By Erin Caine
Last March, Amazon released the pilot episode of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” a series about a 1950s housewife who discovers, after her idyllic, conventional life is shaken up by scandal, her talent for stand-up comedy.
After a lot of critical buzz and viewer interest, the pilot was soon scooped up for a full season, which premiered in November. Though the second season has yet to air, it’s already been renewed for a third season.
The series triumphed at the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards, which aired Sept. 17. “Maisel” won five awards in total, including Outstanding Comedy Series. Specifically, creator Amy Sherman-Palladino, best known for penning “Gilmore Girls,” won two Emmys for her masterful writing and directing.
The eponymous Mrs. Maisel, played by Rachel Brosnahan, who was previously a recurring character in Netflix’s “House of Cards,” managed to instantly mesmerize audiences with her keen wit, pluck, and multilayered personality.
Brosnahan, in an interview with Variety after winning the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, said that the show made such a powerful impression on viewers because of its careful blend of “fantasy and reality.”
She said, “It’s about a woman who’s reinventing herself after completing the dream she had laid out for herself. Everything falls apart; she finds herself anew. It’s never too late to do that.”
Indeed, Midge Maisel’s refusal to quietly accept any obstacle that gets in the way of her own self-fulfillment and happiness is something that deeply resonates with audiences.
By the end of the first season, she seems to have not only fully recovered from the blow her husband’s betrayal dealt her, but she’s become stronger and wiser, as well.
Though her stand-up career goes through its up and downs, there’s no doubt that the stage is the place where she belongs — and she knows it.
So what’s next for the series? What new challenges are ahead of the dauntless Mrs. Maisel?
Well, the answers to most of viewers’ burning questions are up to pure speculation until the season airs, though the newly-released trailer does drop some hints.
It promises more of what we love about the first season: the breezy, colorful fashion and music of the 1950s coupled with Midge’s erratic double-life — by day an Upper West Side socialite and “nice Jewish girl,” by night a bawdy rising star in comedy.
And there seem to be some big changes, too. In season one, Midge started working the makeup counter at a department store for her day job, but in the trailer she appears to be trying her hand as a switchboard operator.
There’s also a scene in the trailer where Midge is interacting, albeit looking a bit helpless, with her two young children. Her status as a single mother is something many critics felt to be an underdeveloped part of her character, so it will be interesting to see how the second season will address that delicate, hardly-broached topic.
And, of course, viewers are desperate to know what will become of Joel, Midge’s ex-husband. Though Midge in the first season vacillated back and forth between shutting Joel out and forgiving him, the final moments of the finale signaled to us that she had finally moved on. Or so it seemed. The trailer shows the two of them dancing together, sharing an intimate moment.
If it was any other show, there might be reason to suspect that the writers are dragging out the romantic subplot for the sake of cheap drama. In Sherman-Palladino’s hands, however, it only promises to show us a heroine even more engaging and complicated than before.