This review is based on Season 3 of the series which landed on Amazon Prime on 6th December 2019.
It starts with our marvelous protagonist Midge Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan) arriving at a USO show. Her first gig ahead of touring with Shy Baldwin, a famous soul singer. She is his opener but so excited by her gig in front of the American servicemen; she forgets why she is there. At the same time her long-suffering manager, Susie (Alex Borstein) has to deal with her precious client and learn the ins and outs of contract negotiation. Get a weird ask Susie is told, leaving Midge with a mass of yellow teddy bears in her hotel rooms.
This series takes a different direction than the last two. We are on the road with Maisel as she learns the highs and lows of performing with different audiences. She has to earn the affection of crowds who are only there to hear Shy Baldwin sing, with various results. More time is given to the other characters in Midge’s life. Susie takes on another client, the awful but talented Sophie Lennon (Jane Lynch), as she tries to make ends meet. Midge’s husband (Michael Zegen), who she has separated from, rents a night club which has a dark secret beneath. Midge’s mother and father have a change of lifestyles which affects them as well as Midge. Various other storylines thread together through the minor characters of this show, including the people on tour with her.
The fact that all these different storylines thread together is the beauty of the writing on this series. The characters are flawed and fully realised. Our main protagonist Mrs Maisel is annoying, smart, caring, not caring, funny and trying to hold her life together. Sometimes you don’t side with her, mostly you do. It’s the 1960’s, and she is trying to define herself against the expectations of society. The other characters are just as fun, interesting and ultimately sad, trying to do their best. If the writing is good, then the actors compliment it perfectly.
The whole series is a delight to watch. It feels funny, original and authentic. The writing is pretty dam perfect. If I have anything that I didn’t like about Season 3 was there was too much reliance on the on-stage performances of other actor’s, and I felt it slowed up the action. I got that Shy Baldwin was a great performer that was loved by people, I didn’t need to keep seeing it. However, someone else would have relished it so that so it is a personal opinion. At the last scene of the season, I was so annoyed. I wanted more. Season 4 has been announced, but it will be a long wait.
On a personal note, when I was in New York this year, as was turning into the street of the hotel, I saw the vans after filming finished. I was sad I had missed the Marvellous Mrs Maisel in the flesh.
Season three keeps the quality of the previous two seasons so worth a watch. If you haven’t watched it at all, go from the start. I think you might enjoy it.