You don’t even have to have an Amazon Prime membership!

By Liz Steelman
January 11, 2018
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The exceedingly charming pilot for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is an Amy Sherman-Palladino joint through and through, featuring rapid-fire dialogue peppered with pop culture references and eccentric, endearing characters. Set in the 1950s, the potential series stars House of Cards‘ Rachel Brosnahan as the titular Miriam “Midge” Maisel, the perfect housewife with two children, an Upper West Side apartment, and a husband she loves with all of her being. Naturally, all of that perfect comes crashing down, and in the wake of her life falling apart, she surprises herself by diving into stand-up comedy. With stories like these, we expect the protagonist to be an agent of change, determined to pave the way in a male-dominated field; however, the pilot surprises by diverging from this arc. Midge loved her life and wasn’t looking to change anything. It’s not until she receives a push from bar manager Suzie (Alex Borstein) that she seriously considers giving stand-up a go. There are times when it feels like the pilot suffers from streaming service bloat, but Brosnahan’s brilliant and energetic performance keeps it from sagging and insures that the show doesn’t coast on its very resonant premise of a woman coming back from heartbreak. You’ll find yourself hooked from the moment you meet the clever and funny Midge in the opening scene, and you’ll spend the next 40 minutes waiting for her to take the stage. The moment she finally does is glorious and well worth the wait — Brosnahan finds both the humor and pathos in the genuinely funny stand-up set. The rest of the cast (including Tony Shalhoub and Marin Hinkle, who play Midge’s oddball parents) and the period design are aces, too. Fingers crossed Amazon orders it to series because I’m very interested in watching Midge’s marvelous journey. Grade: B+ —Chancellor Agard
Amazon

Listen up, Gilmore Girls fans without Amazon Prime memberships (or, generally, anyone else who loves well-done, well-acted, humorous period pieces!). If you haven’t had the chance to dive into Amy Sherman-Palladino’s newest show The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, this weekend is your big chance. In honor of the show winning the Golden Globe for Best Musical or Comedy TV series and for lead actress Rachel Brosnahan winning Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy TV series, Amazon Prime Video is making the first season for free all weekend. Yes, free!

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Starting Friday, January 12, at 12:01 a.m. local time and ending on Monday, January 15, local time, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel will be accessible for free online on amazon.com/maisel, or via the Prime Video app, available on TVs, connected devices, and mobile devices.

For those who haven’t caught the wildly charming trailer, the show is about a woman whose life turns upside down when her husband decides to leave her, and she decides to become a stand-up comedian. The show also stars Tony Shalhoub, Alex Borstein, Michael Zegen, and Marin Hinkle.

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Don’t think you’ll have enough time to finish? Think again. According to a press release from Amazon, more than half of Prime members who watched the show finished it within three days—just enough time to squeeze in the eight-episode season over the holiday weekend.