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The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Adam Lenhardt, Jan 12, 2018.

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  1. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    In celebration of its Golden Globe win for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy, Amazon is making the first season of "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" available free to stream all weekend long, until just before midnight Monday. I just finished the pilot and hope to make it the rest of the way through while it's still free.

    From Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino comes the latest family dramedy with the rhythms of a screwball comedy. Many of the elements will be very familiar to "Gilmore Girls" fans. But this time around, the Palladinos trade old-money WASPs in twenty-first century New England for upper crust Jews in late fifties Manhattan.

    As the series begins, Miriam "Midge" Maisel's life has gone completely according to plan. She is the unfaltering image of an ideal housewife, going through excessive pains to preserve the image. Her husband has a very good job, and she has the requisite two children. The only facet of her character that fails to adhere to the orthodoxy of the times is her mouth: she has opinions, perceptive ones, witty ones, indiscreet ones.

    Everything is exactly as she dreamed it would be... until it all comes crumbling down. If "Gilmore Girls" was built around a scandalous teenage pregnancy, "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" is built around a scandalous marital collapse.

    And as Midge broadcasts her anger, disappointment and indignation across Greenwich Village, she -- and the show -- come alive.

    Rachel Brosnahan (an Irish Catholic girl from the Midwest) is electric in the title role, effortlessly embodies a young woman who is on the surface different from her in nearly every respect. There is quite a bit of Lorelei Gilmore in Midge, but she is far from a facsimile. The kind of emancipation that Lorelei fought so hard for is dumped in Midge's lap most undesirably, much to her horror and dissatisfaction.

    The supporting cast has a couple of Sherman-Palladino regulars: Alex Borstein is a series regular, and Bailey De Young recurs as Midge's friend.

    The more generous budget and shooting schedule shows: from a technical standpoint, this is a far more sophisticated affair than "Gilmore Girls". The period setting is a natural fit for ASP's writing style, and the production does a great job of weaving between pitch-perfect fifties-era sets and location shooting that finds little corners of the West Side that still more or less like they did 60 years ago. "Gilmore Girls" leaned heavily on its standing sets and the Warner Bros. backlot. This is set in NYC, shot in NYC, and it shows.

    One of the more interesting facets is the way it weaves real historical places and people into its fictional narrative. A central location is the Gaslight Cafe, which closed in 1971. The exterior is faithfully recreated to match dozens of photographs of family people taken at the entrance, but the interior is far more expansive that the real deal. Instead of aiming for literal accuracy, the show brings to life our collective cultural memory of what such spaces are like. Some famous people, like Ed Sullivan and Bob Newhart, appear via archival footage while others, like Lenny Bruce, are portrayed by actors.
     
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  2. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    @Mike Frezon if you and Peggy haven't checked this out yet, I think it might be right up your alley.
     
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  3. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    I loved this one. Her standup moments, when they occur, are priceless.
     
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  4. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Ugh.

    That sounds like a great opportunity, Adam. But I'm committed to an already busy weekend. :angry:

    Grrrrr.

    But I might still try.
     
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  5. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    And we're watching Episode #1 right now!

    :laugh:

    This'll be the first big use of my Apple 4k TV!
     
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  6. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    Even if you don't make it through the season before free period ends, Mike, at least you'll know whether it's worth revisiting the next time a Prime free trial comes up for you.
     
  7. Message #7 of 32 Jan 12, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
    Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Producer

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    Aren't you a Prime member, Mike? If so, it's included with your membership, so your access to it is unlimited. The free weekend just makes it available to non-Prime members for sampling. You won't have to pay for it if you finish beyond Monday, as long as you've already paid your Prime fee, which I'm pretty sure you have.

    I'm going to be busy this weekend going to the movie theater multiple times, so I'm not going to be able to get to Mrs. Maisel this weekend. But since I'm a Prime member, no big deal. I'll catch up with it later.
     
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  8. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    [​IMG] I have so much to learn, guys, about this streaming business!

    Everything Jake says is correct.

    Episode 1 is done. I'm hooked! :D

    I can't thank you enough for alerting me, Adam...to the thing which I could have been doing anyway...if I had only known. [​IMG]
     
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  9. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    My pleasure.:D
     
  10. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Producer

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    The whole reason Amazon develops original series is to drive Prime memberships. They figure if somebody likes their original series, they'll pay the $99/year fee, and then since they've already paid for Prime anyway, they'll order more items from the store. So, as long as you're paying for Prime, all of this stuff is free.

    Similarly, the purpose of making this show free this weekend is to encourage Prime signups. They probably figure that some people who are not Prime members will sample it, but not finish before the end of the weekend, at which point it goes back to a Prime exclusive. They obviously hope that those people who were hooked by the free sample week will then say, "Well, I've gotta finish it," and then join Prime, which will increase Amazon's revenue.
     
  11. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Thru episode 2! This episode was even more Gilmore-ish than the first!

    Alex Borstein is a hoot. Nice to see David Paymer (Judge Cuesta from The Good Wife ), too. And I did NOT recognize Max Casella as Michael Kessler.

    Snappy patter and rich visuals. But it's all about the characters.
     
  12. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    Yes, the pace was considerably faster and the familial strife quite a bit rawer.

    One thing that's striking watching this, though, is just how restrained the Palladinos were with "A Year in the Life" once they'd been freed from FCC content rules. There was profanity in that miniseries but the characters by and large still weren't vulgar people. When the profanity came, it was an exceptional circumstance.

    On this show, freed from content restrictions from the get-go, the characters are vulgar people. At least two of George Carlin's seven dirty words dot the dialogue like punctuation for stretches at a time.

    Back when this century first began, I adored Tony Shalhoub as the title character on "Monk", one of the forerunners to the golden age of television on cable. I've seen him in plenty of things since that show ended, but nothing that utilized him as well as that show utilized him. Watching the classroom screen in the second episode, I was immensely grateful that he again has a showcase worthy of his talents.

    Even though it was anachronistic by a good 16 years, the use of Bowie's "Rebel Rebel" on the smash cut to credits after Midge's rapturous second set at the Gaslight Cafe was the perfect song choice.
     
  13. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    We're already through Episode 4!

    (Even though I don't need to be rushing through it...)

    It's interesting to get to know Borstein's character little-by-little as they very slowly unwrap who this person is.

    And, my gosh, those upper West Side apartments are just crazy with how big and luxurious they are!
     
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  14. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    I began watching this today - in UHD/HDR and watched the first two episodes. (Beautiful looking, by the way. Those lush apartments on the Upper West Side are mouth watering in UHD.) Already attached to many characters and obviously can't wait to see subsequent episodes.
     
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  15. Neil Middlemiss

    Neil Middlemiss Producer
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    I watched the premiere episode (when Adam likes a show, I pay attention) and was enamored. Wonderful show that I can’t wait to see much more of. Beautifully written, staged, shot and performed!
     
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  16. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    :thumbsup:

    I agree! :D
     
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  17. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    And anyone who likes Gilmore Girls, there really IS a lot of the same techniques used in that series here in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. The music selections are outrageously good.

    I am REALLY liking this.

    Watched Episode 5 tonight. Wallace Shawn alert! :dancing-banana-04:
     
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  18. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    Just finished it tonight. I loved it. Eight episodes was exactly the right length for the first season; there's a narrative discipline here that didn't exist when Amy Sherman-Palladino had to satisfy the gods of broadcast television, with its 22+ episode seasons.

    Amazon might just get my money when Season 2 rolls around.
     
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  19. benbess

    benbess Cinematographer

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    Watched the show a couple of months ago and enjoyed it.
     
  20. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    Knowing there are only eight episodes and having watched two on the first day, I'll be watching one a day for the remainder of the six remaining episodes. I stream a fair amount of series on Netflix so I'm glad to have something on Amazon to stream.
     

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