Saturday, December 8, 2018

What I’m Watching: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Season Premiere)

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: Season 2, Episode 1 “Simone” (B+)

I’m sure many people have already binge-watched all ten episodes of the second season of this series that just received three Golden Globe nominations a day after its premiere. I’m happy to be able to experience it for a full two and a half months, especially after this very strong and dependable start. The opening song with the lyrics “I have always been a woman who arranges things” showed Midge being truly awesome at the switchboard, solving problems for all the other girls and even handling phone calls from her excited manager and her panicked father. The notion that Rose could tell Abe that she was moving to France and all he would hear was what was for dinner is unthinkable, yet somehow Tony Shalhoub makes the character work. The real star of this hour, who hasn’t earned any accolades for her work, was Marin Hinkle, who made Rose truly delighted to be in another world even when elements of her past showed up to disrupt it. Leave it to Midge to do an entire comedy show by translation, ending on a seriously sad note that prompted the other New Yorker in the room to give her the number for Sylvia Plath’s therapist. Seeing Joel react to her show and then tell her over the phone that he can’t be with her if she continues to do her standup makes the reality of them coexisting a difficult one, but it is important for this show to have a dramatic backbone. Alex Borstein earned her inaugural Golden Globe bid with her performance in this episode, not letting up for a second when she got picked up by two gangsters played by John Scurti and Erik Palladino who eventually warmed to her in a superb subplot. I’m thrilled to be watching this excellent show again.

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