Telling the story of a 1950s Jewish housewife who becomes a standup comic, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” instantly became a fan favorite and a critical darling in its first season on Amazon, earning Golden Globe, Critics Choice, Peabody and PGA awards plus 14 Emmy nominations.
Season Two won’t premier until December 5, but the cast and creators convened at the recent Television Critics Association press tour, where creators Amy Sherman-Palladino and Dan Palladino and the cast talked about the show’s success and what’s ahead.
Sherman-Palladino admitted that the pressure was on to keep the bar high. “When you have a group of actors of this caliber, that means that the stories and the scripts and dialogue have to be of a certain caliber, otherwise we’re not doing them their service,” she said. “The pressure is always going to be higher and higher and higher.”
Star Rachel Brosnahan gave a brief hint about what’s to come for her character. “At the end of Season One, we left Midge in a pretty triumphant moment. She’s finally arrived into Mrs. Maisel, the standup comedienne,” she said. “I can’t say a whole lot about where she’ll head in Season Two, but good things can’t last long.”
Although Midge is estranged from her husband, Joel, “you’ll definitely see a lot of their attempts to co-parent, because the truth about their relationship is they will never be able to be without one another in some capacity and it creates a wonderful, dramatic tension,” Brosnahan said. “We get to explore a lot of the depths of their love and all of its different capacities this season. It’s complicated, and it always will be.”
“Jews in the 1950s were really shaping American humor. I feel that the hand of Jewish experience and cadence formed comedy, and you can’t approach a story like this without that element” — Amy Sherman-Palladino
Daniel Palladino said they have received “a lot of really excited, positive feedback from the Jewish community from the very, very beginning. There are some inaccuracies, but when they call us out on them, they do it out of love and trying to help us.”
Sherman-Palladino elaborated later, telling the Journal, “It’s tricky because the religion has changed a lot in terms of how ceremonies are done. We get things like, ‘The prayer went like this’ or ‘There wouldn’t be a call and response’ — real minutiae — and they take it very seriously. Because we want to be true to who [the Maisels] are, we listen as much as we can.”
Jewish perspectives, elements and the link between Jews and comedy will continue to be the foundation of the show, Sherman-Palladino confirmed. “The thing about this family I wanted to make sure about is they are Jews, and Jews at the time were really shaping American humor,” she said. “I feel that the hand of Jewish experience and cadence formed comedy, and you can’t approach a story like this without that element.”
As for the Emmy recognition, “I was so glad that so many of our wonderful people got noticed because everybody works so hard on this show,” Sherman-Palladino said. “It’s a runaway train and if one piece falls down, the whole thing collapses in on itself. It’s a lot of people working at the top of their game and being completely committed to us, so hearing their names [in the award nominations] was incredible.”