By Tessa Osteen
It’s rare for writers in Hollywood to get the chance to make a show about a housewife divorcing in the 1950’s and then suddenly finding her calling in a male dominated comedy scene. But that’s what makes this show unique and something audiences have never seen before. Season 2 of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, follows Miriam or “Midge” as her family calls her, trying to navigate life as a single mother of two, switchboard operator in late 1950’s New York. No longer living the perfect life she once had, she’s continuing her pursuit in stand-up comedy and trying not to let her family crumble underneath her. Rachel Brosnahan, who plays her character Midge, says how, “Midge is a lot! It helps when you really love the project and the role; that makes it easy to come to work every day even when you’re falling over tired.” Unlike many movies and television shows showing the stereotypical 1950’s housewife, Midge isn’t like any character written before. She’s not a Betty Draper lonely depressed housewife or a cookie cutter stepford housewife, her character is written in a way where she’s her own box loudmouth personality making the show come even more alive through each episode.
The show is produced, written and directed by the incomparable husband-wife duo Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino, who have made other popular female driven shows such as Gilmore Girls and Bunheads. The writing in the second season seems even more sharp and hard hitting than ever, with many jokes and jabs about Judaism, that only a Jew from new York would understand. The second season starts off by us finding out Midge is working as a switchboard operator since she lost her job in the previous season and resorted to working in the lower ranks of a department store. Although working a job she doesn’t find ideal, the season picks up where it stopped. She’s still trying to make it in stand up and Susie, her manager, played by actress Alex Borstein, is still going around New York nightclubs trying to get Midge a gig anywhere she can. When Midge’s mother flees New York to go to Paris it’s up to her to find her and keep the family together. It’s like as if the males in this show are somewhat useless for trying to fix things. Unlike season one, you as the audience can definitely see her find herself on stage through performing stand up comedy.
As the season goes on, her and her family head to upstate New York in their yearly tradition of going to the CatSkills, an upper class vacation resort. There, she meets a new love interest, Benjamin, played by actor Zachary Levi, a doctor who is quite attracted to the what he describes Midge as “weird”. Alongside the budding romance between the two, you can’t help but notice all the beautiful sets and costumes characters in the show present. Since it is the 50’s, Midge has to go through many hurdles just to be recognized as equal to her male co-workers in the comedy business. When Susie books her a gig at the CatSkills, the booker of the show is confused when Midge shows up because he is convinced just because she’s attractive it’s impossible for her to also be funny at the same time. In season one and two the show explores social norms and inequalities women went through at the time, but also jabs at what women still face today in the workforce. The show, sweeping the 2018 Emmys, is a showstopping feat and gives everything the first season did but with more one liners and slapstick humor many audiences enjoy.