'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Season 3 Episode 1 Review: Midge may need more jokes but Susie's suspense game remains strong
Peppered with sarcasm, the dialogues penned down by Amy Sherman-Palladino will do the trick for now. However, in the suspense department, the series deserves 10 on 10
The review contains spoilers for 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Season 3 Episode 1 'Strike up the Band'
When 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' went off-air in December last year, it left us with a zillion questions. Will Miriam "Midge" Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan) get back with her estranged husband Joel (Michael Zegen) after their fiery kiss?
Episode 1 of Season 3 dives right in as Midge wakes up next to her husband. She kisses him on his cheek and flees. Guess, it was just one night of passion for the pair.
It may be arguable whether the two — who seem to be (almost) perfect for each other — should stay together or not, but love once lost seldom finds it way back. After all, trust is like a mirror, even if you fix it, you can't steer clear of the cracks.
Later in one scene, she calls him from her tour. "I'm sorry I snuck out the other night," she explains. "No explanation needed," he says. She wonders aloud, "I just thought you'd follow up, that you'd call." He blatantly replies, "You made it very very clear: one night only."
Love is a distant feeling for Midge. Bursting with energy and confidence, she is all set to take on the world with a new set of wings. At the Army USO tour show, Midge and Susie (Alex Borstein) are at each other's throats. The two playfully snap and bicker about Midge's "lateness".
The two actresses portray their love-hate relationship with an unparalleled earnestness. Susie may crib about Midge's behavior but when it comes to defending her, she turns into a fierce protector. Their unbreakable bond needs no flowery praises or affectionate gestures.
Of course, there is a difference in opinion but would it be any fun without the war of words? Susie warns Midge about "no d**k jokes" before she goes on stage. As her act comes on, Midge makes the hall burst with laughter when she says she could never be as "brave" as the military men... "to wear the same outfit every day."
A cherry-colored blush to complement her slim-fitted dresses makes Midge look like a million bucks. Brosnahan carries herself with grace and her character has a certain wit and charm that no other actor could bring to the table.
A scene where she is told to pose with the Army men brings the hardships of celebrity status to the fore. Thanks to the windy day, her dress blows up in the air. Meanwhile, Susie gets a call from Sophie Lennon! Lennon is hell-bent on getting Susie onboard as her manager. But will Susie betray Midge?
Back at the Weissman residence, Abe is panic-stricken. "Rose, tell me, when did I become a man who needs five bedrooms? When did I change?" Midge drops unannounced to pick a dress for the ball dance and gets into a squabble with her parents.
They even label her a prostitute. "I am not a prostitute. I am a comic," she says. "Is there a difference? Yes, prostitutes get paid more!" Midge cleverly snips her way out of the tiff.
Her parents then wonder why she left her perfect-date Benjamin Ettenberg (Zachary Levi). "Did you drop Benjamin for Lenny? I can't believe you left a surgeon for a comic," her mom remarks.
The episode is full of silly nonsensical moments, trying too hard to get a laugh, especially in the sequence when Joel leases out a new place only to find a mystery door attached to an underground gambling club.
Abe goes for Lenny Bruce's show where the comic cracks a couple of below-the-belt jokes and even flings out a nude magazine cover. Cops come to arrest him and when Abe tries to dissuade them, he is told to "sit down".
He argues, "I have the right to stand, don't I?" The subtle art of pointing out the lack of freedom for artistes adds a deep dimension to the show.
Another snarky remark at how men leer and jeer at women just for their looks is evident when Midge realizes she has been asked to dance not because she's a comic but because she is "unfortunately extremely attractive".
Towards the end of the episode, there is a major revelation when Susie tells Midge she will be the manager of Sophie Lennon. Bereft of words, Midge asks her why she even considered the deal.
"Sophie Lennon is my sworn enemy. That psychotic giraffe of a woman has been trying to destroy me." Susie tries to explain, "Sophie is a big client. This is business. My apartment is $40 and I have to sublet it." Midge just has two words for her in the end: "F**k you!"
The performances of Borstein and Brosnahan are sure to leave you in awe. But, for a comedy-drama, the jokes and hilarity seem to be far too less.
The series starts slow and perhaps will pick up the pace with time. Peppered with sarcasm, the dialogues penned down by Amy Sherman-Palladino will do the trick for now.
However, in the suspense department, the series deserves 10 on 10. The big question of the hour is: Will Midge be the same without her confidante Susie? Perhaps not. Isn't it high time for the two to talk it out?