The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Have you watched it? Probably. Did you like it? I’m gonna wager that you did, for reasons I’ll get to in a minute. Were you happy with all the wins?
Yeah I didn’t think so either.
What is that?
Look, the show is great. It’s funny and surprising and it hits every note perfectly. In fact, Amy Sherman-Palladino, otherwise known as the woman who wears the top hat and the short dress to every awards show, is almost surgical in how deeply she understands her characters and brings them, fully formed, to the screen for us to watch and marvel at, because we realize she knows parts of us better than we do and we want to feel as good as we do when we’re experiencing that. It’s basically therapy, with a lot of quirky wordplay.
But – but – at the risk of badly paraphrasing the incredible Hannah Gadsby or the people who would malign her, I feel like comedy is different now. All good comedy actually hurts – but these days we need it to be a lot more overt, to walk into some really horrible situations and show off the humor we didn’t know was lurking around the corner… and while I know Mrs. Maisel is all about challenging the time it was in, I feel like we need all the help we can get understanding the time we’re in right now. Almost every other show in the category is doing that in some way.
It’s a very strange thing for me to write that this show is so tactically good at what it does, and brings us Rachel Brosnahan and Alex Borstein (who was hilarious and was very overtly not wearing a bra, like, we didn’t need you to tell us, Alex, it was very obvious), yet somehow isn’t what we need right now. That seems wrong, but I’m pretty sure I’m right. Like we can’t afford escapism right now, even if it’s extremely good escapism (see also, Game of Thrones). Even though I agree firmly with AS-P that it often does matter when an actor drops the ‘the’. And …if we’re getting really real, it also feels like this is the safe choice, the one that doesn’t have any bad, scary, uncomfortable stuff in it. Like maybe the Emmy voters haven’t been overhauled quite the way the Oscars ones were, know what I’m saying?
I almost felt a bit like the intrinsic goofiness of the Sherman-Palladinos undermined Rachel Brosnahan’s sincere message about making sure you vote. Am I drunk? I think she’s incredibly compelling and her Oscar De La Renta was interesting enough without competing in the wacky, but I found myself wondering what she’d be like outside of the slightly Willy Wonka cadence of the show.
Every line of this feels like a betrayal, and also I’m pretty sure I’m right. I need to lie down.