Gilbert Speaks on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

13 Mar

I am a faithful fan of the Amazon Prime comedy, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, but I can’t stand the main character. I love the actress who plays Mrs. Maisel, but it is the secondary characters who have won my heart and keep me coming back for more. Why is that?

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is an American comedy set in the late 1950s and 60s. It follows Miriam Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan) a Jewish Upper West Side housewife who, after divorcing her husband Joel (Michael Zegen), learns that she has talent as a stand-up comic. Midge and her two children move back home with her parents Abe (Tony Shalhoub) and Rose (Marin Hinkle) Weissman. Their apartment is the size of a small castle…and comes with the most patient maid in the universe, Zelda (Matilda Szydagis).

Although her husband, Joel Maisel is a standup comedian during the night while working at his father’s clothing manufactory during the day, Miriam immediately steals the spotlight from him. While working her comedy routine at the Gaslight Café, Miriam becomes friends with the manager, Susie (Alex Borstein) who over the next few seasons becomes Miriam’s frustrated business manager.

Rachel Brosnahan is amazing as Miriam, especially when Miriam is doing comedy on the stage, but Miriam is the type of character that makes you scream at your TV in frustration. Miriam is selfish, and impulsive, and leaves the raising of her young son and infant daughter to her parents and the poor maid. Maybe this annoying character was written this way for a purpose. What I do know is that the secondary characters step up to the plate to save the day in every episode.

My favorite character is that of Susie Myerson. Alex Borstein plays her character with the cutting edge of a surgeon’s scalpel. We’re never sure of Susie’s sexual identity, but Susie is a streetwise entrepreneur who recognizes Miriam’s talent and tries to find jobs for her client. Susie’s comments are hilarious and the situations she finds herself in during all four seasons are some of the funniest moments on television. She is the best friend that Miriam has although Miriam doesn’t realize it.

My second favorite character is that of Abe Weissman played by the amazing Tony Shalhoub. There is still a bit of his Monk persona as he plays the patriarch of the Weissman family. He tries to go with the flow, but between his self-centered daughter and his wife taking off to France in season one…Abe is forced to change both his views on his daughter’s secret life and his own job. He does change, and we viewers are offered some of the funniest comedic scenes, ever.

Another favorite character is Miriam’s nemesis, Sophia Lennon, played by the insanely talented Jane Lynch. The cutting-edge tit for tat fights between Susie and Sophia are legendary. You really need to pay careful attention to the machine gun speed jokes between these two. Jane and Alex have honed their characters into fine art.

There is one character that has stolen my heart and made me do research on the life of comedic hero, Lenny Bruce. Luke Kirby is amazing as Lenny Bruce. Lenny Bruce was a rebel who spoke out against the social injustices of his time and got punished for it. Truth hurts the rich and powerful.

Luke Kirby plays his Lennie as a gentle soul with a sharp tongue. Lenny comes to Miriam’s rescue several times after she gets thrown into jail for nudity and raunchy jokes. I have always suspected that Lenny cared for Miriam, but in season four, they finally get to sleep together after his show at the Carnegie Hall.


A great comedy series depends on the strength of the supporting characters. Comedy series like Seinfeld, Cheers, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel have succeeded because they allow the main character to be an annoying entity while shining a light on all the supporting cast members. Seinfeld would be nothing without George, Elaine, and Kramer. Same with Cheers…and more distinctly, with the cast of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

By Rachel Brosnahan playing her character as an annoyingly spoiled, selfish person, she allows the comedy to shine bright because the secondary characters are given the chance to not only step up to the plate, but to make the character of Mrs. Maisel…more loveable in a fragile way.

If you haven’t been watching this series, please do. You can find all four seasons of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon Prime. Let me know who your favorite character is.


One Response to “Gilbert Speaks on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

  1. lcbennettstern March 13, 2022 at 1:15 am #

    You nailed it, Marie!

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