By Milan Perera, Second Year, English Literature
After a two-year hiatus, the long wait is finally over. Season 4 of the acclaimed Amazon Prime comedy-drama, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is here, although not in its entirety. For the right or wrong reasons, Amazon Prime has decided not to put the entire season on its streaming platform but rather release it in weekly episodes, allowing its audience to have ample time to savour and ponder on each episode.
In a world where cronyism and backstabbing are the currencies of trade, being a comic is no joke. And it is certainly no pleasure cruise for a young, middle-class Jewish woman to break into a male-dominated industry such as the comedy scene in the 1960s. But Miriam 'Midge' Maisel is no pushover. She has earned her stripes, although she may have made many enemies along the way...
Carrying on where season three left off, the first episode of Season 4 begins with a phone call between Midge and the Weissman household, where, to her horror, she learns that the Maisel and Weissman grandparents decided to ‘reschedule’ Ethan’s birthday for the sake of convenience.
The birthday party contingent goes to Coney Island beach where Midge, who is supposed to be in Europe, makes a surprise appearance. The ride on ‘Rumble on the Wonder Wheel,’ included a dialogue-heavy four-minute scene replete with ‘revelations’ which worked fabulously as a well-orchestrated piece of music.
In Season 3, the vibrancy and the spontaneity of the first two seasons had significantly dipped and there was ambiguity on the very survival of the series. But the creators of the series, the wife and husband duo, Daniel and Amy Sherman-Palladino are no amateurs in the field of comedy-drama. Before the advent of streaming giants, the couple was responsible for the hit Prime TV drama Gilmore Girls (2000-07) which ran for astonishing 153 episodes.
Now in Season 4, Midge has well and truly fallen from the days of showbiz razzmatazz, but she always seems to thrive when she is up against the odds. It seems to bring out the best in her. After having rubbed shoulders with the cream of show business, Midge goes back to her roots, performing at smaller venues to get herself back on the road.
Midge possesses a quiet confidence, emanating from an unbeatable self-belief, in which she muses to her audience ‘I know – that’s life, s**t happens, you should be the bigger man and let it go … Well, I’m a woman – so f*** that!’ She has fire in her belly, continuously repeating the words, ‘revenge, revenge,’ as if she were a shaman in trance, the sting of being scorned still felt strongly.
All in all, viewers may be asking themselves is there a light at the end of the tunnel for Midge and Susie?
Rachel Brosnahan and Alex Borstein yet again portray the complex but warm relationship between Midge and Susie to a tee- they are more than just a manager and client. They transcend the conventional relationship between an agent and a star, creating, instead, a curious amalgamation of a heartfelt friendship and a shrewd business partnership.
In just the first episode of this new season, things are not looking up for Joe’s nightclub- not because the business is failing, since the business is actually doing quite well- but because Joel’s landlords are not amused by the fact that Joel’s success in running the club has turned the attention of the city, to this otherwise abandoned establishment, where they run an illegal gambling den in the basement. Joel, now, has hush money to appease his landlord, but for how long is he able to keep this up?
Season four has a lot to unfold, with its first episode laying a lot of foundations for plots that are yet to be resolved. This season is off to a good start and fans are anxiously awaiting the double weekly servings. The main question proposed thus far is, can Midge salvage her reputation under these challenging circumstances?
To the delight of its loyal fanbase, it has been announced that The Marvelous Mrs Maisel has been commissioned for a fifth and final season. Fans, now, must await the rest of the season to unfold in the next few weeks.
Featured Image: IMDB
What did you think of Season 4's first episode?