I started watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel a couple of weeks ago, after several friends gave it glowing reviews. I liked it from the first five minutes! I think it’s very well-written and well-acted. I like that it tells a story of a time shortly before I was born. I like that all the main characters are Jewish. I like that it brings in Jewish culture and sprinkles in the occasional Yiddish word. I really like that it brings up pop culture from the period, mentioning people like Ed Sullivan, Bob Newhart, and Lenny Bruce. (The actor who plays Lenny is funny!) I love that Midge was arrested and shared the police car with Lenny. I love love love that Abe is played by Tony Shalhoub! (I was a huge fan of Monk.)
I noticed in one episode that there was an anachronism. The emcee at the comedy place asked the crowd to “give it up” for Midge. Nobody said “give it up” in the 1950s. I think it was invented in the 1990s by Arsenio Hall. I wasn’t sure if this was done intentionally or was a slip up. It bothered me a little, not knowing. But overall, I really liked the show, and I’ve been watching one episode every few nights (rather than binge watching the whole thing), so I will have something to look forward to.
Last night, I watched S1E8, the final episode of the first season. Another anachronism. A character in the office used the term “yada, yada, yada”. I believe that was invented also in the 1990s by Jerry Seinfeld. I’m beginning to think that the anachronisms are thrown in intentionally. I’m OK with that. It is consistent with their use of contemporary music in the closing theme.
But then something happened in S1E8 that I did not like at all. They went there. “There” meaning Midge and Joel decided to sleep together. Terrible idea! I hated that they were doing that. I wanted to scream at the TV. Rule #1 in life: Don’t sleep with your ex. Sex with the ex: BAD idea. Why? Rule #2 in life: People do what people do, and they will do it again. They broke up because Joel slept with his secretary. He will do it again with someone else. Why? Rule #3: Once a cheater, always a cheater.
So Midge and Joel slept together, and I watched it, partially covering my eyes. And I knew what was going to happen next. One or both of them would want to get back together, to reconcile. Or they would think that they want to get back together. Ding ding ding! Jackpot. Both of them said they wanted to get back together.
Midge told her father that she wanted to get back together with Joel because she missed him. “I just missed him so much!” she said. Not a good reason! She was conveniently forgetting what he had done.
At this point, I was not sure I wanted to watch the show anymore. To me, it was transforming itself from a light-hearted comedy to soap opera drama, where the two characters were doing something stupid and I was forced to watch, and then later I’d have to watch the unpleasant consequences, WHICH I COULD HAVE WARNED THEM ABOUT!
Then something magic happened. A conversation between Midge and Abe.
Midge: What are you doing?
Abe: Alphabetizing my books.
Yes! A Monk crossover! I can’t want for Season 2 to start!