The “Gilmore Girls” talked really fast and said funny things, but they never dropped any f-bombs. And they never flashed anybody.
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” also talks really fast and says funny things. She sort of sounds like a Gilmore, which is no surprise because she has the same creator/writer/executive producer, Amy Sherman-Palladino.
But Miriam “Midge” Maisel and the people around her drop a bunch of f-bombs. And, yes, on the night her husband leaves her, Midge gets drunk, gets onstage and flashes a room full of people.
Amazon’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” which starts streaming on Wednesday, is like and unlike “Gilmore Girls.” Like “Gilmore,” “Maisel” creates a stylized, almost magical setting — in this case, 1958 New York. Like Lorelai Gilmore, who had a baby out of wedlock at 16 and raised the child herself, Midge Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan) flouts social norms.
When her husband, Joel (Michael Zegan), leaves her for his secretary, instead of trying to win him back, Midge pursues standup comedy. Nice Jewish girls didn’t do that sort of thing in 1958.
Like Lorelai, Midge has overbearing parents. It’s worth remembering Emily and Richard Gilmore were unlikable when that show began, because Rose (Marin Hinkle) and Abe (Tony Shalhoub) Weissman are even less likable as “Mrs. Maisel” gets underway.
“What did you do?” Rose asks Midge when she learns Joel left.
When “Gilmore Girls” premiered in October 2000, it was love at first sight. Not so much with “Mrs. Maisel.” The first episode spends a lot of time setting up the premise and focuses almost entirely on Midge. Brosnahan carries the hour with a determined performance, delivering Sherman-Palladino’s quick-paced patter with assurance.
But, after seeing three more episodes, I’m much more sold on the series. Other characters are fleshed out, including Joel, Midge’s parents, Joel’s parents and Susie (Alex Borstein), a tough, unpleasant bar employee who sees Midge’s potential and becomes her manager.
And, dare I say it, there’s something a little magical about “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” Not the magic of Stars Hollow (the fictional town of “Gillmore Girls”), of course. But the look and feel of 1950s New York transports you to another world.
We can visit that world for a while. There are eight episodes in Season 1 of “Mrs. Maisel,” and Amazon has already ordered Season 2.
So, sorry, “Gilmore Girls” fans, we’re not going to get what we really want from Sherman-Palladino — more episodes of that show. But “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” is a worthy successor.
Albeit it one you can’t exactly sit down and watch with your young daughters. Hey, real-life comedian Lenny Bruce (Luke Kirby) — who kept getting arrested for obscenity for the content of his act — is a recurring character. Which should give you an idea where this is going.