You may remember I was very, very enthused when “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” debuted on Amazon Prime in 2017. Set in late-1950s New York, it starred Rachel Brosnahan as Miriam “Midge” Maisel, a Jewish housewife with two kids who, in the first episode, impulsively gets up on stage at a comedy club her husband performs at, when he announces he’s leaving her for another woman.
Filled with wonderful acting and great scripts from one of my all-time faves, Amy Sherman-Palladino, “Mrs. Maisel” got huge plaudits from fans and critics.
So me and the wife were very excited to start watching season 2 a few weeks ago, even though we’d heard it wasn’t quite as good in its sophomore year.
Finished it the other night, and a spoiler-free review forthcoming:
First off, I liked the season as a whole… right up until the last five minutes. Honestly, everything I’m about to say was almost ruined by the final scene of the final episode of the season. That’s how much I hated the ending.
But first, season 2 is very different in some ways from Season 1. We finally do start to see Midge’s stand-up career take off a little, as she struggles to be taken seriously by NYC club owners, and other comics. Her manager, played by the awesome Alex Bornstein, is also great, as the streetwise, tough-talking Susie.
We spend much more time with Midge’s parents, Abe and Rose, and it’s mostly fabulous. Tony Shalhoub, who’s good in everything, gets much more screen time this season, and he’s perfect as the cantankerous brainiac professor who can’t understand why his little girl would get up on stage and tell jokes.
We also, regrettably, get a whole lot of Joel, Midge’s jerk of a husband, in Season 2. As what happened in “Gilmore Girls” when she ran that show, Sherman-Palladino just falls in love with these doofus characters and thinks the audience will too. Joel offers very little except providing us reasons to see his parents, played hilariously by Caroline Aaron and Kevin Pollak.
There are lots of high marks in the season; the comedy Midge does onstage is usually really funny. There are a few episodes in Paris, and a few in the Catskills, that don’t advance the story much but are beautifully shot and fun to look at.
And so I was feeling really good about season 2, until the last scene. I’m not going to give it away, I promise. But the choice the writers make when looking to end the season, really calls into question everywhere they’re going in season 3. And I’m worried, because I really like this show.
But what happens at the end is just so illogical, and not on a par with everything that’s happened before.
OK I better stop before I rant some more and give it away. Anyway, maybe you’ll have a different opinion.
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” had a strong season 2, definitely watch it. And then tell me what you think of the ending, because oy vey.
**Next up today, this new ad from Gillette has gone viral in a huge way, and I’m very happy it has. Taking a break from their “The Best A Man Can Get” slogan that it has used for decades, Gillette has decided to hop aboard the #MeToo train and cut this striking commercial challenging “toxic masculinity.”
It’s appealing to men to be different, to stop all the caddish behavior so many of us unfortunately still do, and it’s really beautifully put-together.
Good for Gillette; this is one of the best ads I’ve seen in years. Very effective stuff.
**Finally today, you can always count on Snoop Dogg for two things: talking about weed, and hilarity. He gave us the latter this week, when he stopped by the Los Angeles Kings broadcast booth to do a little play by play.
I fast-forwarded to the best part, when the Kings get a power play and they let Snoop just talk for a bit. “Who wants that money?” is my favorite sentence, but really, it’s so great all the way through.
Ah, Snoop. There’s a broadcasting career ahead of you if you wanted it.