The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: Season 3 - All Episodes
December 6, 2019 1:56 AM - Season 3 (Full Season) - Subscribe

Midge and Susie discover that life on tour with Shy is glamorous but humbling, and they learn a lesson about show business they’ll never forget. Joel struggles to support Midge while pursuing his own dreams. Abe embraces a new mission and Rose learns she has talents of her own.
posted by KTamas (28 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I haven't watched the full season yet -- I'm idly binging right now while doing other things -- but I legit squeed at the appearance of Liza Weil.
posted by paisley sheep at 1:37 AM on December 7, 2019

I was surprised by Midge’s Apollo performance. It’s the 60s man, being gay was still VERY taboo and she stuck to the party like to the very last about Shy being exhausted as opposed to recovering from his physical assault. So to think that she was Basically outright calling him gay to an entire theater seemed so unlike her. I mean, she has gotten into trouble about not knowing when not to joke, but that is a BIG secret. And neighborhood women were lining up theirs daughters for Shy - why would you think they “knew” him like that intimately?

I know it’s for dramatic effect, but Midge isn’t that much of a blithering idiot to make those jokes to that crowd at that time.

Lines I actually laughed out loud at -

When in Florida “you’re competent? Get out - get on the first bus to New York”
posted by Suffocating Kitty at 4:40 AM on December 9, 2019 [2 favorites]

There are so many things to like about this show, but Midge's complete inability to read a room or go deep into examining her privilege has become exhausting to me. The entire Apollo performance was so uncomfortable (I skipped most of it because it was going on so long and I got the point of where it was going) and then it's like ... she was surprised that Shy was hurt and offended (and that she probably put him in danger)?

I think I'd like this show so much more if it wasn't so dedicated to making sure Midge was "likeable." She's certainly fun and charming and entertaining to watch, but I think it would be OK if we didn't have to be on her side all the time. (But I think that's one of the Pallindinos' flaws anyway -- they like their characters so much they can't perceive of them as being anything other than that.)

I found the stuff with the parents to be exhausting and kind of pointless. I am never going to care about Joel.

I love Susie's and Midge's friendship and relationship. I don't necessarily want them to be a romantic couple but I wish the show would somehow acknowledge that's how they're writing it. It feels like they want it both ways.

I am glad these seasons are short so I don't have to continue feeling frustrated and I forget about many of my frustrations by the time the new season rolls around.
posted by darksong at 5:03 AM on December 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

I watched the entire season this weekend except the last 15 minutes because as soon as Reggie said "talk about Shy!" I recoiled and said to the screen "DO NOT OUT HIM TO AN AUDIENCE" and it was very clear from the first that she was going to do just that, so I turned off the TV and confirmed via a recap. I think it's straight up bad writing. We know Midge has no filter on stage and has done shit like this before but this really felt like "we gotta have her blow it all up at the end!" kind of thing where it just doesn't make sense in the context of the times - she's not THAT out of touch.
posted by annathea at 4:57 PM on December 9, 2019 [5 favorites]

Did the depiction of the Chinese community seem off to anyone else?

On the one hand, it cleared some very low bars (they were played by Asian people); on the other, we only saw them in the sketchy gambling joint or bribing Joel. I know Joel is our POV character, and because he’s not part of the community we’re not going to get a nuanced picture of the Chinese community. On the other, something about it didn’t pass the sniff test.

I was also mildly disappointed at Mai becoming Joel’s love interest. I would have been more interested if she became a partner in the club or something, but that might have also been iffy as well.
posted by pxe2000 at 2:42 AM on December 10, 2019 [4 favorites]

excuse me for shouting but


Midge being this stupid does not make in-universe sense for me. This is just straight-up bad writing, period.

The whole season was a big mess to be honest, at times I felt like I was watching a Gilmore Girls AU because Midge turned into a Lorelai/Rory hybrid for part of the season.

The economics of the show made no sense with Susie flying back and forth which last time I checked was expensive af in the early 60s; at times it felt like she's just teleporting between New York and Florida.

Midge's parents moving in with Moishe's was stupid, Abe spends much of the season with his communist friends, a plotline that goes nowhere, just goes for quick comedic shots. Rose becoming a matchmaker was nice but the mistake with Benjamin was stupid and it all came way too late in the season.

In hindsight, I'm questioning the writers' decision of Sophie blowing up her premiere as well.

At least Joel got a decent side plot, which was nice.

God this ending makes me fucking angry. It's a needless reset for the show. Bad writers. Bad.
posted by KTamas at 3:42 PM on December 11, 2019 [6 favorites]


I literally did not recognize her as Carole Keen. Amazing.
posted by KTamas at 3:51 PM on December 11, 2019 [2 favorites]

I bailed in the last episode, well before the Apollo, as soon as Midge told Moishe that her manager was holding ALL her money for her. I checked the recap on Vulture, then came here to confirm that there are better ways to spend another 54 minutes this evening.

The clothes are very pretty. The people are very pretty. But the writing is dreadfully lazy and the season hit every predictable bloody beat.

I'll watch The Shield on Prime instead.
posted by maudlin at 7:18 PM on December 11, 2019 [1 favorite]

Shy's yacht was nice though.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 5:23 AM on December 13, 2019 [2 favorites]

They really and truly pooped the bed on that ending. I have a more generous evaluation of the episodes leading up to that than some, but I cannot deny they blew the ending.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:54 PM on December 13, 2019

Did the depiction of the Chinese community seem off to anyone else?

Something that immediately jumped out at me was everyone speaking Mandarin, since I think Cantonese would've been much more prevalent in Chinatown at the time. That felt pretty lazy and disrespectful.
posted by heteronym at 9:22 AM on December 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

This season was terrible.
posted by likeatoaster at 5:06 PM on December 15, 2019

The actress had charisma and much of her dialogue was funny, but didn't it feel like Mei Lin was sort of ordered out of a catalog? "Does the Sherman-Palladino-Written Motormouth Woman come in Chinese?"
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:27 PM on December 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

I just finished.

I don't understand why an audience at the Apollo (or pretty much anyplace in the US) in the 60's would have responded with big laughs to someone outing their favourite son.

I'm disappointed. Though I shouldn't have been, I'm kinda mad at ASP since the Gilmore reboot (I admit I watch the Sutton Foster bits a lot though).
posted by wellred at 7:25 AM on December 18, 2019

Living in a society where being gay is still illegal, I could totally see a comedian making all these jokes about a beloved star to an audience. I'd argue that the majority of the audience simply would not make the leap that a terrified Shy and Reggie would naturally assume they would make. I know gay and lesbian couples who live together and mainstream society just does not connect that they are anything more than close friends who share a home. So the outing storyline seems really plausible to me. Midge not thinking it was anything more than jokes. The audience agreeing with her. And Shy being furious. All of it seems like something that could have happened five years ago in Pakistan. Maybe even today.
posted by bardophile at 3:17 AM on December 31, 2019 [4 favorites]

I think if the audience had caught the gay jokes they'd have become hostile, but that doesn't mean Shy would not have caught it and that's enough. I'll admit it took me until they repeated the Judy Garland line for me to realise exactly how clear the subtext was for the time. I'm pretty sure 'friend of Dorothy' was a current euphemism in 1960.
posted by Karmakaze at 7:20 PM on December 31, 2019 [1 favorite]

Just finished watching this season. I had read this thread before I watched it and from the comments in here, I was expecting Midge to actually explicitly out Shy by making jokes about how he loves a good cornholing or something, and didn't know how she could possibly be so stupid and naive and reckless, but that's not at all what happened. She danced around it, making jokes about how pretty he is, about his love of slightly flamboyant (for the time, given that standard menswear was a gray flannel suit) clothing and stagewear, and throwing in a Judy Garland reference or two. To us, that's glaringly obvious, but in those days it would not have been, and indeed, the audience just found it funny. I can understand why Midge would have thought it acceptable, and why Shy would find it hitting too close to home. But why the hell hadn't Midge signed her bloody contract? It was ridiculous that she was about to get on the damn plane and still hadn't signed it -- a stupid contrivance on the part of the writers.

I hated much of this season. The whole storyline of Abe quitting his tenured professorship at Columbia at the age of 62, Rose eschewing her trust fund, and the two of them moving in with the Maisels was fucking stupid -- some of the worst writing I've ever seen. People of their time and age would never, ever have done that. And Abe never realizing that his income couldn't possibly have paid for his family's lifestyle when he's a fucking mathematician and trying to become a beatnik and writer... come on.

Also, Sophie Lennon turning "Miss Julie" into a "Sophie from Queens" show? Straight from not fucking going to happenland. See also Zelda maiding for them on her break time from her new job. Sometimes I thought whoever wrote this season hadn't the sense nature gave geese.

I liked it that Joel was opening a nightclub -- he's gifted at business and this is a business he will enjoy and find rewarding -- but the whole Chinese gambling den in the basement thing was silly.

I enjoyed the parts where Midge and Susie were working, and learning how to do their separate jobs.

Susie's gambling problem explains why she's so very poor. It gives me a knot in my stomach when I think about Midge learning that she has no money and can't buy her apartment, and how that will destroy her relationship with Susie. She should not have just blindly trusted Susie with her money, but then I suppose she's done that sort of thing all her life, first with her parents and then with Joel.
posted by orange swan at 11:06 PM on January 2, 2020 [7 favorites]

It gives me a knot in my stomach when I think about Midge learning that she has no money and can't buy her apartment, and how that will destroy her relationship with Susie. She should not have just blindly trusted Susie with her money, but then I suppose she's done that sort of thing all her life, first with her parents and then with Joel.

This! I found the money parts so stressful! When Susie took their first check and just handed it back to the mobster guy?

I actually did get a little invested in Joel though the notion that he would have such a hoppin’ and successful first night was...c’mon. Is that the magic of Mei? Come to think of it, many of these scenes have a sort of nostalgic, look-back feel to them where the memory is concentrated and the details fall away. “It was madness, there was constant Chinese gambling in the basement and every time I went down there they just looked at me like I was a crazy person!” But all that strung together can feel a little exhausting and lose us in being invested in what is real.
posted by amanda at 8:04 AM on January 3, 2020

I feel like the lack of realism was fine when it's a fun escapism kind of thing (e.g. that scene where Midge randomly walks into her old apartment and the occupant is happy to have her look around, and is also in the process of moving out...), but I agree I found the last episode sooo stressful, both the Susie money thing and the moment Reggie said "talk about Shy".

I kind of enjoyed that Joel's new love interest was a classic ASP motormouth in Chinese, in that it breaks a lot of stereotypes about Chinese women. I also found it interesting that Both Joel and Midge had so many hangups about how their relationship ended (Joel freaking out when Mei pulls favors for his club, Midge assuming Benjamin won't be able to handle her comedy and ditching him silently).

The whole Abe and Rose storyline didn't make any sense. I did like Rose's line about how it made her realize a man could just upend her life at any time, but wasn't it actually her who did that by giving up her family money?

I'm actually really bummed for Sophie that she could have had her dreams, but chickened out.
posted by segfault at 12:24 PM on January 6, 2020

There were many things I didn't like in this season, but the Apollo set and aftermath actually made me upset. Yes, she was nervous and set up for failure, but she should have realized she'd made a mistake as soon as she was offstage. I found it disingenuous when she had to be convinced the next day that making joke after joke about a closeted gay man being effeminate was a betrayal of his trust.
posted by pangolin party at 5:03 PM on January 7, 2020 [3 favorites]

So if I’m waffling about just bailing on this season. I... should go ahead and bail?
posted by obfuscation at 4:36 PM on January 19, 2020

Bailing is always a good choice. If you're deeply curious about a plot point, there's always recaps.

But why spend even part of your life voluntarily experiencing something both unnecessary and substandard? Save your time and energy for doing difficult but important things that shouldn't be skipped.
posted by maudlin at 10:19 AM on January 20, 2020

This thread is a perfect example of why "Full Season" is a terrible way to post to FanFare about a show. Ten episodes, and nobody feels comfortable participating until after the last episode for fear of spoilers, so all the discussion is about the end of the final show.

I liked this season, by the way. Can't think of all the good parts because I watched most of them weeks ago, but the Las Vegas and Florida episodes were especially good. It's lighthearted, boisterous, anachronistic, inoffensive-ethnic-stereotype laden comedy -- Mad Men without the uncomfortable realism -- and I'm up for another year of it.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 7:15 PM on February 20, 2020 [9 favorites]

Just finished watching this season this weekend. I had delayed watching it because I heard bad things. In a way it wasn't as bad as I had worried it would be but that's only because my expectations had been so low. But yeah, there's a lot I didn't enjoy. Aside from what's already been covered, through the season I just found the whole Sophie Lennon storyline tiresome. It just didn't work for me at all and I kept waiting for those parts to be over. I also found the characters I used to love so much (like Abe) just not as interesting or as fun as I used to. I can't specifically say why but the writing just felt more forced to me. It's like watching a dancer who used to be able to perform such difficult choreography with ease and grace but now you can see the heavy breathing and sweat and panic in their eyes. This season felt really labored in a way the previous seasons hadn't. I hope they're able to right the ship for season 4.
posted by acidnova at 5:16 PM on March 1, 2020 [1 favorite]

I can't do it, can't finish it. This show always makes me cringe and I consistently sit on the edge of a panic attack while watching. Why am I doing this to myself?

Thank goodness for this thread, thank you everyone! And thank you and goodnight, Mrs. Maisel!
posted by iamkimiam at 8:48 AM on April 13, 2020

Finished mainlining the series with Mrs. Fish last night. I really wish they'd either done more with Sophie or dropped the subplot entirely. There's a lot of potential in the story they gave her -- a classically trained upper-class actor who becomes a star with a lowest-common denominator act, yearns to prove she's more than that, but has spent so long in her rut that when it's do-or-die time she gives up and retreats to her comfort zone. But framing that as comeuppance instead of a tragedy just makes me wonder why they bothered bringing her back at all.

Nonetheless, there was enough good in the season that I'm looking forward to the fourth, whenever that happens (when will filming be possible again? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯) Abe and Rose actually getting to do things instead of being so purely reactive, in particular. Especially Abe's new job where he can complain for a living.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:33 PM on May 18, 2020

I could totally see a comedian making all these jokes about a beloved star to an audience. I'd argue that the majority of the audience simply would not make the leap that a terrified Shy and Reggie would naturally assume they would make.

To give an example from the actual time period in question here ... to the day he died, there were people who thought Liberace was heterosexual! Of the jokes Midge told about Shy, really only the "Judy Garland slippers" stuck out to me as one that would probably land a little odd on the ears of an audience of that time.

Anyway, just caught up with the show now. I'm still enjoying it quite a bit. Only, I rather hope that's the last we ever see of Sophie - her whole thing is the only part that's become tiresome to me.
posted by dnash at 1:03 PM on August 27, 2020

> Of the jokes Midge told about Shy, really only the "Judy Garland slippers" stuck out to me as one that would probably land a little odd on the ears of an audience of that time.

[paraphrasing] "Shy has a guy for everything... well, almost everything... well everything" struck me as worse than the Judy Garland joke.

Finally finished the last two episodes here at the end of 2021. Yes, the season was mixed, but there were some real high points. It's feeling a bit like a SitDram: situations that don't necessarily make a lot of sense with characters acting uncharacteristic to set up a dramatic moment. Benjamin's speech about being a quiet tall guy in the Stage Door was terrific. Suzy losing a bet on the boxing match was gutting: "how much?" Abe hanging with the radicals was silly, but gave us some great scenes. Agree with the above about Las Vegas & Florida being standout.
posted by ASCII Costanza head at 8:59 PM on December 18, 2021

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