The Marvelous Mrs Maisel season four review – the zip and the bounce is back! | Television & radio

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After a hectic and uneven third season, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon Prime) seems to have found its fangs. “Revenge…I want it. I’m completely devoured by need,” purrs Midge/Miriam (no one seems to call her Midge anymore), finding her sharp edges, back on a seedy little nightclub stage, with a number that weighs heavily on the Word. F. This show is never better than when Miriam has to fight tooth and nail for her place in the spotlight, and it’s a welcome relief to see her having to do it again. “That’s life. Shit happens,” she declares, ending the routine on a surprisingly sour note.

I say surprising because, while the first two seasons were great fun, Mrs. Maisel got into a rut during the third, which combined huge set pieces with a twisty plot and episodes that felt much longer. than they were. Season three almost guaranteed that Miriam would make it, until her seemingly certain path to stardom and home ownership hits not so much a roadblock as a solid brick wall, when she accidentally ( rather) released the world’s biggest star to his adoring audience. It seems like few picked up on Judy Garland’s credentials that felt a bit ahead of their time, but it was enough to get her kicked off her fame tour and back to where it all began.

This underdog stance in the dirt suits Ms. Maisel far more than the razzle-dazzle of a dance troupe performing on a huge stage for a massive audience of, say, soldiers. We pick up right where we left off, with Miriam on the trail, pleading for her job, and Susie – whose financial entanglements make losing the opportunity of a lifetime one of the less stressful parts of the episode – lamenting the fact that she left her client alone for four hours, “and you blow up your career and buy an apartment”.

The stakes are relatively low in this world, even when it comes to breaking out superstars locked up, or insurance fraud and grand theft. Resolutions come quickly and cleanly. That’s part of why I find it hard to like this series, even though I often admire it. Although the balance between family life and ambition is part of her fabric – this is a stand-up comedian with two children in 1960, after all – it’s hard to muster the same enthusiasm for a sequence on how Miriam is going to balance it. various store credits and what happens when the milk delivery doesn’t show up, such as a fearsome stand-up set that showcases the best of Rachel Brosnahan’s beautiful and compelling performance. Here, Brosnahan makes light work of a woman once again reduced to the lowly status of a “comic girl,” albeit a comic girl who has made more enemies than she realizes.

That said, the zip and bounce is definitely back, whether it’s Susie and Joel having a typically quick and feisty conversation about money, or Susie and Miriam drunkenly bitching about mediocre male comics that live off visible punchlines. a mile away. Smoother edges have been roughened, scraped, and an intriguing conflict emerges between the importance of financial security and the pursuit of art and satisfaction. This time, Amazon is releasing two episodes a week, rather than the entire season at once, and for a show that can be rich, that’s proving to be a deft act of moderation.

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