But The Marvelous Mrs Maisel kicks away natural cynicism – leaping into the endless laughs, ecstatic visuals and idiosyncratically accelerated dialogue of writer/showrunner Amy Sherman-Palladino. Season three improves upon its predecessor as 50s comedienne Miriam Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan) goes on a nationwide comedy tour, leaving Joel (Michael Zegen) and the kids and the in-laws behind, to support the famous musician Shy Baldwin (Leroy McClain).
The Marvelous Mrs Maisel goes on tour with Shy Jackson, starting at a USO show
It’s no surprise that Sherman-Palladino was once a dancer, as the energy of season three ignites with a raunchy tap dance on the stage of a United Service Organizations show. The camera sweeps across the airplane hangar as singers sing and dancers dance, often to entire songs, before Midge performs her comedy act. The series’ visual style prides itself on its wide, flexible, multicoloured movements, emulating those of a classic musical without the burden of actually being one.
Midge plays venues from New York to Las Vegas to Florida, with her foul-mouthed, working-class manager by her side. Susie (Alex Borstein) continues to work her fingers to the bone for her best client but, since expanding her management, her loyalties begin to split. Since only the first five episodes were available to critics, it’s hard to tell how this conflict of interest will proceed – especially as she becomes abnormally quieter in the faces of fame, fortune and mob bosses.
Borstein continues her usual harsh and argumentative verve, complementing Brosnahan’s dazzling, socialite glow as Miriam. Brosnahan, in particular, provides such infectious, spasmodic vitality that you half-expect the lavish sets to perform along with her.
Miriam (Rachel Brosnahan) and Susie (Alex Borstein) are on tour together
Season three finally blasts into the era of change and protest that blew up the 60s. This affects the unlikeliest of people: Midge’s formerly traditional and orderly parents, Abe (Tony Shalhoub) and Rose (Marin Hinkle). After Abe’s resignation from Columbia University, he’s out of work but wants to return to the anti-establishment ideas of his youth. Equally, we see Rose’s consciousness rise after visiting her oil tycoon family in Providence, Oklahoma.
But neither parent takes to the change too well, especially as they have to move out of their college-financed apartment. They raise some of the best laughs this season as they struggle to adjust. Inevitably, their daughter is to blame as Rose rants to her: ‘I didn't need to be equal or stand up for myself… I’ve gone my entire life with other people making my decisions, and I loved it. You put this in my head!’ Only Rose could make this into an insult.
Both Abe (Tony Shalhoub) and Rose (Marin Hinkle) struggle to adapt to the changes in their lives
The price of equality is hilariously harsh, and still has plenty going against it. Misogyny is a constant theme and practice in the series, and season three pulls no punches either. Even the visuals show the seething gender imbalance of the period, as we see rare women sitting near or opposite officious tables populated with old, suited white men. It’s funny as much as upsetting.
Those first five episodes soar, dance and fly by, and it’s frustrating to have to wait for the rest. Although Midge’s development is reduced, since she’s essentially made it in the industry, the joy and fun and changing times provides another polychromatic comedy feast – one of the most enjoyable TV experiences this year.
The Marvelous Mrs Maisel season 3 is available on Amazon Prime from Friday 6 December
|What||The Marvelous Mrs Maisel season 3, Amazon Prime review|
06 Dec 19 – 06 Dec 20, ON AMAZON PRIME
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