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You HAVE To Watch: The Marvelous Mrs Maisel

One of the first examples that comes to mind when I think of shows that my friends think I should watch purely because I HAVE to watch it is Amazon Prime’s The Marvelous Mrs Maisel.

“You HAVE to watch The Marvelous Mrs Maisel,” they said. “It’s so funny.”
“Oh, it’s a comedy,” I ask.
“No, it’s a drama,” they explain.

With the season 4 trailer release, I thought I’d finally talk about this so funny drama.

Watch The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel - Season 1 | Prime Video

The Marvelous Mrs Maisel?

The Marvelous Mrs Maisel is a drama, about a comedian, and the 1950s New York comedy scene.

And The Marvelous Mrs Maisel is funny. But it’s also tense, heartbreaking, insightful, and surprising.

Staring Rachel Brosnahan as the titular Midge Maisel, Alex Borstein as her comedy scene in, and eventual manager, Susie, Tony Shalhoub and Marin Hinkle as her parents, and Michael Zegen as her ex-husband Joel.

The series kicks off with Midge and Joel happily married, with Joel pursuing a comedy side gig that Midge supports emotionally and logistically. When she finds out Joel’s cheating on her, she finds her way back to one of the comedy clubs he performed at and vents her broken heart on stage. Suzie, the club’s manager, sees an intangible quality in Midge and tries to convince her to start a career.

Unlike similar situations in other shows, the ex-husband doesn’t disappear after the break-up. In fact, he’s in most episodes, and he and Midge end up on good terms pretty quickly. The show choosing a realistic fallout with subtle, recurring conflict over the easier big explosive drama made The Marvelous Mrs Maisel stand out early.

The Marvelous Mrs Maisel is different. But…

Is It Soooooo Good?

Very much so. Or, very much sooooooo. Here’s why.


When people call The Marvelous Mrs Maisel a drama and not a comedy, it’s to set appropriate expectations. This isn’t Seinfeld. However, The Marvelous Mrs Maisel packs a lot of laughs, whether or not Midge is on stage. The dialog is quippy, fast, and fun. Less jokey characters, like her parents, bring a different kind of humour through their quirks and as the straight face to Midge’s antics.


The 1950s conjure images of nuclear families and picket fenced suburbs. To some, that’s a goal. To others, it’s a lie. And comedians hold a mirror up to what you believe and ask you to face it. Chapellian egomaniacs aside, setting a show about a comedian in the 1950s gives it so much to say about a time some people see as a golden age. The show addresses issues of gender inequality, racism, and homosexuality, at a time when bringing attention to anything “improper” was scorned.

The Marvelous Mrs Maisel handles issues contextually and gradually. There’s a running joke about Suzie getting misgendered. She usually responds with a joke, but we also know she uses humour to mask pain. The show never states Suzie’s sexuality or explores the idea that she might be trans, and yet it constantly suggests either is possible.


Prime spends Amazon money on movie quality special effects for shows like Jack Ryan and The Expanse. For The Marvelous Mrs Maisel, it spends that money on sets, costumes, and props. And the money’s well spent. Treating the 1950s setting as a period piece, and so successfully, makes it easy to lose yourself in the world of The Marvelous Mrs Maisel as soon as the episode starts.


I don’t even feel like I did The Marvelous Mrs Maisel justice. It’s one of my favourite shows, and unlike anything out there. I’m excited for season 4 in February, which is plenty of time for someone to start the show and catch up.

Now you know,