Home Film reviews The #MarvelousMrsMaisel and Her Men

The #MarvelousMrsMaisel and Her Men

by Louisa Klein

“The Marvelous Mrs Maisel” is definitely the show which impacted me the most these days. I love that the main character’s Jewish and a woman, since,when I grew-up, I couldn’t find any stories starring positive Jewish characters, let alone a Jewish girl! 

I love that, although Miriam’s very pretty, the show doesn’t revolve around her looks, but her talent, her wit, her bad mouth. Also, all the other women in the show, from Susie the manager, to Zelda, the housekeeper, are equally well-represented: they’re all smart, driven, hard-working etc. 

As a woman, I of course care very much about women’s representation in fiction and I get very frustrated by certain fiction (sadly often written by women) depicting female characters as empty-headed fools, obsessed by clothes, shoes and boyfriends and plagued by continuous mood-swings that makes them constantly unpredictable. 

I’m even more disturbed when the above flaws are presented as natural, positive traits that are “cute” and make a woman “feminine”. Which brings me back to Maisel: women are well represented in the show, but the same cannot be said about men. Men’s representation here is biased and really not fair! As a feminist, I’m for equality and don’t think that women are superior in any way, we are just all people, men and women, some are smart, some are good, others are idiots or mean, regardless of genre. But in Maisel, men are at best  irresponsible idiots or just mean! Starting with her husband Joe, who cheats on her with his secretary (and it’s never really explained why), then he throws a tantrum and his daddy buys him a nightclub, then he throws a number of other tantrum because he wants his wife back but, when she does want to get back together, he turns her down again because she’s a comedian (hadn’t he noticed?) and he doesn’t feel comfortable being with a comedian, especially not a successful one. Then there’s Abe who’s an established professor at Columbia, but then had a mid-life crisis and, without consulting his wife, leaves his job on a whim making them both homeless and without an income.

Then there’s Lenny Bruce going hot and cold on Midge and Shy Baldwin being a drama Queen and firing her for a couple of jokes. I could continue. 

I grew-up surrounded by good, smart men, my father is my best friend and I don’t think that it’s s fair how they are represented in this show, it implies that all men are all hopeless and unreliable and it’s simply not true!

Plus, if I may point it out: how come such brilliant women keep dating, or even stay married to such idiotic losers? It simply doesn’t make sense! Come on, Palladinos, we all know that you can write better male characters than this!

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