The first season of The Marvelous Mrs Maisel (TMMM), which won two Golden Globe Awards and five Primetime Emmy Awards, ended with Midge Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan) finally finding her voice and her identity, and her ex-husband Joel (Michael Zegen) coming to terms with the fact that his wife is funnier than he is. Season two takes this forward, not just for Midge, but also for Joel, her father Abraham Weissman (Tony Shalhoub) and her mother, Rose Weissman (Marin Hinkle). We speak with Zegen, Shalhoub and Hinkle, over the phone from Milan. Excerpts:
Even though the show is called The Marvelous Mrs Maisel, the supporting cast and their characters are developed very strongly.
Michael Zegen: Yes, Rachel is the lead, titular character, she is like our fearless leader but I very much feel that the show is an ensemble show.
Tony Shalhoub: It’s thrilling to work on this material – Dan Palladino and Amy Sherman-Palladino (show runners/creators), the way they have created this universe.
Marin Hinkle: In the end, it’s all about family. Amy and Dan are show runners. They set the tone. They love family. If you look at their other works as well, Gilmore Girls for example, they have such an appreciation of the family dynamic, that they constantly bring those emotions to the fore.
The Marvelous Mrs Maisel’s first season was quite a tongue-in-cheek critique of the rollicking sixties. Midge breaks the mould.
Tony Shalhoub: The series shows us how far we have come, and yet how far we have to go. Joel is an unusual man. He loves Midge, but he has done this stupid unfortunate thing of leaving her. Yet he stays by her and supports her in her chosen line of work, even though that means that they can’t be together. That’s a very mature thought.
Michael Zegen: Joel knew what he was getting into, when he married Midge. She was not the quintessential anything. Midge was opinionated and brash, and completely not OK with taking the back seat. He put himself in that situation, but yes, I don’t think that was the norm at that time. In season two, he redeems himself, in some way.
What can we expect from Season Two?
Marin Hinkle: Well for Rose, it’s an exciting time. She goes to Paris on a kind of soul-searching quest. She escapes from all the boxes that she has been slotted into. The show just grows, and many characters who have no idea of each other’s existence are interacting in this one, it’s all very combustive and joyous.
Tony Shalhoub: In the first season, Midge fought to keep her worlds separate – work, family, the department store. In season two, her worlds start to collide, and there are interesting ramifications of it all.
Does The Marvelous Mrs Maisel works better because it is available on a streaming service?
Marin Hinkle: The digital platform is here to stay. As long as we have interesting narratives coming in, it can go on forever. Though the streaming services are relatively new, they don’t have producers breathing down their neck, and telling show creators what to put in their shows and what not. For The Marvelous Mrs Maisel, we have Amy and Dan, and for the most part Amazon lets them do their thing.
Tony Shalhoub: The digital platform will change, as all things and mediums do in this industry. People and their consuming patters change. It will be very interesting to see how the patterns emerge in the coming five years. But yes, a The Marvelous Mrs Maisel works very well here.
The Marvelous Mrs Maisel is available on Amazon Prime