The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season 3 review: Rachel Brosnahan, Alex Borstein are a hoot in a show with dull subplots

Pratishruti Ganguly

Dec 06, 2019 08:04:27 IST

(Note: This is a review of only the first five episodes of The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel season 3)

Language: English

If the first two seasons of Amazon Prime Video original series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel took their own sweet time to weave the story of a brilliant female comic waiting to take the world by storm, the third season "strikes up the band" right from the get-go. With vintage nostalgia and witty one-liners in generous dollops, the third season is a joyous celebration of the "the big time, baby!" that has finally arrived!

 The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season 3 review: Rachel Brosnahan, Alex Borstein are a hoot in a show with dull subplots

A still from The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

The second season saw Miriam "Midge" Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan), bag an opportunity to be the opening comic for singer Shy Baldwin (Leroy McClain) as her manager Susie Myerson (Alex Borstein) toyed with the idea of managing Midge's arch-nemesis Sophie Lennon (Jane Lynch); Midge's father, Abe Weissman (Tony Shalhoub) had an epiphany which lead him to resign from Columbia University; Joel Maisel (Michael Zegen) was still conflicted about his feelings for his former wife.

In the first five episodes of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season 3, life takes a dramatic turn for Midge as she forges ahead to set foot for the "big leagues." Accompanied by Susie, Midge hits the road for a whirlwind tour across Los Angeles, pit stopping at some of the biggest hotels and casinos of the sprawling Southern Californian city. However, her journey is not without hiccups. After her first opening act, she realises the material that worked for her New York audience feels alien to the new milieu. Hence, we witness a swift shift in Midge's brand of comedy — from anecdotal to observational.

Midge Maisel and Susie Myerson pose in front of a huge marquee displaying the comedienne's name in front of their hotel.

Midge Maisel and Susie Myerson pose in front of a huge marquee displaying the comedienne's name in front of their hotel.

Perfectly complimenting Midge's skyrocketing to stardom (as established by the gigantic marquee displaying her name beside that of Baldwin) is the gorgeous, richly detailed cinescape that concocts an atmosphere so alluring that it is almost impossible for one's gaze to shift the slightest bit. From the sunny Miami Beach to the bustling casinos with its whirring slot machines, the production design is impeccably tailored to make Midge's journey as immersive as it is celebratory.

Rachel is pitch-perfect as the luminous and sharp-witted Midge. But the real star of the show this season is Alex Borstein, who steals the show with her act as the snappy Susie. Her sassy banter with Shy's irascible manager Reggie (Sterling K Brown), or with the high-maintenance Sophie Lennon are hysterically funny.

Midge and Susie share a drink together

Midge and Susie share a drink together

Despite the liberal addition of songs in this season, they do not bog down the pace of the show in any measure. Watch out for a heartwarming moment between Reggie and Shy as they break into an impromptu gig. What does bog down the narrative, at times in the least, are the numerous other members of the Maisel team. They get ample screen time, but their conflicts are hardly as engaging.

Midge's parents have been evicted from their university-owned home, and now are living with the rowdy Moishe (Kevin Pollak) and Shirley (Caroline Aaron). But the signature snarkiness and the nuance that populated much of Abe and Moishe's exchanges in the earlier seasons is absent here. Instead, Moishe and Shirley's frustratingly loud lifestyle, takes the centrestage. Even the subplot of the now-unemployed Abe banding together with a group of spoilt younglings, and starting an underground newspaper is too dull, its pace too sluggish to leave any impact.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is an entertaining, dreamy getaway that promises to lend you an escape from the dreariness of reality into a candy-coloured alternate cosmos steeped in nostalgia. It is a satire, sure, but it will not whet your appetite if you expect pathbreaking social commentary.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season 3 is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

Watch the trailer here

All images from YouTube.

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Updated Date: Dec 06, 2019 08:04:27 IST