performance landed her in jail, Midge kept going back for more, with Susie, the manager of The Gaslight comedy club, taking Maisel under her wing.
Maisel’s style of comedy, and the trip she endured to create it, took time and practice, teaching viewers that if they set their mind to something, they can make it happen through hard work. Maisel flopped a few times on her way to becoming a comedian, but she never gave up on it. While Midge’s comedy provided laughs for viewers everywhere over the course of the season, it is her journey of ups and downs to becoming a stand-up comedian that should inspire viewers to keep working until they achieve their goals.
2. Strong and Independent Women
In the 1950s, and especially in the Jewish community that Midge came from, it was expected for a woman to go straight from her father’s house to her husband’s and stay home to raise children. When viewers meet Maisel, this is exactly the life that she leads.
Although Midge’s husband Joel leaving her may have been devastating at first, given the world that she lived in, it proved to be one of the best things to happen to her. The first thing that Maisel did after her husband left her was get up on stage of a comedy club and just start talking. Comedians were far and few between in the 1950s, so for Midge to hop on stage and tell some jokes, and then make the decision to hone her skills over the course of the season, was a big deal.
In addition to Midge’s comedy career, once the prospect of divorce begins to hit her, she decides to get a job, something that she has never done in her life. Although she first applied to be an elevator operator within the company, Maisel finds her calling as a cosmetics specialist at the B. Altman Department Store. In gaining her independence, Midge also makes some new friends along the way and regains some of the years that she lost when she jumped into marriage right out of college.
Although she’s the lead character of the show, Midge isn’t the only strong and independent woman in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” Susie Myerson, played by Alex Borstein, marches to the beat of her own drum, wearing what she wants and not caring what anybody has to say about her.
Susie and Midge form an unlikely friendship over the course of the show when Susie takes Maisel on as her first client. What starts off as purely professional, according to Myerson, becomes a friendship that neither woman was expecting.
The show passes The Bechdel Test with flying colors, with much of Susie and Midge’s time together focusing on the latter’s comedy career rather than on her marriage. These two very different women teach viewers how to be strong and independent and, although the show takes place in the 1950s, the lessons from Midge and Susie still hold something for viewers to learn from today.
3. The Costumes and the Period
Who doesn’t love a good period piece? In addition to the comedy and the realness of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” the screen glows with costumes of every color, showing off the beauty that the 1950s had to offer.
Midge’s closet and sense of style is definitely something to be envious of for many viewers. If the costumes aren’t enough to pique your interest, maybe the fact that the show is set in the 1950s will.
There’s just something so idyllic about that time period that draws viewers in, making them want to watch more. The tranquility and beauty of the time period also provides a stark contrast for the more jarring aspects of the show, such as Midge’s crude sense of humor and unlikely stance as a thriving woman in the world of comedy, one that was mainly dominated by men at the time.
4. The Creative Minds Behind the Show
As if all of this weren’t enough of a reason to watch “Maisel,” the show is also created by the same brilliant minds that brought “Gilmore Girls” to the world. Amy Sherman-Palladino and her husband Dan Palladino bring the same fun and fast paced nature that made viewers fall in love with “Gilmore Girls” to “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”
Midge Maisel shares many similarities with Lorelai Gilmore, who fans came to know and love over the course of seven seasons and the four-episode reboot. Much of the humor that made “Gilmore Girls” become an instant classic has been brought into “Maisel,” which has already garnered acclaim after just eight episodes.
Although it may have initially flown under the radar, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” is not a show to be missed. So, the next time you’re looking for something to binge, look no further than Amazon Prime Video’s latest hit.