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The Marvellous Mrs Maisel returns amid a busy, but not especially buzzy week
Much of my week has been spent playing catch-up on some TV shows. I hadn’t actually started watching Succession for its return season until earlier this week and I still had the back half of the first season of Beef to churn through. It was actually startling to watch both concurrently, while also seeing the social chatter around both shows.
Conversation around Beef seems too quiet for what I really feel is one of the boldest and most compelling shows of the year. (Holy sh!t - episode 9 is especially bonkers!!!! Greatest use of a panic room in the history of filmed entertainment). Meanwhile everyone has been going nuts for Succession - especially this week which saw some significant developments surrounding the ongoing narrative arc of the show. I watched THE episode the other night and once the surprise element is removed from it, I was left with an hour of TV where there wasn’t enough variation in perspective of our three scheming core protagonists and an adjunct plot with the executives which felt more like the show treading water than propulsively taking that element of the show forward.
The real TV event for me this week is the return of The Marvellous Mrs Maisel. The first three episodes of the season has dropped and it is an entry point into what I think is an incredible season of TV. A lot of this season, its fifth and final, is framed with flash forwards to what characters are up to in the 30 or so years following the story of the show. At first, I found these uncomfortable, but as the season unfolds you will see the reason for it all become very clear. This season is masterful in showing how the many disparate character arcs in the show have all been contributing to a larger, singular story.
What I adored about the season was the ongoing season-long setting for the show which gives Midge Maisel a day job working as a writer on a Johnny Carson-esque late night comedy show. Grounding the character with a job and recurring supporting cast gives the show more stability and focus than we’ve seen in the past, plus it is just great fun watching the behind the scenes of a show like that set in the early 60s.
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