The second season of The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel, out on Amazon Prime, is just as delicious as the first, a welcome surprise after the disappointment of second seasons such as The Handmaid’s Tale or Westworld this year. Rachel Brosnahan blooms on screen, her performance of the characteristic quick-witted dialogue of writer and director Amy Sherman-Palladino (of Gilmore Girls’ fame) result in a perfect balance of theatricality and genuine sentiment. The second scene when Midge (Brosnahan) and her father Abe (Tony Shalhoub) converse both poignantly and hilariously about Midge’s mother Rose (Marin Hinkle) and her secret move to Paris is a prime example of the aspects of this show that work so well.
We jump right back in where we left off, with Midge still climbing the comedy ladder alongside Susie (Alex Borstein), and still separated from Joel Maisel (Michael Zegen), after he sees her show and realises he can’t handle being the source of her material. The parallels between Midge’s relationship breakdown and that of her parents’ are brought to a head in the first episode where Midge accuses her mother of not honouring her marriage, which Rose promptly turns around right back at her. The theme of communication breakdown is properly manifested in Abe and Midge’s total ignorance of French, and thus a whole aspect of Rose’s identity, to which they cannot respond even armed with Sherman-Palladino’s classic repartées.
Midge’s spontaneous comedy set, at a Parisian drag cabaret, translated by a helpful American audience member, occasionally falls flat on a modern audience. But, there is something so comforting and aesthetically pleasing about this show, like ice cream for the eyes, that any awkward moments are instantly forgiven. The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel is good, easy, escapist television about a difficult family, which is definitely needed at this time of year.