TV REVIEW – ‘THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL’ (Season 1/2017)

Stop me if you’ve heard this one. Following a critically-acclaimed first season, Amazon Prime is promising a second season for their hit original series. Oh, wait, never mind. They just cancelled it all of a sudden. Yeah… tell me about it. After such great shows as Z: The Beginning of Everything and The Last Tycoon got the proverbial ax after only one short season, you can imagine my skepticism when I heard of the “two season deal” with their new period comedy The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. That said, following a very big day at the 2018 Golden Globe Awards winning “Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy” and “Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy” for series star Rachel Brosnahan (known for her time on House of Cards, as well as for being the niece of fashion designer Kate Spade),  I think it might be safe to say that this one isn’t going anywhere for a little while.

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(image courtesy of Amazon)

Set in New York City in 1958, the series centers around Miriam “Midge” Maisel (Brosnahan), a wealthy Jewish housewife who after being left by her cheating husband, Joel – a businessman and struggling wannabe comedian – discovers her own repressed talent for comedy, and embarks on a path to becoming a stand-up comedian amidst all of the social stigmas and overt censorship of the 1950s. Along the way she enlists the help of comedy club manager Susie (Alex Borstein, better known as the voice of Lois Griffin on Family Guy) who helps her hone her act, as well as a little help and advice from comedy legend Lenny Bruce (played by Luke Kirby) whom she meets after a particularly interesting evening. Meanwhile, tensions are rising between Miriam and her well-to-do, uppity parents, her estranged husband, and of course the NYPD. What’s going to happen with it all? Well, you’ll just have to watch and find out for yourselves!

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(image courtesy of Amazon)

Clocking in at only 8 episodes for its first season, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel absolutely makes the most out of every single installment, with excellent pacing, great storytelling, and some of the better acting I’ve seen in any TV show in quite some time. All of the performances are very well done, but, as the Golden Globe Award will reflect, Rachel Brosnahan‘s performance as Miriam Maisel is just head and shoulders above the rest. Both her portrayal of the typical rich 50s housewife, and the moonlighting alter-ego of a rebellious, fiery stand-up comic are spot-on perfect, and it really makes the whole show. Also worth noting is how exceptionally well done the period setting is. From the locations, to the set dressings, to the wardrobes, everything is just so well presented to preserve that whole late 50s aesthetic, something so important for any film when dealing with a setting out of time. Series Creator/Executive Producer Amy Sherman-Palladino really hit a home run here, and it absolutely shows.

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(image courtesy of Amazon)

The Bottom Line:
Overall, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is one of the best new shows on TV right now. If you’ve got Amazon Prime, it’s very much worth watching. If you don’t, then it is absolutely at the very least worth grabbing a free trial just long enough to binge it and cancel. It’s funny, charming, and just overall entertaining. Absolutely worthy of its recent awards, let’s just hope those awards are enough to convince Amazon to keep it going for a while, unlike its predecessors, because this series definitely has a lot of promise!9.0/10

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-Dave Harlequin
Editor/Staff Writer: Nerd Nation Magazine
@DaveHarlequin

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