“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” is Making Magic


Miriam Maisel amazes crowds both on and off the stage. Image Credit: Amazon.com

Olivia Moore, Staff Writer

The fifth and final season of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” is out. This time, Midge Maisel has taken her comedy to another level by being behind the screen, instead of on it. Amy Sherman-Palladino, from the as-quippy “Gilmore Girls,” has made me laugh again. Though this show can be a bit lengthy, it is full of wit and references that are both clever and delightful.  

For context, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” is about a now-divorced Jewish 50’s housewife turned standup comedian. It is set on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, where Midge lives in a large, grand apartment. The show spotlights many characters based on famous figures, such as Lenny Bruce or Shy Baldwin. Midge herself looks to be based on many female comedians, such as Joan Rivers. 

The first three episodes of Season 5 were released on April 14, and the 4th was released on the 21st. They follow Miriam Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan) after she turns down the Tony Bennett gig. However, she bounces back quickly, not only impressing the famous Gordan Ford (Reid Scott) but landing a job as a writer on his comedy show. However, once on the writing staff, she has to deal with misogynistic writers and a boss who really wants to date her, despite her wishes. I personally enjoyed this, because it highlights the male-dominated workforce of the 50s and how a clever woman can work with the men. 

“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” also follows many of Midge’s family members and friends, such as her parents, Abe Weissman (Tony Shalhoub) and Rose Weissman (Marin Hinkle). They have gone through many mishaps throughout the series, but these are perhaps the most hilarious. Abe, one of the more comical characters, works on a newspaper and takes pride in his writing, so when he misspells a woman’s name, he seems to spiral. Rose has started a matchmaking business, but the other matchmakers in New York (who seem to be pretty aggressive and sketchy) take offense to her growing business and start attacking things that she loves. These characters have very 3D personalities, as they bring laughter to some of the denser plots, but are also available for Midge to have emotional moments with.

Another main character is Susie Myerson (Alex Borstien), an up-and-coming manager. She has to deal with Midge and her hectic life, along with many other clients. However, a new, exciting plotline is introduced when an old friend of Susie’s comes in contact with her. Tension and arguments suggest that they may have been more than friends. Another interesting character worth mentioning is Joel Maisel (Michael Zegen), Midge’s ex-husband. His romantic interest, Mei, was pregnant, but things take a twist when she decides to move away from him after she “lost the baby.” Again, signs point that she didn’t have a miscarriage, but got an abortion, which would have been unseemly for their time.

The show also takes an interesting turn to the future, where it shows a scene at the start of each episode from later in Midge’s life, often stories with her grown-up children, Ethan (Ben Rosenfield) and Esther (Alexandra Socha). Some viewers would say that these scenes spoil the future of the show, as they highlight the success of Midge’s life, her past romantic relationships, and some of her ended friendships. I find it clever, however, as it’s enough foreshadowing to make you want to know what happens next, but not too much that you can guess the route of the show. 

So far, I have been very pleased with the diversity of the show and the excitement of the plot. In past seasons, “Maisel” could be a bit dry or repetitive, but Season 5 has been strong (and it has made me laugh out loud!). Overall, this new season has been full of laughter and drama and has been a satisfying end to the series.