My wife and I have been meaning to watch this Amazon original for several weeks now, and last night we finally got around to the first episode.
In a word, we would describe it as “charming.”
If you’re unfamiliar with the plot, an upper-class Jewish housewife becomes a stand-up comic after her would-be comedian husband leaves her and the kids.
At first, I wasn’t too sure about it. Midge Maisel seemed a little too perfect, a little too flamboyant, a little too entitled. The dialogue struck me as a little too fanciful, and the characters’ circumstances were just a bit too ideal.
However, before too long, her husband began to grate on the nerves and disaster lurked in the shadows. When he finally revealed himself as the shallow jerk we suspected, the show took on a new angle — a far more satisfying angle.
It sounds terrible to say the show didn’t get interesting until Midge got the rug pulled out from under her, but it’s the truth. I would not have continued watching the perfect wife living the perfect life, but watching Midge fall apart while inadvertently excelling at something on a whim (stand-up comedy) that her husband couldn’t do on his best day — that was so gratifying.
By the time the first episode ended, my wife and I were won over and excited for the next installment.
Rachel Brosnahan plays Midge Maisel, and I found myself enamored by her performance. At times she came dangerously close to being annoying, but somehow she always managed to reign her character in enough to make her instead charming. Best of all? Brosnahan is actually really funny. She’s got great timing, fun facial expressions, and fantastic inflection. If the actress seems familiar to you, she played Rachel on House of Cards, which makes Brosnhan’s performance all the more amazing. Midge is as different from Rachel as you can possibly imagine, especially in general body language and mood. What a testament to Brosnahan’s range!
If you’re looking for a charming new show with a bit of drama but mostly comedy, this is the one for you. Be aware, though, that it’s aimed at adults. While the first episode is mostly light and fun, there are occasional swear words and flashes of nudity.
(Did you enjoy this review? Check out Scott William Foley’s short stories HERE!)