New York City, 1958. Miriam Maisel is the pinnacle of a perfect housewife. From a Jewish family living on the upper-east side, she watches her husband perform his stand-up routine eagerly in a sleazy downtime comedy club. From the writers of Gilmore Girls, the premise of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel already had everything I could want, and the pilot episode did not fail to deliver.
Midge Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan, House of Cards) is happily married and super supportive of her husband, Joel, who wants to make it big in the comedy scene. After bombing a performance, however, Joel (Michael Zegen, Boardwalk Empire) very suddenly realises it’s probably all his wife’s fault and decides to leave her.
Distraught and drunk, Midge ends up in the club and wanders onto the stage, gabbling about her woes. When this unexpectedly receives raucous applause (did I mention she also flashes the audience?) Midge comes to the realisation, with the help of club worker Susie (Alex Borstein, known best to you as the voice of Lois Griffin in Family Guy, known best to me as that crazy teacher in The Lizzie McGuire Movie), that it should be her up there on the stage doing standup, and not her lousy husband.
Part comedy, part drama, I thoroughly enjoyed this episode. The show is clever and witty, and the characters are excellent. While the 50’s New York setting is beautiful and evocative, Midge is an absolute delight. At every point you think she might be too stuck up, ignorant, or spoilt she offsets it with a quip or endearing memory, and it’s wonderful to watch. Also a bonus: a fantastic soundtrack. I can’t wait to get through the rest of the series.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Amazon Prime Video
29 November 2017