"Many people found this fantasy invigorating," says Emily Nussbaum. "For me, it felt grating, and not just in terms of verisimilitude—the verbal anachronisms ('totally'), the sitcom clams ('Good talk!'), the cloying Disneyfication of Midge’s Jewish family—but in its central psychology. In The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, sexism exists. But it never gets inside Midge. Her marvellousness comes from the fact that she’s immune, a self-adoring alpha whose routines feel like feminist TED talks, with some 'f*cks' thrown in. (Rachel) Brosnahan delivers them with moxie, but they’re rarely funny. They’re also the opposite of (Joan) Rivers’s act, which relied on the tension between looking pretty and calling herself a dog—provoking taboo laughs from the revelation that even this nice girl felt like a loser, desperate, unf*ckable. In Mrs. Maisel, Rivers’s more unsettling qualities—her vengefulness, her perception of women as competitors, her eating disorder—all get displaced onto Midge’s foe, fat-joke Sophie, who lives in an opulent French-themed apartment, like the one Rivers lived in, collects furs, and, like the real Joan, wanted to be a serious actress."
TOPICS: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Amazon Prime Video, Donna Zakowska, Joan Rivers, Michael Zegen, Zachary Levi