Friday, December 6, 2019

REVIEW: 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' - Midge and Joel Finally Appear in Court to Get Their Divorce in 'It's the Sixties, Man!'

Amazon's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel - Episode 3.02 "It's the Sixties, Man!"

Midge struggles with Susie taking on a new client. Joel meets a mystery girl, Mei, who is as frustrating as she is intriguing. Abe initiates a new project with a group of young beatniks. Midge and Joel deal with their divorce.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Amazon's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

"It's the Sixties, Man!" was written by Daniel Palladino and directed by Dan Attias

After three seasons, Midge and Joel are finally divorced. It is finalized here with a judge signing off on it. That highlights just how slow moving all of this has been. Midge has climbed rapidly in her comedy career. She is going on tour and has to move this court proceeding up to best accommodate everyone. Joel even wants to show up to offer moral support. They present as a couple who have figured out how to co-exist even though they are no longer married. Of course, that also comes across as the two of them inevitably returning to each other. The judge simply can't fathom why they want to get a divorce. It seems like they have moved past his infidelity. And yes, Midge probably has. She may have wanted more from their recent sexual encounter. However, she has other priorities right now. She knows that she can rely on Joel to care for their two children while she is on the road. Again, the judge doesn't understand that at all. This may be the most overtly sexist episode of the show to date simply because of what Midge and Rose have to do in order to be taken seriously by the world. They may not change any minds. Midge still embraces a pretty rigid view of the world. Evolution is slow to occur. However, it is clear that the characters are changing. That may not be inherently good. They are furious that they may be more conscious of what they should want out of life. Rose hates that her daughter has talked her into wanting a sense of independence and control. That means she walks away from her family trust instead of continuing to put up with the exploits of her male family members. They may not know how to run this business any better than her. But she is certainly more qualified to sit on the board than a child. In fact, this show may have such contempt for children in this world. The characters believe they should easily be cast away with no real consideration whatsoever. That too may be a mentality of the time period. It may just be convenient for storytelling purposes as well. It allows Midge to focus on her career without having to worry too much about her children. Joel is the present parent at the moment. There is nothing wrong with that. The show just doesn't really incorporate those children in interesting ways. They aren't considered at all when it comes to the divorce. That too throws the judge. It's all mystifying and complicated. He would rather sign off on it then try to understand that. Everyone appreciates that. It may be the show just putting on a fun display instead of actually analyzing what all of this means. It's something light and fluffy to fill the time while teasing that Midge and Joel still seem like a happy couple. They could work things out. Of course, Midge is still vastly more interesting than Joel. His new troubles with a Chinese gambling ring aren't all that compelling off the bat. It's simply a new hassle he has to deal with. It's similarly odd to see Abe fall in with a new young crowd who go through the same life journey he has experienced. He believes he can survive on the streets and doesn't need the finer things in life. In actuality though, he too has grown quite accustomed to the privileges of this upscale world. Again, the show highlights that without delving too deeply into it. It handles race in the same way. Sterling K. Brown appears as Shy's manager, Reggie. He runs the show even though he has to have a white man front the operation to project a sense of authority and legitimacy. That's unfortunate. It proves that Susie may still be out of her depth. However, Midge sees the error of her ways simply through a workout conversation with Imogene. That forces her to acknowledge that Susie doesn't have the same luxuries afforded to her. Midge may have struggled somewhat as a comedian so far. But her talent has carried her to this point. That is impressive. She has worked hard to achieve her status. She wants so much more for Susie as well. So, she can't let her personal failings hold her friend back. She can't hold this petty grudge forever. The world may be full of petty grudges. However, that would ruin something that has worked for a long time for both of them. Midge and Susie are the most meaningful relationship in the show. This season suggested some tension. But it mostly reassures the audience that they will remain perfectly fine despite them moving up to the big leagues.