I’m glad “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” won two Golden Globes on Sunday night, for its star, Rachel Brosnahan, and best comedy series. The Globes may not have any prestige, but if the publicity brings more eyeballs to a show I’ve been raving about for weeks to anyone who will listen, which means Amazon will order a second season, so much the better.
The series, which streams on Amazon Prime Video, is about an upper-middle-class housewife in 1958 New York who discovers she just might have a talent for stand-up comedy. At the time, there were very few women in that business — and they did mostly self-deprecating humor about their looks or their husbands. Midge (that’s her first name) talks about all sorts of stuff, in free form, and has a natural knack for the timing and material she creates.
This causes a rift with her husband, Joel, who thought he was the comedian in the house, but all he could do was ripoff Bob Newhart’s standup act, verbatim. The fact that Joel is also sleeping with his secretary drives an even bigger wedge between then. Meanwhile, she gets help and career advice from Susie Myerson (Alex Borstein), the of-course-she’s-grumpy manager of a Greenwich Village nightclub where Midge gets onstage every now and then.
I won’t tell you any more, except that Midge and Joel’s fathers are played by Tony Shalhoub and Kevin Pollak, respectively, and the rest of the supporting cast is just as solid. The writing and direction are sharp, thanks to showrunner Amy Sherman-Palladino (“The Gilmore Girls”), who knows something about this world because her father, Danny Sherman, was a standup on the Borscht Belt circuit.
Add “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” to your Amazon watchlist, and let me know if you like it, too.