Midge Maisel, the protagonist of the Amazon Prime period comedy series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, where she is played by Rachel Brosnahan, is a young American Jewish girl living on the Upper West Side of New York during the 1950s. Her life is perfect: she’s rich, beautiful, and stylish, married to a husband she loves and absorbed by two beautiful children. Everything is bright and shiny. Until suddenly it’s not.
Joel (Michel Zegen), her husband who dreams of becoming a comedian, leaves her after a catastrophic evening at the Gaslight, a Greenwich Village pub that puts on comedy acts. Moreover, he leaves her following a perenially predictable break-up. He runs off with his secretary, the dull Penny Penn. Midge is shattered at the beginning, and drunk in the end. She is so wasted that she comes back to the Gaslight, jumps on the stage, and starts joking about the disastrous route her life took in the course of just one evening.
She’s brilliant, gritty, funny, and real. She’s one of a kind. People hang onto her words and Susie (Alex Borstein), the manager of the club, knows it. She, instead of Joel, has is the one who becomes a professional comedian.
Stage, dance and performance
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is an Amazon Prime Video-produced and multiple Emmy and Golden Globe-winning series written and directed by Amy Sherman-Palladino and her husband Daniel Palladino. It began in 2017 and is now in its third season. It witnesses the transformation of Midge from being a good wife and nice daughter into an independent and strong woman, capable of standing up for herself in the world.
Midge, her parents, Susie, Joel: everybody moves on the screen in a perfectly staged choreography. But not in a conventional way: they don’t dance with their bodies, but with their mouths. They interact following a vibe that makes the viewer begging for another joke, another gritty comment, and the fact that Amy Sherman-Palladino was a dancer doesn’t go unnoticed. She runs with a flow that can only come from someone who knows space and time as the back of her hand.
Gilmore Girls and the music
Nothing new for the Palladino couple, already famous for its fizzy style. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is what Gilmore Girls would have been if set forty years earlier, in New York instead of Stars Hollow. The Gaslight could be Luke’s, in the same way as which Midge could be the perfect combination between Lorelai and Rory. For an amazing dancing scenario, there has to be a perfect choice of music. Frank Sinatra, Billy Joel, Barbra Streisand, Ella Fitzgerald. The show is filled with everlasting songs that lull the viewer, taking them back in time. Every street, every corner of New York has a different sound, a different vibration. Here’s the complete soundtrack.
An unusual protagonist for comedy
After numerous successful shows, Amy and Daniel Palladino have finally built a series that perfectly fits their talent. A comedy whose main character is a comedian. Midge Maisel is an unusual protagonist for comedy: a perfect mix of female wittiness, fierce talent, and irresistible desecration. It’s like assisting in the blackout of that typical beauty that comes along with a rich social position that Midge embodies. Perfection meets mess and learns how to live with it. Everything under the eagle eye of David Mullen, the photography director, who follows the fifties’ vibe using the sparkling technicolor.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is refreshing and progressive. It portrays a multi-dimensional, contradictory, and self-steering female character. And on top of that, it really makes people laugh.