Editor’s Note: The content reviewed is based on three episodes.
This TV series, based in New York in the late fifties, has earned several awards. It is funny at times, but family-friendly it is not. It revolves around Miriam (also called “Midge”) Maisel, the wife of Joel Maisel. Joel is trying to make it as a night-time comedian while holding down a day-time job. There is one problem: Joel isn’t really funny and he steals material from well-known comedians of the day. On the other hand, Midge is extremely funny. When Joel bombs one evening at a bar with his “comedy,” it is Midge who sees what he could do to improve.
After a couple of kids and a dead-end job get him down, Joel has an affair and tells Midge he wants out of their marriage. She might as well have been struck by lightning as she didn’t see it coming. When he moves out, she winds up at one of the bars where he’d performed his stand-up routine. She has a few drinks and suddenly takes the microphone and, in a funny way, she also pours out her heart as to how stinky her life has become. Everyone in the bar laughs at her humor, but she goes too far when she bares her breasts and she is arrested. A lady who saw her act, Sue, likes her, bails her out and becomes her manager, planning a comedy career for her.
The show proceeds to be a sort of mixture between funny dialogue, soap-opera like storylines, and authentic fifties sets, cars and clothes. In one scene, Midge shows her humorous abilities as she thinks her make-up and hair looks bad and she thinks she is bloated so she covers her face and stomach up while continuing her comedy act. She earns a lot of laughs with this decision. She is also very funny when she comments on the fact that the john is located right next to the stage and that is not a good combination for a show. When a man attempts to head to the restroom she says, into her microphone of course, “Really? You’re going in there after what I just said?” The crowd roars.
With three seasons of the show “in the can” now, the plot focuses on Midge’s life after her marriage, her kids, a new romance which doesn’t pan out, and the continued relationship of Midge and her ex, Joel. She also gets to open for a well known crooner, and goes on tour in Europe. However, when Midge inadvertently gives a hint during one of her comedy shows that the famous crooner is gay, her job is in jeopardy.
Midge comes from a Jewish family and some of their religious practices are seen or discussed along with a rabbi being a character in the show. The show itself features solid acting, snappy dialogue and wit. However, this show is raunchy. There is upper female nudity, partial female rear nudity, a guy seen wearing only a towel, foul language throughout the series, including slang, a lot of drinking and bar scenes, smoking, marijuana smoking and references, and it is nowhere close to being a family series. It is totally adult in nature. Due to these reasons, we are unable to present the show with our Dove seal.
The Dove Take:
We wish this series, funny at times, would have taken a family-friendly approach, but alas it is far from it.