“Why do women have to pretend to be something that they’re not? Why do we have to pretend to be stupid when we’re not stupid? Why do we have to pretend to be helpless when we’re not helpless? Why do we have to pretend to be sorry when we have nothing to be sorry about? Why do we have to pretend we’re not hungry when we’re hungry?” – Midge Maisel
The Marvellous Mrs Maisel revolves around Midge, a homemaker in the Upper West Side of Manhattan who seems to have everything a woman in the 1950s could possibly want – a massive apartment, a businessman husband and two kids. She’s charming, fun and ever so supportive of her husband’s dream of making it big as a comedian.
That is, until he announces that he’s leaving her following an affair with his secretary. Fuelled by rage and alcohol, Midge makes her way to a club called the Gaslight and jumps onstage. In her drunkenness, she grabs the mic and rambles out a bitter and witty conversational monologue. Susie, the manager of the Gaslight, is astounded by how naturally funny Midge is. As a matter of fact, she has so much more comedic potential than her husband ever will.
Here begins the journey of the Marvellous Mrs Maisel, played by Rachel Brosnahan. With Susie’s help, she tries to break out as a stand-up comedian in a time where inequality against women was the norm. While her parents try to convince her to get back with her cheating husband and their tumultuous relationship, she works on lighting up the stage with her natural quick wit, all with a picture perfect wardrobe.
From Amy Sherman-Palladino, the creator of Gilmore Girls, this show is a great and hilarious escape. It is filled with interesting supporting characters and great acting all around. Midge’s stand-up routines are full of spark, the timing and delivery spot on – it really makes you laugh out loud and are often based on the current direction her life is going in. She uses her humour to point out the major flaws in society and the unfair standards put on women. The characters are often exaggerated but seeing them from different points of views makes you really root for them. The ever-evolving relationship between Lenny Bruce (based on the real life comedian) and Midge is also very intriguing.
The production design did an amazing job creating bright and aesthetic sets which are very pleasing to the eye. With such outstanding acting and writing, it’s no wonder The Marvellous Mrs Maisel set a new record for the highest Emmys won by a comedy show in 2020. Season 1 is surely the peak of the show with great writing and fresh characters, with seasons 2 and 3 not far behind. If you are looking for a comedy with a great storyline, it is definitely worth watching.