Saturday, December 7, 2019

REVIEW: 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' - A Traumatic Incident Leaves Shy Beaten and Vulnerable with Midge in 'Kind of Bleu'

Amazon's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel - Episode 3.06 "Kind of Bleu"

Abe and Rose find respite from Queens while visiting Midge. Joel and Mei squabble over a liquor license for the bar. Midge helps Shy out of a scrape.

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.

"Kind of Bleu" was written by Amy Sherman-Palladino and directed by Amy Sherman-Palladino

Midge seemingly has more compassion and concern for Shy than his band does. That is a startling fact here. The band see how temperamental he can be. Midge can continue to prop him up as this incredible singer who has given her the opportunity to tour with him as the opening act. The band has simply been on the road before. They know the rules of the land and what to expect. They each have different ways of coping because it can be a strain on life no matter who it is. They have to take care of themselves first. That ensures that they remain healthy enough in order to complete the tour. Shy Baldwin is the famous singer though. He is the one fans are coming to see every night. Fame can be a huge burden for him. The show has long positioned that same career trajectory for Midge. She too is going to be famous. She continues to win over so many fans. Each season sees her elevate her career in a significant way. She has Shy to thank for that. He knows that she is going to be a huge star. She sees him as a human being too. He is more than the glitz and glamour of show business. He is a person with failings and mood swings. Some people may not be able to detach their own selfish interests in any given situation. Midge has proven to be selfish on numerous occasions. She wants Joel to bring Ethan to Florida for a vacation because her family can't go to the Catskills this year. Her children won't miss out on that though because Joel, Moishe and Shirley will still keep that tradition. So much is changing for Midge. It can be overwhelming. However, she always steps up and tries to look after other people. It can be overbearing. She may be just as strong in her opinions as her mother. Rose refuses to admit that her daughter is a comedian. She refuses to see Midge perform even though it can be stressful for her health. This isn't a good time for Rose. She feels personally attacked everywhere she goes. That existential crisis isn't as prominent as Abe's is. He's searching for a way to connect to his younger roots of profound thought and activism. He too feels the urge to speak out on things he cares about. He may have more tolerance for his daughter's career path. He wants to be prepared for anything inappropriate in her show beforehand. Given Midge's tendency to riff though Susie could never provide him with that assistance. But it all showcases a compassion that wants to reach out and help those in need. For Susie, it's a stressful time because both Sophie and Gavin are complaining to her about their concerns even though she's half a country away. Meanwhile, the two of them having sex is played as this insanely broad moment where they are loud in the entire theater. That brings levity to the situation. But it continues to highlight just how strange this world can be. People are overbearing. And yet, it's a vital function of humanity to explore the complications that make each of us human. Joel and Archie are best friends but don't really try to understand each other on a deeper level. Archie still has some contempt for Joel because he slept with his secretary and ruined his marriage. Meanwhile, Joel harshly judges Archie for taking off his wedding ring at a bar. All of these concerns are valid and can reveal some truly complex emotional depths to these characters. And yet, the true emotional wallop comes when Midge continually shows up for Shy when he needs it the most. Reggie is overprotective of him. Susie has the same impulse for Midge. They have to protect their clients in order to secure their own revenue. Singing is the only thing that Shy may have going for his life. However, he lives an isolated existence because of fame and the inability to live as his true self. He is condemned to a closeted life. One where he is left beaten on his boat and ashamed to return to the hotel to perform. He faces injustice and horrors every single day. It doesn't matter that he is famous. He still experiences racism and homophobia. Midge steps up in offering moral support. That may be all that she can provide. She too goes missing ahead of the show. She doesn't take the opportunity to step into the spotlight herself. She has a lot counting on this performance because it could finally impress her mother. And yet, that was always unlikely to happen. Instead, it's more important for her to track Shy down and help lift him up. She may not know how to navigate this specific situation. All she can do is watch from a different perspective now. All of his songs are about falling in love. But they play on a much deeper level about secret crushes and unrequited romance. That is so tragic. The action just has to center in on Midge, Shy and Reggie's faces to tell so much. This accident may cause upheaval for the tour. There is concern because Shy is performing from a stool. It's clear something happened. Midge holds the truth and will keep Shy's secret. That compassion is her extending full acceptance and love. That is beautiful to watch. It makes this yet another episode to end with a massive emotional wallop just when the show needs that focus to really move the narrative forward.