In my opinion, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” got cheated at the Emmys last year. Sure, “Mrs. Maisel” had already swept TV’s top awards for its first season and “Fleabag” deserved lots of trophy love last year, but not at the expense of the incumbent rival, not by me. “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” is a masterpiece that deserves to sweep the Emmys again. Season 3 is perfect TV.
Now is the time for all good Emmy pundits to come to the aid of “Mrs. Maisel’s” consistent and enduring achievement. A new Emmy cycle is already under way. FYC budgets are being hammered out. Screenings are starting to unspool. Actors and showrunners across town are suddenly remembering to smile at hated colleagues who they run into at the Century City Mall or at the gym.
Season 3 builds brilliantly upon its preceding seasons when we saw a fearless 1950s mom throw off her domestic shackles and jump up defiantly onto a club stage to mock a misogynist world (and its sexually inept men). After her rage was sated, Midge often had to go back home to dress the kids and pour a jello mold. In Season 2 we witnessed Midge break further away from home base – to the Catskills and metro-New York, but she was still performing before familiar audiences who got her matzo jokes.
It is in Season 3 that we see the vast promise, scope and stakes of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” realized at last as a TV show. We see Midge break out into a big, terrifying world that truly tests her steel. She triumphs during a USO tour, making such big money that she’s able to rescue her parents’ housing woes. Finally, her career dream is realized. She can win at life. She’s happy.
But, yes, beware: it all crashes one night on stage at the Apollo Theater. Now we must wait till Season 4 to see how it all plays out, but no matter. Midge’s steel is still within, undented, undaunted, and she has the proven power to make it all so marvelous again.