Friday, March 11, 2022

REVIEW: 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' - Opportunities Pass Midge By Due to Her Stubbornness in 'How Do You Get to Carnegie Hall?'

Amazon's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel - Episode 4.08 "How Do You Get to Carnegie Hall?"

Midge and Joel debate Greek mythology. Susie finds a second phone line. A blizzard brings unexpected consequences.

"How Do You Get to Carnegie Hall?" was written by Amy Sherman-Palladino and directed by Amy Sherman-Palladino

The first three seasons had Midge's career on an upward trajectory. Each season accumulated more success and attention. This season was suppose to be her fall from grace. It's the disruption to the expected formula. One show was all it took to potentially end her comedy career. She had to figure out how to earn it all back. She had a plan. That prompt was designed around the idea she was continuing to trend upward. She didn't have to fight the same fights she once did to be recognized as funny and successful. She could hold firm to only taking headlining gigs. She would never share the spotlight with anyone ever again. That includes too many opinions that ultimately decrease her ability to shine in the way only she can. If she can only be funny under her extreme conditions, then she doesn't really have the skills to make it in this business. She doesn't deserve continuing success. She has gotten a taste of fame. She wants to build onto that. When a little resistance came, she got comfortable in a gig that would only offer her unconditional support. Boise was reluctant to implement all her changes. Her advice worked wonders for the strip club. However, that business was always one raid away from being completely destroyed. Midge saw it as a steady income. She was invaluable. It will all be torn apart if she wasn't there. She wants the freedom to cancel. She has to be there for her family after Moishe's heart attack. Instead, she has to process all of her feelings onstage. That makes even more people invested in her. They too want to know how Moishe is doing. Shirley is planning for death. It's inevitable according to the doctors. That's all she hears. Moishe makes a full recovery. Abe doesn't have to print the obituary he wrote honoring his friend. This family appreciates one another. They cause each other constant stress. However, they don't want anyone to disrupt the happiness they have found. And so, Rose should fight back against the matchmakers who want her to stop. Joel and Mei should celebrate having a baby and getting married. These are assumptions of what will make these characters happy. They are informed by family. They know each other so well. However, that can also prevent them from seeing how one wrong they've been for a long time. Midge has been stubborn. She idolizes Lenny's career. The fantasy of that life seems more intoxicating than the man himself. That's heartbreaking. They finally act on their sexual connection. It's a moment of peace and bliss. It's only a moment though. Lenny's heart is breaking for Midge as well.

Midge is given the opportunity to open for Tony Bennett. Lenny recommended her for the job. She turns it down. It's the same offer she has already done. It ended poorly for her before. As such, she can't go down that road again. She is giving up this massive opportunity for no good reason. It's her sticking to her plan. She can't be moved. That leads to Lenny and Susie being incredible frustrated. Midge isn't allow herself to be recognized as a comedian who deserves every success. She should be performing at Carnegie Hall. That's the dream Lenny has worked his entire life to achieve. It has finally become a reality. He worries about what will happen every time he performs. He craves laughter. He knows people are watching and waiting for him to fail. They don't want him to succeed because of the crude nature of his humor. He gives an incredible show. Midge beams with pride seeing this success for her friend. He expects the same drive within her. She reveals it in some moments. It's not the totality of her being. She wants to be perceived as funny. When people react in ways she can't accept, then she doubles down in her behavior. She refuses to change. When she makes a pledge, she carries it out. She's concerned about the future. She plans. She has to. She is expected to keep it all together. She is flailing around. She tries to make it all work. Her stubbornness is getting in her way. Sometimes she has Lenny to help guide her through a massive blizzard. Other times she is left to face the brutal weather by herself. Again, the perception of success is always within grasp. All it takes is her making the right turn. She sees a billboard promoting Gordon Ford's show. She knows Susie has a connection with the booker. That may be the silver lining in this darkness. But it also comes at a time of immense tension between her and Susie. Midge is suddenly concerned about Frank and Nick always being at the office. She doesn't want anyone to profit off her success who doesn't deserve it. Susie has had to make deals to survive and grow. She doesn't have the luxury of being picky and entitled. She works hard. She can be wrong sometimes too. She sees the potential in performers when they can't envision greatness themselves. She is honing her business. Midge can't understand it. She questions it even though she did the exact same thing. She had no problem having Frank and Nick look into Mei. They didn't even deliver anything of value. That's because it was about her personal desires. She has to have compassion for others who believe in her. She is stuck with her family no matter what. Lenny and Susie want her to be great. She has to stop standing in her own way. If not, she will always be associated with being a seedy comic who works at strip clubs. It doesn't matter what the work actually proves. That perception will always linger.