Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is a period piece. But the acclaimed series about a young uptown Manhattan divorcee trying to make it as a stand-up comic in the late ’50s, is extremely current, creator Amy Sherman Palladino insisted at TCA, where she’d come to chat up the Season 2.
“We are dramatizing a woman’s struggle at a time when she wasn’t supposed to have that voice or make those changes,” she said. It’s about a woman who is going through a major change and realizing suddenly the box she has been put in” and it’s airing at a time when women still are trying to break out of that box. “Hooray for no progress since the 50’s,” Palladino quipped of our Donald Trump-ian world.
Season 2 is “big” Palladino said, adding “sorry Jen [Salke]” and not much more. Midge, aka actress Rachel Brosnahan, was only slightly more forthcoming, noting the first season ended with Midge finally arrived into Mrs. Maisel and, as for Season 2, “good things can’t last long.”
Palladino described stand-up comedy as “its own very strange world of desperation and pain and anger. Asked about her knowledge of that world in the late 50’s, she said she knows a lot about Joan Rivers, her father was a standup, she knew Lenny Bruce’s mother, and used to work at Comedy Store, as a person who gave out tickets.
“I kind of had no other way to go,” Palladino said. But, she hastened to add, Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is not a show about standup comedy, so much as a series about “this particular woman going from one life to another. And, when her life explodes it explodes everyone’s around it. It’s a very elusive world that is tough to dramatize.”
Asked who came up with the distinctive set, striking costumes, and starry children’s book logo, Palladino said they lucked out when HBO canceled Vinyl, leaving “a lot of talented people wandering the streets of New York.”
“We stood in the streets, and everybody who looked upset, with a Vinyl sweatshirt on, we grabbed them and said ‘it’s okay, honey…It’s not the 70’s, it’s a little earlier.” Then she began to explain in dizzying detail how the show’s varying degrees of pink-ness ebb and flow to reflect Midge’s mood and situation.