Decisions in Season 2 of ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’
It’s one thing to tell jokes and get laughs. It’s quite another to make them at the expense of a very powerful person who can crush your career, as neophyte stand-up comic Midge Maisel finds out at the outset of Season 2 of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” this week.
Dropping Wednesday, Dec. 5, on Amazon, the new season finds ‘50s UpperWest Side housewife-turned-funnywoman Midge (Golden Globe and Emmy winner Rachel Brosnahan) com- ing to the gradual realization that she’s ticked off the wrong person, Sophie Lennon (Jane Lynch, who earned an Emmy nod for the role), following her public takedown of the comedy icon at the end of Season 1. This is a development not lost on her worried manager/sidekick Susie (Emmy winner Alex Borstein).
As the grind of doing standup wears on Midge, the pressure to tell her parents Abe and Rose (Tony Shalhoub, Marin Hinkle) about her new life in the wake of her separation from husband Joel (Michael Zegen) mounts and her decisions have a ripple effect on all concerned.
“You’ll see some of the ramifications of those choices that are made,” Borstein offers. “The show really is this woman Midge Maisel knocking down dominoes constantly and you watch it spread like wildfire and you see the ramifications and that’s one of them. That’s one domino she knocked down that we have to then deal with. And how can we deal with it?”
“Susie, I think is terribly concerned because she knows what it means,” adds Brosnahan of the potential war brewing with Sophie. “Midge, being so new to this world and that particular brand of enemy, doesn’t yet know by the time we leave her in Season 1 what that could mean. And certainly she will learn more about that in Season 2.”
With a resume that includes a lot of drama (“Manhattan,” “House of Cards,” “The Black- list”) but little comedy, Brosnahan found herself wading into unfamiliar waters to play Midge. She says the experience of doing a comedic role has been “simultaneously horrifying and extremely rewarding — both equally, at the same time” but adds, “It’s a dream I didn’t know I had, to work on a show like this, to play a character like this.
“In so many ways, not just to be able to stretch in this brand new direction and stretch some comedic muscles that I wasn’t sure I had,” she adds with a laugh, “but also to play such a fully three-dimensional, complicated woman, which shouldn’t be something that is novel but is in a lot of ways.”
And she gets to walk in the shoes of a stand-up comic, which is something she says she avoided when preparing for the role.
“I just was so afraid that if I tried and likely, inevitably fell flat on my face, I’d be so traumatized that I wouldn’t be able to go down this journey with this character who’s falling in love with stand-up,” Brosnahan explains. “And fortunately the writing is so brilliant that I didn’t think it was a necessary part of preparation.
“Midge is a woman ... who doesn’t start out a stand-up. She’s not a stand-up,” she continues. “She’s just a whip-smart, hilarious housewife and so we’ve had this really lovely parallel journey. We’ve gotten to learn together.”
Rachel Brosnahan (left) and Alex Borstein star in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” which begins streaming its second season Wednesday on Amazon.