Mrs Maisel – a season too far
If you haven’t watched the first four seasons of Miriam ‘Midge’ Maisel’s tortuous route from housewife to acclaimed stand-up comedian, then you’ve missed one of the finest series to grace our screens over the past 5 years.
If you are thinking of watching season 5 without starting from season 1 – don’t. You will wonder what all the fuss was about.
If the opening 3 episodes released on the 14th are anything to go by, then this award-winning show has, in part, sunk to the level of farce. Of course, if you are a Mrs Maisel aficionado, as indeed millions are, then you’ll want to see the conclusion to Midge’s journey. The ‘future’ sequences in the first three episodes may be showing us the destination but it’s the route she takes to get there that makes us root for her to overcome all the misogynistic obstacles in her path.
But this really is a series too far.
Viewers have come to know and love the relationship of Midge Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan) and her agent Susie Myerson (Alex Borstein): although you will get a feel for it in the new series, you will have missed so much of the magic between them, as well as some great lines throughout the previous 4. Susie is a wonderful comic creation, so brilliantly played by Borstein. It is Susie that provided so many of the laughs (and there are plenty).
The cast is as excellent as ever
Creator and writer Amy Sherman-Palladino along with writer husband, Daniel Palladino and others, have maintained the highest standard throughout, thus far. However, the strain of maintaining such excellence is plain to see in this series which is stretched to breaking point with so much superfluous padding that is detracting from the ‘will she, won’t she make it’ hook. Unless a Dallas type dream sequence in a shower manifests itself then we know how Midge’s life goes.
Perhaps a 6 episode final series would have been sharper and more focussed.
Abe’s (Tony Shalhoub) obsession is over the top, even for him: Moishe Maisel (Kevin Pollak) and Shirley Maisel’s (Caroline Aaron) descent into borderline lunacy is pushed too far, and is Matchmaker, Rose Weissman’s (Marin Hinkle) turn to the dark side really within her character.
It’s been poignant, sad, atmospheric, authentic but above all, funny. And you can’t say that about a lot of output at the moment, however, Season 5 has not so far hit the dizzy heights of its predecessors.
Away from the excellent cast, Donna Zakowska’s costume designs are as authentically beautiful as ever and Cindy Tolan’s casting is perfect.
For fans it’s obviously a must watch series and so, for that reason it gets a nostalgic 4 giraffes (stars)