What's So Marvelous About Mrs. Maisel
Off the top of my head I can name close to a dozen amazing things about The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, an Amazon award-winning show with an award winning Best Actress Rachel Brosnahan. Mrs. Maisel is played by Brosnahan and never has an actress been able to ignite laughter, sarcasm and motivation just from one episode. After watching Mrs. Maisel take on Manhattan, I wanted to log off and do things with purpose while having fun doing so.
The show takes us back to 1950's New York City, where housewives felt like a court ordered position to be in life. Once the wedding ring came on, there wasn't much ado about "wonder what she's going to do with her life", because women, particularly wives only had to service their husband and children. In hindsight and as we've all learned to see that behind the scenes, women were more than capable of multi-tasking, delegating and when needed, manipulating all for the sake of her household. Then, you meet Midge Maisel who in the first scene of episode 1 manages to outwit an entire room of people just by using her quick wit and words. To me, that's more than a housewife, that's a woman with stage presence.
Mrs. Maisel was a housewife who had no choice but to reinvent herself. In the early episodes we watch her move great mountains for her husband, a VP by day and a plagiarizing wanna be stand-up comedian by night. Like any woman who's magnificently maneuvering tasks for other people, she observes and constantly takes notes, almost in a diary form. That diary later becomes her tool, her get out of jail card you can say. Without giving away full plot, Mr. Maisel has infidelities, Mrs. Maisel finds out, they separate, there's parents, there's children and there's a dire need of ambition and independence. And something great happens, almost like a happenstance.
One evening she watches a comedian on stage and a glittering moment occurs that validates what she wanted for herself. The theme is liberation and a women's movement during a time when Betty Crocker was a generation's Oprah. Changes happen for the good; Mrs. Maisel gets her first real job and of course she's great at it. All the while she is hustling from uptown to downtown as a gritty, foul-mouthed female comic. Her secret life becomes this passion. Meanwhile, she forms new female friendships, all very different from the Upper West Side normalcy that she's been accustomed to. She befriends women who are funny, independent, working and loyal. Mrs. Maisel starts to want the same things in life that a man has offered to him.
The creator and writer of Gilmore Girls, Amy Sherman-Palladino has a gift of creating women who need to stand on their own two feet. Whether it's Lorelei, a single Mom who starts her own business and a Jewish UWS newlywed wife who learns that when life gives you lemons, you head below 14th Street and put the comedic rage on the stage.
This series also speaks to current women's issues. We are fighting for equal pay, for the same amount of opportunities and for the same freedom that men have. Not that the show begs to question if women are still in the same place, obviously we are not, but there is a sense of female empowerment. Although it's 1950's New York, the character itself Mrs. Maisel is a true testament to what a woman is very capable of.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is now available on Amazon Prime. Luckily, the pilot episode is free to watch.