Jessica Green reviews Amazon Prime's recent original series The Bold Type, as it tells a story set in a fashion magazine with an empowering feminist angle for a new generationWritten by JLG644 on 18th March 2018
Review: The Marvellous Mrs Maisel
TV writer Morgana Chess reviews The Marvellous Mrs Maisel - from the creator of Gilmore Girls, Amazon's new series looks to be a funny, feminist hit
Amazon Prime’s The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel is, true to its name, simply marvellous television. Set in 1950s New York, the series follows the Upper West-Side wife and mother Miriam Maisel whose world is turned upside-down when her husband decides to leave her for his secretary. To express her true feelings about the situation, Miriam literally drunkenly stumbles into stand-up comedy and discovers a natural talent. To the viewing pleasure of various dingy downtown clubs, and us at home, Rachel Brosnahan delivers Miriam’s stream of consciousness with zeal and perfect comic timing.
“To the viewing pleasure of various dingy downtown clubs, and us at home, Rachel Brosnahan delivers Miriam’s stream of consciousness with zeal and perfect comic timing
As a character, Miriam is quirky and charming, but frustratingly tied down by the patriarchal conventions of her time, to the point where every morning she wakes up earlier than her husband in order to re-apply her makeup. We see her dutifully spend her days cooking briskets to bribe club managers into giving her husband, Joel, better time slots for his own sorry attempts at stand-up, through which she attentively sits and takes notes to improve his performance. Following Joel’s unoriginal content and self-absorption, we fist-pump when Miriam herself finally takes the stage. This is where the show shines, as we get to see Miriam go on a journey from exemplary domestic housewife to an autonomous woman making her own career. When a heckler shouts ‘go home and clean the kitchen’, Miriam replies, quick as a flash, ‘Oh sir, I’m Jewish. I pay people to do that’. Tackling themes of sexism and culture, the writing is both witty and warm, and the bright frocks and screenplay allow the viewer to step back into 1950s New York.
Among the show’s other characters, Miriam’s Jewish parents are particularly hilarious, as her mother consults a crooked fortune-teller to get her through the grief of Miriam’s break-up and her father laments to his daughter, ‘When I agreed to send you to that fancy goyische college (where she meets Joel), what was the one thing I told you?’ ‘They’ll have terrible deli?’ ‘The important thing I told you.’ ‘That was about deli, too.’ ‘The other important thing I told you!’ ‘Don’t marry a weak man’. We see the pair react to the news of Miriam’s break-up with utter despair and they desperately try to push the couple back together to restore domestic normality.
Alex Borstein is also brilliant as Miriam’s newly-appointed manager Susie, who runs the dingy Gaslight club downtown and sees potential in Miriam’s drunken ramblings. Though often mistaken for a man and when asked if she is wearing a clean shirt can only reply with ‘define clean’, Susie forms a team with Upper-Westsider Miriam and the two women bounce off each other with mile-a-minute jokes and insults. When Susie sees Miriam’s luxurious apartment for the first time she marvels ‘I had no idea you were related to fucking Charlemagne’, but the dissimilar duo work together throughout the series to craft a successful (sober) comic act for Mrs Maisel.
“For anyone who enjoys a feel-good, feminist hit, The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel fits the bill and provides the perfect antidote to January exams
I started to watch this show after its recent win of two Golden Globes awards and it’s safe to say that they were well-deserved. For anyone who enjoys a feel-good, feminist hit, The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel fits the bill and provides the perfect antidote to January exams.