You Guys, season 3 of Wonderful Mrs. Maisel is here and I am SO EXCITED!
This is one of the best shows I’ve seen in a very, VERY long time! This show has everything: amazing costumes and settings, visuals that wow you, an outstanding cast and one of the most original story lines ever! Plus, it takes place in New York and I’m a junkie for everything New York-related, especially if we’re talking the 50s and 60s!
This is a show’s about Midge Maisel, an Upper West Side housewife who, having found out about her husband’s having an affair with his secretary, stops facilitating his failing standup comedy career and starts one of her own – as she navigates life as both a divorcee and a semi-professional comic. It’s a show about a woman defying middle-class conventions and given roles. It’s a show about a woman finally finding her own true voice, her own true self. And, what I like the most about it, is that she does it through humor, in spite of going through a very difficult and upsetting situation.
Now, I know what many of you are thinking: yes, Maisel got betrayed by the man she loved, the father of her two children and that’s bad, of course. Still, she has a loving family around her, an adoring Jewish father who, well, adores her (and who reminds me a lot of my adorable Jewish dad) as well as a ton of money, so maybe she’s been a little bit of a drama queen? Well, yes and no. Of course, being financially secured is a big help, but nevertheless the cultural shock she experiences is huge and traumatising. Here we have a girl who’s been taught since birth that being pretty, getting married and having children was a woman’s only purpose in life and that, if she followed the rules and walked the beaten path, she’d find a wonderful who’d love her for the rest of her days. Then, age 26 and already with two kids, she discovers that her husband’s been cheating on her and wasn’t really interested in living happy ever after, at least not with her. Midge finds herself alone, abandoned, with no purpose and with a lot of confusion in her head: Everything she had been told, everything she had believed in in her entire life has proved to be wrong, a big fat lie indeed. Still, she metabolises the news pretty fast and, thanks to her wit and intellectual resiliency, she turns to comedy to make sense of what had happened and was still happening it her.
There are a few reviewers that point out that Midge’s selfish: She takes her family for granted and has clearly no interest in her own children. Again, this is in a way true, but we must remember that she’s very young and was forced into a grown-up situation long before she knew what she wanted/who she was/was ready for it. She’s simply acting her age and reacts the way any girl in her mid-twenties would, when out in such a confusing situation. Now, I understand there are still areas of the US where a woman’s supposed to get married a virgin age 19-20, forget about college/travelling/finding herself and start popping kids out of her lower parts instead. Well, the above woman will for sure do her best with the basic tools she was given, but she’ll still be a kid having kids and coping with challenges too big for someone that young.
What I like the most about Midge, is that she’s a real rebel.and when I say “a real rebel” I mean not someone who pretends to be transgressive by getting piercings and tattoos while doing drugs, but someone who has the guts to go against social conventions and stereotypes, that has the guts to be herself , even when it means to be different. Even when it means to be ostracised by your friends and family and frown-upon by everyone else.
For a start, she divorces her cheating husband in a time when women were supposed to “stand by their men no matter what”. Then, she turns to comedy, succeeding where her average husband had failed.
At first, she does stand-ups secretly, only her manager and a couple of friends know. Then the cat comes out of the bag and no one takes her seriously at first, considering it just “a phase”. When they finally realize that she’s serious about it and that she even uses her family as material for her stand-ups, they do not take it well. All this, while dragging you in an audio is and witty dance, a colorful carousel of jokes, costumes and vintage cars that it’s a pleasure for the eyes as it is for the ears. Do not miss this amazing show, available from 6th December, on Amazon Prime.