The most awaited Amazon Prime show of the year, ‘The Marvelous Mrs Maisel’, is finally back with a season 3! Just on time to make this holiday season a whole lot merrier, the show feels like a warm cup of sweet cocoa on a Christmas morning. There is no wonder then that Amazon chose to release both its second and third season in December.
‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ definitely needs no introduction. Being a big favourite of viewers and critics alike, consistently, it has won 16 Emmys and 3 Golden Globes till date. Yes, you read that right. The show is just THAT good. But does it get any better with its latest season?
A period drama set in New York of the 1950s, ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ revolves around the life of Midge Maisel, a quirky and charismatic Jewish housewife living in the Upper West Side. Her life turns upside down when her husband walks out of their marriage, and she discovers a new side to herself as she explores her newfound talent for comedy. Insanely good comedy.
The past two seasons explore Midge’s journey as a comic, from amateur to professional to the legend we know she will become, as she struggles with her own personal relationships with her family, lovers and friends. So, what new does Season 3 of ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ have to offer? Let’s dive in to find out.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 3 Episode 1 Recap:
The first episode of the third season of ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’, picks up right from where the second season ended. The opening shot of the episode is a close-up of Midge, played by the talented Rachel Brosnahan, as she contemplates what to do with the clock ticking in the background, after having slept with Joel (Michael Zegen) the previous night. She sneaks off in the early hours of the morning for her performance at the USO social where she is supposed to open for the legendary Shy Baldwin.
Susie (Alex Borstein), meanwhile, finds ways to negotiate the touring contract for Midge with Baldwin’s manager, figuring out how much they should be paid and the tricks of the trade.This leads to a hilarious conversation about how artists have “weird asks” to be taken seriously.
Midge’s performance at the USO Social goes splendidly as she does what she is best at, and makes use her brilliant humour and spontaneity, leaving the American soldiers roaring with laughter and wanting more as she charms them with her wit and beauty. But of course, it wouldn’t be a typical Mrs. Maisel moment if something doesn’t go wrong. Midge accidentally forgets to introduce Shy Baldwin as she ends her act, leading her to awkwardly make up for her mess as she goes back on stage. This is followed by a hilarious Marylin Monroe moment for Midge as her dress flies up when she is getting photographed with the soldiers.
Several crucial moments take place in the episode as it picks up all the cliffhanging pieces left behind in the previous season. It brings out the tension between Joel and Midge as they speak over a phone-call, revealing that the two only got back together for that one night, and that they are also not on the same page about where they are headed.
Joel wishes to invest in a club which he eventually does when he buys one in Chinatown, only to realize later that its backdoor leads to a gambling den. The scene also very briefly introduces us to one of the new characters of this season, Mei, played Stephanie Hsu. Meanwhile, Abe (Tony Shalhoub) and Rose (Marin Hinkle) are shown struggling financially as Abe quits his job at Columbia and gives up their apartment. Abe and Midge get involved in a heated discussion about their own ignorance, leading to one of the highlights of the episode. Abe goes to see Lenny Bruce (Luke Kirby) perform and takes a stand for him when Bruce gets arrested, leading to a scene where they bond in jail.
The episode also picks up the other important conflict of whether or not Susie will manage comic Sophie Lennon (Jane Lynch), Midge’s “sworn enemy”. The episode ends with Susie confronting Midge at the USO dance, to tell her that she will indeed be managing Sophie, which Midge, obviously, doesn’t take well.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 3 Episode 1 Review:
The brilliance of ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ lies in all the parts that make it a whole. There is not a single dry moment in the episode. It’s mercilessly funny dialogues, spectacular performances, cinematography and soundtrack, all add to the charming and absolutely marvelous ride that this show is. The episode also pays tribute to Gary Stewart, the man behind the outstanding soundtrack of the show, who recently passed away. It has some wonderfully catchy songs that add to the scenes, especially during the USO social.
The USO social scenes in the episode end up forming some of the highlights of the episode with its cutthroat humour about the army, and also with way it picks on ‘White Christmas’ and Midge’s Jewish background. Another significant scene was Lenny’s performance where he picks on the obscenity law, with Abe taking a stand for him against the police, perhaps, marking a heartwarming beginning of Abe understanding what comedy and free speech means to Midge.
One of the things I loved the most about the episode is the way it builds tension between its characters, and then completely diffuses it in the next scene with its brilliantly timed humour, sometimes in the smallest ways. This was consistently present in all of the tensions that were portrayed between the characters in the episode. But it is best shown in the conflict that the episode ends on, with Midge and Susie in a heated argument over Sophie, surrounded by colourful dancers, with a solider suddenly screaming “Congo!”. They then find themselves arguing furiously in the middle of a loud and happy Conga line. Over all, the first episode of the third season was fast paced and picked up all the crucial conflicts, and ended up feeling like a sugar rush that left me wanting more.
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