You know some bands or singers only have one great album in them? How some writers who seem fabulous write one great novel, then the rest of the work is so-so?
I’d been beginning to think that was how it was going to be for Amy Sherman-Palladino. She’s the dazzling wit and brilliant comedic mind behind “Gilmore Girls,” for my money one of the best television shows ever. For so many years “Gilmore” entertained and dazzled me and millions of others, so naturally when it ended I couldn’t wait to see what ASP (as we fans call her) and her husband Dan would come up with next.
Well, next was “Bunheads,” which was execrable. And then a few more forgettable network shows, and then the, um, confusing “Gilmore Girls” reunion movie which was just mediocre.
So forgive me if I didn’t have any expectations for “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” the new ASP project streaming on Amazon that just came out. Set in 1958 New York, it’s about a young Jewish housewife, Midge Maisel, who is 26, happily married and raising two little kids when her world gets turned upside down: Her husband leaves her.
And like most women who had that happen to them back then, she turned to becoming a raunchy stand-up comic.
No, seriously, that’s the premise of the show. And after watching four episodes so far I can happily say that ASP is no longer a one-hit wonder. Because “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” is fantastic. It’s got a great star in Rachel Brosnahan, a terrific supporting team in Kevin Pollak and Tony Shalhoub, and really fabulous one-liners.
Midge is a survivor, who has been thrust into circumstances she never could’ve imagined, but every time you think we’re going to feel sorry for her, she comes out swinging. The show isn’t perfect; the husband character really ought to be totally written out (we’re only halfway through the first season, so maybe he does) but it’s charming, sweet and has a lot of heart.
Whew. Glad to see the woman who gave us Babette and Kirk and Lorelai has still got it. “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” Check it out, it’s fantastic.
**Next up today, because my wife is one of the biggest Foo Fighters fans alive she pointed me to this, and it’s quite excellent. Catch all the symmetry here: Dave Grohl had a huge admirer in David Letterman, and every holiday season on his show, for decades, Dave had Darlene Love come on and sing the beautiful “Christmas, (Baby Please Come Home”).
So on “Saturday Night Live” last week Grohl and Foo Fighters did a beautiful medley of their song “Everlong” which was Letterman’s favorite, but then segued into “Christmas (Baby Please come home) and finished up with the Linus and Lucy Christmas song from “Charlie Brown.”
Truly, a wonderful four-minute medley.
**Finally today, just a sign of how different our culture is from that of Japan’s. A hallmark of that culture is how hard its citizens work, and how rarely they take leisure time. So to try to combat worker exhaustion and fatigue, a company in Japan has started using a drone to fly around the office and tells people to go home.
I heard about this on “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” and thought it couldn’t be real. But it is:
To help deal with the negative health effects of overworking, an office security firm in Japan called Tasei has introduced a drone that flies around playing annoying music to pressure employees to leave.
The drone is called T-Friend, and at quitting time it will blast out “Auld Lang Syne” to try to get workers to go home.
It will encourage employees who are present at the drone patrol time to leave, not only to promote employee health but also to conduct internal security management.”
Wow. Kind of gives new meaning to the term “run out of the office kicking and screaming.” If I had a drone blaring music at me, I think I’d definitely leave ASAP. And then maybe move to another country.