The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: Pilot
November 30, 2017 2:12 AM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Midge Maisel has the perfect life. She is supportive of her husband's dream of becoming a stand up comic until he bombs on stage and blames her, leading Midge back to the comedy club and an act that might change her life.

From the creators of Gilmore Girls.

Set in early 1960s Manhattan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is a 60-minute dramedy that centers on Miriam "Midge" Maisel, a sunny, energetic, sharp, Jewish girl who had her life mapped out for herself: go to college, find a husband, have kids, and throw the best Yom Kippur dinners in town. Soon enough, she finds herself exactly where she had hoped to be, living happily with her husband and two children in the Upper West Side. A woman of her time, Midge is a cheerleader wife to a man who dreams of a stand-up comedy career, but her perfect life is turned upside down when her husband suddenly leaves her for another woman. Completely unprepared, Midge is left with no choice but to reevaluate what to do with her life. When she accidentally stumbles onto the stage at a comedy club, she soon discovers her own comedic skills and decides to use this newfound talent to help her rebuild a different life for herself. The series will trace the trajectory of Midge's journey as she goes on to pursue a career in the male-dominated, stand-up comedy profession, and transforms from uptown housewife to East Village club performer.
posted by A4 (11 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I watched this episode when it first came out on Amazon, and have been really looking forward to the series. I'm going to try not to sit down and watch the whole thing this weekend, but it's going to be a fight.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 6:03 AM on November 30, 2017

Oh, I'm ABSOLUTELY going to binge this like crazy this weekend, I've been dying for it since I started seeing promos!
posted by angeline at 8:06 AM on November 30, 2017

Really, really dug the pilot; I enjoyed my internal progression from "wow, his act reminds me a lot of the way I've heard Bob Newhart's early stuff described" to "OH."

Lot of discussion in our house over how heavily based on the life of Joan Rivers this is.
posted by the phlegmatic king at 10:39 AM on November 30, 2017 [3 favorites]

Lot of discussion in our house over how heavily based on the life of Joan Rivers this is.

On that: Take Rachel Brosnahan, Please -- But seriously, folks: the House of Cards actress talks playing an up-and-coming comic in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, the latest from Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino. (by Elisabeth Donnelly for Vanity Fair, March 17, 2017)
To prepare for the role, Brosnahan spent time with Kensky and her husband, Patrick Downs. “They were so forthcoming with this intense, immense, unspeakable tragedy that they are still experiencing the effects of—Jessica is still in and out of Walter Reed,” she said. “I’m in awe of Jessica every day.”

While Midge Maisel is also a young, married woman, she’s living in very different circumstances—namely, the Upper West Side in 1958. For research into the era, Brosnahan got comfortable with a treasure trove of PBS documentaries including a fivethree-part series called The Jewish Americans and other nonfiction films about women in comedy, especially the life of Joan Rivers. While some of Midge’s story shares similarities with Rivers’s early life as a comedian, they veer apart from each other in personality. “Joan’s comedy came from a place of feeling like she never belonged. She always referred to herself as the ugly duckling,” explained Brosnahan. “Midge is the opposite. She knows she is beautiful; she knows she is great at what she does, and she will be the first to tell you about it.”
(Fixed that for Donnelly, assuming this is the same series -- the cast list on IMDb doesn't list Rivers, but I'm not digging up any other multi-part PBS documentaries about Jewish Americans.)
posted by filthy light thief at 12:02 PM on November 30, 2017 [2 favorites]

It was apparent in the second episode that Susie is a time traveler. She talks curses like she's from 2017.
posted by Catblack at 6:52 AM on December 3, 2017 [8 favorites]

I loved this, and just have one more episode last, and I'm on my way to get a pastrami sandwich right now because all I've had in my head since starting this is my great grandma telling me there's a platter of deli in the kitchen so go eat something.
posted by ChuraChura at 8:23 AM on December 3, 2017 [4 favorites]

I'm three episodes in and am totally hooked. What a great series! Rachel Brosnahan is awesome in the lead role.

It makes me appreciate how hard Joan Rivers and other women had to fight to be able to do comedy. It also makes me more aware of the type of BS my mom (and most women) had to deal with back then, which is sad but fascinating.
posted by smorgasbord at 11:27 AM on December 3, 2017

Loving this show. Just loving it. More like this!

It was apparent in the second episode that Susie is a time traveler. She talks curses like she's from 2017.

Yeah, the one clinky note is the language of the present day - even things like "nerd alert" and the like. But it's fine. The rest of the period reconstruction is so painstaking, I want to believe the abundant use of present-day language is maybe intentional, so it won't feel so twee.
posted by Miko at 7:11 PM on December 10, 2017 [3 favorites]

AAAAAAH it's so good! occasional language clunkers notwithstanding
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:59 PM on December 17, 2017 [2 favorites]

Loving this show! It's pretty much the perfect thing to watch with my mother too. I'm having to prevent her from binge watching it while I'm at work.
posted by peacheater at 10:44 AM on December 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

I really, really like how clear they are about the women fitting around their men as a survival strategy.
posted by corb at 10:45 PM on January 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

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