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‘Mrs. Maisel’ combines period drama and comedy in a marvelous way

When it comes to the powerhouses of online video streaming, Hulu and Netflix are in tight competition for customer loyalty. However, Amazon Prime is not ready to be counted out of this fight, which it proved with its 2017 hit “The Marvelous Mrs.

Maisel.”

“Mrs.

Maisel” is a period comedy-drama set in the 1950s that follows a Jewish housewife in the Upper West Side of Manhattan as she explores independence. When her husband leaves her for another woman, Miriam “Midge” Maisel discovers (after drunkenly stumbling onto the stage at The Gaslight Cafe) that she has a talent and passion for stand-up comedy.

Period drama? Housewife? Divorce? Not the headlines one might expect from a popular favorite, but that is exactly what makes “Mrs. Maisel” so refreshing.

A comedy-drama is something we are familiar with in hit shows like “Orange is the New Black” and “Gilmore Girls.” The same goes for period dramas like “The Crown” and “Reign.

” However, a combination of the two genres is something that is almost brand new to the small screen and has certainly never been done at the level of “Mrs. Maisel.

” The combination is something that we care about, emotionally invest in, but that still keeps us laughing.

1950s housewife — rethink what you believe about the term.

Were they repressed? Sometimes. Were they dependent on money-making spouses? Frequently.

Were they judged for their abilities to have babies and stay beautiful? For sure. But while these were the circumstances, housewives were still funny, talented and strong women.

Midge embodies these characteristics and proves that women are strong despite their circumstances.

This will be a minor spoiler unless you have watched the trailers: Divorce is a major theme of “Mrs.

Maisel.” For Midge, this bump in the road leads to bigger, better things than being someone’s wife, even though she was extremely talented at being a traditional wife.

She turns these talents around and starts promoting her own interests.

The first and only (so far) season contains eight episodes, and each one will take you through so many twists and turns of plot that you will emerge from the 50 minutes feeling like you just lived the same 24 hours as Midge.

Beyond the content, the show itself is a work of art. It’s hard not to get lost in.

The sets are multi-dimensional, often stringing multiple rooms together so the characters can weave in and out, on and off screen while carrying on conversations. The costumes are period-perfect and, even though most of the 1950s styles are still reminiscent of dated grandmothers rather than trendy throwbacks, the vibrant colors and high style of New York City are entirely attractive.

And honestly, who can’t fall in love when Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald are playing in the background?

Possibly the best part is that, every few episodes, we get a fantastic stand-up act. Midge has an undeniable talent for stand-up comedy and whenever she gets on stage, it has the potential to be gold.

We also get snippets of the history of stand-up comedy as Midge explores old record shops.

All in all, it is no surprise that “Mrs.

Maisel” won two Golden Globes in its first season. Rachel Brosnahan, the actress who brings Midge to life, definitely earned the title of Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy.

If you are looking for something new to watch, something that isn’t like anything you have ever seen before, put “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” at the top of your list.

I give it a five out of five.

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