What to Watch: “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

If you’ve ever loved a comedian – whether that’s as a S.O., a friend, a family member – you know what it’s like to support their comedy dreams. The biggest show of love you can have for a comedian is attending an open mic.

Miriam “Midge” Maisel is a novice comic’s dream supporter. She attends all of her husband’s open mics, helps him write new jokes, brings friends to his performances, and makes brisket to bribe the host for an earlier time slot. She’s also a great wife: keeps a good home, raises two kids, and goes to her husband’s open mics. She has it all – until secrets start coming out and her life as she knew it is shaken to its core. By the end of the pilot, she finds herself on stage doing stand-up and commanding the room, getting bigger laughs than her husband ever did.

Amy Sherman-Palladino (Gilmore Girls) has created a beautiful and unapologetically Jewish show. I mean, the Maisels are preparing to have the rabbi over for breaking fast of Yom Kippur. Rachel Brosnahan (House of Cards) is absolutely charming as Midge Maisel. Within the first five minutes, you know exactly who she is and her history up to this moment. She’s deeply in love with her husband Joel (Michael Zegen, Rescue Me) and her support is unwavering, not a surprise given the year is 1958. Tony Shaloub (Monk) and Marin Hinkle (Two and a Half Men) play her frustrated and concerned parents.

Alex Borstein (Getting On) plays Susie Myerson, an employee at the comedy club, who sees Midge’s act and encourages her to continue. Susie compares Midge to Mort Sahl, a comparison Midge does not find herself worthy of, especially during her time of crisis. Susie says she’s right about this, just as she’s right she’s going to be alone the rest of her life. Then she delivers the line that hit me right in the feels: “I do not mind being alone. I just do not want to be insignificant.”

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is hilarious, endearing, and an absolute joy to watch. I cannot recommend it enough. You can watch The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon Prime.

‘Schitt’s Creek’ Just Released A New Trailer For Season 4 And I Am Screaming

As you all know, I’m obsessed with Schitt’s Creek to the point where I’m writing fanfiction for it. (You knew this was coming.) CBC/Pop! just released a full-length trailer today and it has made January 24th feel like an eternity away. It’s a great trailer (Watch it here!) that highlights all our favorite parts of the show and I want to dissect each individual part because I can’t stop screaming.

  1. Dead Guy in Room 4 – Admittedly, I know what this refers to because I saw this episode at VultureFestLA, but oh my god am I excited for everyone to see how this unfolds.
  2. Alexis at Elmdale College – Alexis as a (community) college girl is just aces. This is a girl who would’ve loved some big Division I party school or super expensive liberal arts school but instead she’s stuck at some rinky-dink college in nearby Elmdale.
  3. David & Patrick’s Relationship – You knew this was coming. This is David’s longest relationship (and Patrick’s first!) and that really says a lot about my baby! He’s growing up! And things are good! Patrick apparently sends David a 4-month-iversary giant heart-shaped cookie before learning this fact. And from my constant rewatches of season 3’s “Grad Night”, this move says a lot about Patrick too. (Recap: David’s upset his family forgot his birthday and says to a customer that he wishes everyone took special days seriously.) Look at what Patrick’s doing!!! I’m just saying!!! (Also, all the serious heart-eyes that are happening? Murder me.)
  4. Alexis Graduating from College – Marketing and Pubic Relations. I smell an uphill college administration battle for Alexis and I am here. for. it.
  5. “It’s television’s Moira Rose!” – Moira is always at her best when she’s trying to make the best of a shitty (ha!) situation and returning to acting. Who could ever forget the fruit wine commercial? Catherine O’Hara is a goddess and I cannot wait to see what bizarre performance she’s cooked up this time.
  6. Alexis has… friends? – Alexis is trying to bond with Stevie and a woman at the motel’s counter. Alexis and Stevie haven’t really had many scenes alone together, if any. The possibility that talking about how Zac Efron was a booty call is her idea of ‘female bonding’ is sooo Alexis.
  7. Everyone’s Here!! – Moira, Johnny, David, Alexis, Roland, Stevie, Ted, and Pa… Patrick. The first six were a given. I’m so thrilled that not only is Noah Reid (Patrick) sticking around, but so is Dustin Milligan (Ted). They’re both such excellent foils to David and Alexis, respectively. Crossing my fingers for season regular promotions!
  8. Roland & Johnny – There is no such thing as too much Chris Elliott, especially when he’s being gross. Nope. Not possible.

Things I want to happen this season:

  • David and Patrick to not break up ever because I don’t think my heart could take it
  • Alexis confidently turning down a date with a guy she’s attracted to because she’s a strong independent woman and she don’t need no man
  • Moira doing some sort of cabaret show where she just does different characters or some weird showcase thing
  • More Johnny/Stevie motel co-owners shenanigans. (We took a “Which Schitt’s Creek Character Are You?” quiz and my boss who introduced me to the show is Johnny and I’m Stevie so you can understand my affinity to this relationship.)
  • I want Patrick to get a last name!
  • Tension between Alexis and whoever Ted hires as his new assistant. But not like, romantic tension. Career tension. Because I’m here for career-driven Alexis.
  • She’s at the end of the trailer, but I love Ronnie (Karen Robinson) and I hope we get more of her.
  • Will anyone remember who Gwen is? Probably not.
  • Rizwan Manji’s Ray has another business. Some suggestions: salmon migration, Faberge egg decorating, screen printing and embroidery. Or his business starts to rival Rose Apothecary. (Does Patrick still work at Ray’s? ‘Cause that would be awkward.)
  • Have I mentioned David & Patrick? I just need more of them always.

Schitt’s Creek returns to CBC in Canada on January 9th and to Pop! in the US on January 24th.

‘Jane the Virgin’ Season 4 Fall Finale

Let’s be honest, Jane the Virgin does not get its fair dues. This year, it has been relegated to Friday nights, paired with another show with a slightly off-putting title (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend). Admittedly, I was hesitant to watch either show because of their titles, but I’m glad I did. Both have consistently gone past their undermining titles to give us something truly beautiful and Jane‘s fall finale delivered on the foundation that makes this show so wonderful: mother-daughter relationships.

We were blessed this episode with a Jane-Xo-Alba road trip for Jane’s (two stop) book tour. It’s always wonderful to see stories with women supporting women and especially healthy mother-daughter relationships, but this one was even different from previous episodes. All of the Villanueva women are facing difficult situations: Jane is getting over Adam, Xo is annoyed with Rogelio and the baby, and Alba (as we discover) is running from Jorge’s proposal. They find strength in each other and their ability to confront the men in their lives which all culminates to a raucous night dancing in (and on!) the bar. It’s particularly heartwarming to see Jane support Alba, as her abuela is usually the one doing the supporting. The Villanueva women are the bedrock of Jane the Virgin. All the other aspects of the show would not be nearly as strong or likable if it wasn’t coming from this fountain of mother-daughter love and respect.

One mother-daughter relationship I was not expecting was the one between Jane and her late husband’s mother, Patricia. Patricia was not initially supportive of Jane’s book because she still blamed Jane for Michael’s death and as we’ve been with Jane throughout this whole story, we know how much she already blamed herself and the toll his death had taken on her. It’s a type of mother-daughter relationship that is too often demonized or made toxic in media so I was so grateful to see Patricia at Jane’s second book tour stop. It was clear that in the years after Michael’s death that they had both done a lot of healing on their own and were ready for forgiveness. Their tearful conversation packed the most emotional punch in the whole episode as they had a very real and honest talk on how Michael’s death affected them. They are two women who are linked by their love and grief of one man, a connection Jane can’t share with either Xo or Alba, and for them to come together after all these years was beautiful.

Back at the Marbella, we had a different set of mother-daughter relationships that are… less than healthy. Petra and Anezka have a strained relationship with each other and Magda and that was no more apparent than in this episode. After her “death”, Anezka watches her own funeral to see others mourning for her. Petra points out that their own mother has barely shed a tear for her dead daughter. Anezka goes undercover to talk to Magda to discover for herself what Petra warned her about. However, Petra wasn’t prepared for her own daughters to give away her thoughts regarding Anezka. It’s certainly painful to see Anezka try to defend herself to Petra’s 4 yr old daughters. At the same time, we rarely ever see Petra’s daughters so to hear that she confides in them regarding her relationships is kind of nice, even if it comes at the expense of Anezka.

Having the two sets of mothers and daughters shows a great parallel of how mother-daughter relationships can be. They can be toxic. They can be supportive. Ultimately, they are wildly complicated and challenging. We’ve been so blessed to have a show with women supporting women from the very beginning and Chapter Seventy-One reminded us what the series is all about.

 

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