The new narrative of Mrs. Maisel

With the release of three episodes a week, by mid-May, we will have said goodbye to the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, one of the most awarded and important series on the Amazon Prime Video platform. There were five seasons, which began in 2017 and yielded several awards, including Emmys for Best Actress (Rachel Brosnahan), Supporting Actress (Alex Borstein), Supporting Actor (Tony Shalhoub), and Actor (Luke Kirby), in addition to directing, writing, and Best Comedy Series. Although the formula of “oners” – long scenes of just one take and a lot of dialogue – remains, the series has jumped in time already showing us what the future of the characters will be like in 20 years, bringing new elements to the narrative.

Beginning in the late 1950s and early 1960s, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is the story of Miriam “Midge” Maisel, a “perfect” New York housewife who, upon being surprised by the separation from her husband, Joe (Michael Zegen), a frustrated comedian, discovers that she herself has a special talent for acting in stand-up comedy, shocking everyone when he decides to pursue a career in it. Although fictional, Midge Maisel’s trajectory intersects with real characters, such as Lenny Bruce (Luke Kirby) and others, but she herself is a mixture of two female comedians: Joan Rivers and Totie Fields, especially Joan, whose lives marked Amy Sherman-Palladino‘s childhood, as the showrunner grew up hearing stories about these women mentioned by her father, a stand-up comedian based in New York City.

Midge is a complex character, less complicated than Debora Vance (Jean Smart) from Hacks, but in the same vein. Stand-up humor is still a very sexist universe today, at the time it was much worse. The reigning conservatism judged even more women who dared to bring profanity or other less “feminine” themes to the stage and a good part of Midge’s jokes are from her daily life, exposing relatives, friends, and children for a good laugh. Her seemingly soft personality hides an atrocious ferocity, one that often gets her into trouble, chief among them advancing her career.

In the farewell, the advances in time show us some important things: Midge will be famous and rich; she will have many other romances and marriages (I loved the tribute to Carrie Fisher placing Midge as Paul Simon‘s ex-wife), she will have problems with the children that we have already mentioned countless times being relegated to the background by her, but, above all, she will have broken with his main encourager and confidant, Suzy Myerson (Alex Borstein), who was the first person to identify and believe in his potential as a comedian. The series still hasn’t shown anything that could lead the two to stop talking and after EVERYTHING they’ve survived, it’s scary to imagine what could lead to the breakup.

The formula for the success of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is in the talent of the text combined with the chemistry of the cast, but she already felt worn out in the last two stages of the story. Midge’s self-sabotages keep her away from the dreamed success and the providential “luck” that saves her materially sounds too fanciful. She is determined to win and we see that she will reach her goal, which is relieved to see her, again, multiplying the already difficult obstacles in her life.

It has everything to be a great final season. You’re going to say goodbye still wonderful.


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