Review: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, season 2

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, season 2, didn’t have as much stand up as I hoped it would. I was a bit disappointed in that. It focused more on Midge Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan) and the characters around her as people than it did on Midge’s career as a comic. There are some slight spoilers ahead.

Season 2 was more about the people and the life style of 1950s New Yorkers from the Upper East Side. It took me a minute to accept that the story was taking that turn.

The portrait of a time and place – 1950s New York City – was exquisitely drawn. The dresses with full skirts, the gloves, the hats. The men in suits. The rush and hurry. The signs in store windows, the cars. Well, except for Midge’s manager’s car, which way an antique even in 1950.

Marin Hinkle, Rachel Brosnahan and Tony Shalhoub in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

In the first couple of episodes Midge’s father, Abe (Tony Shalhoub), and Midge have to go to Paris to chase after Midge’s mom Rose (Marin Hinkle). She ran away from home and was in no hurry to return.

There is constant push and pull between Midge and her still-husband Joel (Michael Zegen). They do have two frequently invisible children. Joel seems to have women around him all the time. Midge is working at a department store and doing comedy whenever and where ever she can.

Alex Borstein in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Midge’s rookie manager Susie (Alex Borstein) books her into some strange places. One of them is a telethon.  Sophie Lennon (Jane Lynch) just happens to be at the same telethon. If you recall season 1, Midge said some bad things about Sophie from behind a microphone that landed her in trouble. Sophie takes her revenge on Midge by having her put in the very last 5 minutes of the show. Still, Midge manages to make an impression at 5 minutes to midnight. It leads to a big opportunity.

Funnily enough, Susie’s defense of Midge at the telethon leads to an opportunity for her, too.  We get some of Susie’s backstory in season 2, and meet her family.

Rose and Abe Weissman, along with Midge, Joel, and the kids, spend two months in The Catskills every summer. When Susie hears that Midge will be out of the city for 2 months, she can’t believe it. When you see the kinds of ridiculous things they did during those two months of vacation, you won’t believe it either. Do New Yorkers still do this in the summer?

Susie solved Midge’s disappearing act by following them to The Catskills. She found Midge work and they sneaked off to performances from there. Susie carried around a plumbers helper all the time and was assumed to be staff, so she got a bed and meals in the workers dorm. Very nice deal, considering Susie’s nonexistent budget. I kept waiting for Susie to catch the eye of one or more of the women as she spent her nights in the women’s dorm. But no romance for Susie. If the series is any indication, Susie is the only lesbian in the entire state of New York.

Abe and Rose go a little off the rails when they learn that their daughter wants to be a stand up comic. When season 3 gets here, Abe may have gone so far around the bend that he’s unemployed.

Midge meets Benjamin (Zachary Levi) while on vacation. He’s a doctor. Rose loves him. He’s almost as funny as Midge and the two of them are a perfect pair. When they go back to New York, she spends many a night in his place, but she hasn’t introduced him to her children or told Joel about him yet. That’s an explosive event when it finally happens. Benjamin’s talk with Abe asking for Midge’s hand in marriage is highly entertaining.

Will Midge and Benjamin get married? Technically, she’s married to Joel. And technically, she just said, “Yes,” to a chance that would take her away from Joel, Benjamin, her kids and her family for several months. That’s something we have to wait for season 3 to find out about.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is 100% in a staccato rhythm. The people talk very fast. The dialog is snappy with no pauses. The one liners never end. I love it best when Midge is on a stage telling jokes, but The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is full of humor in every situation. Midge can’t help herself, she’s just funny. Everyone around her acts funny more than they crack funny quips.

Amy Sherman-Palladino created The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. She directed several episodes, too. I’m a child of the 1950s, so I recognized every piece of music used in the series. The show did a beautiful job with the music choices.

Overall, I didn’t think season 2 was as good as season 1. But it is still an excellent series – I’m not panning it. Amazon has season 3 set to happen. I’ll be ready to watch it when it gets here.

Watch the season 2 trailer here.

Are you a fan of this The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel? What did you think of season 2?

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