The thing about The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is that I quite forget how I love it until I’m watching it again. I was mesmerised by the first season when I watched it last year. I was drawn into because it had a lot of things that I love: comedy, female comics, 1950’s New York, nice wardrobe and it was created by Amy Sherman-Palladino from Gilmore Girls fame.
If you haven’t watched this Emmy-award winning show basically it’s about the perfect wife and mother, Miriam “Midge” Maisel in the late 1950s whose life gets turned upside down one night and she discovers a hidden talent for stand-up comedy.
So let’s cut to the chase and here’s four things I enjoyed about season 2 and one thing I didn’t:
SPOILER WARNING: Read after you’ve finished season two please!
1 Midge Maisel is a flawed heroine
Is she ever? They don’t even try and pretend that she’s perfect. One of her biggest character flaws in season one is the fact that she isn’t the best mother, she is constantly leaving her children with her parents and gallivanting around the city. But this season she’s even worse. Her parents too. It’s almost a running joke about how negligent they are with Midge’s two kids. And even Joel’s parenting seems to be largely off-screen. Midge even decides to go on tour at the end of the season without even a second thought about her children. Which comes to the next big problem with Midge, she is so used to living a sheltered life that she is not used to taking responsibility for her mistakes and we see the dominos start to fall this season.
2. The cinematography in “We’re Going To The Catskills”
I adored everything about the Weissman/Maisel trip to The Catskills – an upscale resort that the rich visit for two months in the summer. Think Dirty Dancing but with less dirty dancing and more rompers. But there is a brilliant choreographed scene where the Weissman’s are moving around the furniture in their home but the audience only sees it from the outside. But the entire episode is a treat for all those who love beautiful scenery.
3. RUFUS SEWELL
In a tiny role, in only one episode, Rufus Sewell plays the role of a reclusive artist who shows Midge his masterpiece only to tell her that this artwork took everything out of him and left him with nothing. This seems to inspire Midge, and she decides that she wants to be ‘big’, she wants to sacrifice everything for her craft. Which is what happens at the end of the season where she essentially gives up her relationship with her boyfriend, her parents and her children for her big break. But back to Rufus Sewell, he is such a charming and excellent actor that he gives the intense scene so much gravity.
4. The growth of Abe Weissman’s character
I never watched Monk and my only point of reference for Tony Shalhoub was all the awards he kept winning for playing the title character in that show. God, I hated him. But now, I get it, he is a really excellent actor and probably deserves all the acclaim that he receives. And while the character of Abe was enjoyable in the first season, he really got a chance to shine in season two, from the sequence featuring his exercises to the comedy bits in the security room at Bell Labs to his emotional monologues, Shahoub deserves to go up on stage for this too.
What I didn’t like:
Joel Maisel and that damn ending – If anything reminded me that the Palladinos created Gilmore Girls too, it was that damn ending of the season. The entire season two was like a redemption arc for Joel Maisel and sometimes I bought into it, I laughed with him, nodded along etc. But most times I was like Midge’s brother, Noah who liked to remind us that this douchewaffle did in fact cheat on his sister and treat her like actual shit. I thought that the beautiful dance that they had in the Catskills was such a good goodbye to a relationship that has run its’ course, but then at the end of the season she went back to his pasty ass. How many times did I think that Lorelai was done with Christopher only for the Palladinos to bring that idiot back?! Are we going to have to be put up with a Christopher-shaped Joel forever just because she shares kids with him. PLEASE HAT GODS DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN!