Miriam “Midge” Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan) is a Jewish housewife living in New York City in 1958. Her husband, Joel, is a successful businessman who moonlights as a struggling comedian. Midge supports Joel, providing feedback about his sets, but becomes disillusioned when she discovers that Joel has stolen one of his best routines from Bob Newhart. One night, after a particularly rough performance, Joel confesses to Midge that he has been having an affair and leaves her. Midge goes to her family for support but primarily receives criticism for choosing to marry Joel. After getting drunk, Midge returns to the comedy club where Joel performs and impulsively goes on stage, delivering an impromptu set about her predicament which the audience finds hilarious. After baring her breasts in an attempt to demonstrate how attractive she is, Midge is arrested and taken to jail on a morals charge. The next morning, she meets Lenny Bruce, who is also being bailed out of jail. Bruce warns Midge that the comedy business is terrible, but Midge takes his warning as encouragement and teams with Susie (Alex Borstein), a comedy club employee, to hone her act. (synopsis via Wikipedia)
Imagine having your perfect life in your hands only to have it unceremoniously ripped out of them, betrayal and loss all around you.
It’d make you kinda angry right? And prone to have a few drinks or 50 to dull the pain? And maybe, just maybe, inclined to go the comedy club where your soon-to-be ex-husband performed to vent a little, in what turns out to be HILARIOUS fashion?
OK well maybe the final part would necessarily fit into most peoples’ response to the end of their marriage, but thank the Palladinos – that’s Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino who brought us the inestimable delights of the Gilmore Girls and who have been signed to a two-series deal by Amazon – that it’s the response of one Miriam “Midge” Maisel who it turns out has quite a knack for turning adversity into a damn funny punchline.
Or many as it turns out.
It’s a rebirth for the 1950s housewife who discovers there is far more to life than her once limited view of things, and it comes with a swear-laden riff on the Palladino sensibility for substantially fey, clever and wittily written drama, making pretty much must-see TV for anyone who likes their laughs with a whole lot of warm and fuzzy profanity.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel premieres on Amazon Video on 29 November.