‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’: Season 2 Ends with a Risky — and Necessary — Reproach

Maybe it’s time to let the old ways die, but the ending to Season 2 reminds us how much of Midge is still wrapped up in being Mrs. Maisel.

[Editor’s Note: The following article contains spoilers for “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” Season 2, including the ending.]

At first, the final scene in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” feels… abrupt. Frustrating. Even shallow. Frightened by a new opportunity that will take her far away from home (farther even, than the Catskills) and still smarting from a rough string of road gigs, Midge (Rachel Brosnahan) runs back to her husband, Joel (Michael Zegen). “I’m going to be all alone for the rest of my life,” she tells him. “And I don’t want to be alone, not tonight. Tonight, just for tonight, I really need to be with someone who loves me.”

Joel, ever-ready to do whatever Amy Sherman-Palladino’s story needs of him, crosses the space between them, they kiss, and a quick cut to the credits wraps Season 2. Now, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to feel loved. There’s nothing socially regressive about a compassionate, ’50s-style booty call, either, but it is a bit of a step back for Midge. And that’s the point.

Season 2 makes very clear, sometimes at the expense of the show around her, that Midge isn’t a perfect character. She’s not a folk hero traveling through time to correct the cultural faux pas of the past. She’s still finding her way out of the learned mindset that having three kids before you’re 30 is a measure of successful womanhood (as she specifically notes as a sacrifice when speaking to Joel). At the end of Season 2, she needs to take a second to accept that she’s already made the choice to lead a different life, where happiness is gauged by different factors, even as she’s teetering on the brink of backsliding.

And that hesitation is where Season 2 can get a bit sticky: It feels like Midge is driven to abandon her dream far too easily. After Midge suffers a few setbacks on her first stand-up tour, culminating with her getting booted from the stage after returning home to New York, she’s fed up with her new profession. “This business sucks. I hate it,” she tells her stalwart manager, Susie (Alex Borstein). “Hey, that’s the game,” Susie says. “You have to keep fighting.” “You keep fighting,” Midge snaps back. “I’m going to get a drink.”

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 2 Alex Borstein

Alex Borstein in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

Nicole Rivelli / Amazon

Throughout Season 2, there’s an unacknowledged divide between Midge and Susie: class. Midge is wealthy, unconcerned about money in her pursuit of stardom, while Susie is scratching and crawling to get her client work so she can survive. When Midge plans her vacation to the Catskills, she doesn’t understand that Susie plans on working all summer — who does that? When they prepare to hit the road together, Midge nearly throws out Susie’s stuff because it’s not in a suitcase, because Susie doesn’t own a suitcase. “What do you use for vacation?” Midge asks. “My imagination?” Susie replies.

At times, it can feel like “Maisel” blows past these disputes because the writers don’t care about them. Other times, it feels like they don’t understand what it’s like to be in Susie’s shoes. Still other moments feel like they want to acknowledge them more, if only because they keep bringing them up, but know they can’t. “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” is a story about upper-class white folks, and that perspective drives the narrative. The series would be a stronger drama if it found a way to talk about class disparity — along with race and sexuality — but that could be a less- effective comedy. It would probably be less fun, less light on its feet, and quite possibly less enjoyable.

What acknowledgements they do make are from Midge’s perspective: Mainly, that it’s hard for Midge to move on from who she used to be. When the former housewife faces adversity in her less-cushy new life and quickly considers giving up, her lack of fortitude stands out — especially when Susie is right there, with her whatever-it-takes attitude serving as sharp contrast. Instinctively, viewers want Midge to be stronger than she is, and it can be disappointing to see this fast-talking, fast-moving, do-it-all woman regress. In a show as feel-good as “Maisel” often is, it’s odd to suddenly be asked to put down your pom-poms and learn from a flaw instead of an attribute.

After all, Midge doesn’t have to “keep fighting.” All of this is optional for her, and while it’s perfectly fine for the series to recognize that in order to keep the narrative zippy and fun, her stand-up can’t feel like a fleeting interest if the audience is going to remain invested in her quest. They have to believe in her passion for stand-up. They have to believe that path is her avenue to a wider world and, thus, a broader perspective. For those choice moments when it feels like she’s going to throw it all away to marry Benjamin (Zachary Levi) — a walking, talking representation of an ideal husband who’s so perfect (and unexamined) he never actually feels real — it diminishes the weight of the show, or at least the part of the show that’s about Midge waking the hell up. After all, a story about a woman recognizing her privilege through her passion is much more gripping than one about a rich lady trying out a new hobby.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 2 Michael Zegen

Michael Zegen in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

Nicole Rivelli / Amazon

With all that in mind, the ending feels richer (no pun intended). Midge giving up something that matters to her — someone that matters to her (even if he doesn’t matter that much to us) — makes her choice more courageous. She wouldn’t give up on the love of her life for a passing desire to tell jokes, but she would give him up for a calling. Maybe she faltered too easily, but that’s who she is; she’s a person of privilege who’s developing a stronger backbone and a broader perspective.

In a recent interview with IndieWire, Brosnahan said as much herself. “People talk about Midge as a feminist hero, but I’ve felt very conflicted about that because I don’t actually believe that Midge is a feminist. Yet. She still has a lot of learning to do, and that can be challenging as an actor. You want her to be more ahead of her time than she is, and have her eyes open wider than they are. I believe that she can get there, and I believe that she wants to. She’s just naïve and blinded by her own privilege.”

At the beginning of the season, when she tells Joel she wants to make it work with him, she also says she can’t give up on her dream. “Do you want to quit?” Joel asks. “No,” Midge says, knowing that she can’t have him and stand-up. At the end of the season, she still knows this to be true — perhaps more forcefully than before. But she can’t resist one more night with him; with the safety he represents; with the old life she used to live as Mrs. Maisel.

Maybe that’s a personal setback. Maybe it’s not. Will Midge be able to embrace the bumps and bruises that come with a less-cushy lifestyle in Season 3? Will she continue to fall back on Joel as a safety net? Will she be so inspired by life on the road, and by her main act Shy Baldwin (LeRoy McClain), that she continues to forget about the wants and desires of her old self and embraces the new, more well-rounded person she’s becoming?

That’s the hook, and there’s a lot to it — you know, along with all the funny jokes, whip-smart dialogue, and immaculate designs — but one thing’s for certain: We’re far from the shallows now.

“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” Season 2 is streaming now on Amazon Prime.

‘Marvelous Mrs Maisel’: Zachary Levi Fast-Talks About Joining Amy Sherman-Palladino’s Fast-Talking Club (Video)

If you’ve managed to binge the second season of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” since it dropped late Tuesday, then you’ve already discovered series newcomer Zachary Levi is a natural with rapid-fire dialogue. And that skill has earned the Season 2 star his stripes as a new member of Amy Sherman-Palladino’s fast-talking club.

The “Maisel” creator and her husband, writer/director Daniel Palladino, are known for writing quick, witty banter for their characters, and Levi’s Benjamin — a Jewish doctor introduced as a new love interested for Midge (Rachel Brosnahan) in the Prime Video comedy’s second installment — is no exception.

“I think I’m pretty good at the rapid-fire speech. You know, when I don’t stumble over my own tongue, which is easy enough to do,” Levi told TheWrap in an interview Wednesday.

Also Read: Golden Globes Nominations by the Numbers

Levi says, “Amy and Dan and that writers’ room, they write just excellent material” and notes there is definitely a particular way that they want that material delivered on screen.

“Not only is it rapid-fire, but they want you to be word perfect as well,” Levi said. “And sometimes the way that they would word things was just really — I don’t know, it felt very counter-intuitive to the way I would word it.”

The actor says the duo were “collaborative” and open to letting him do what he needed to do so he could remember it all — and ended up nailing it on screen.

Also Read: Amy Sherman-Palladino to Receive PGA’s Norman Lear Achievement Award in TV

“I mean, look, I’m fast-talking right now!” he said. (Which he was.)

Benjamin and Midge meet about halfway through Season 2, when both of their families are staying in the Catskills for the summer and their mothers try to set them up.

“It’s a slow burn, you know? Because she’s very bossy, and Benjamin’s just not having it,” Levi said. “People have kind of likened the character to a Mr. Darcy archetype, and I think that’s actually a really good, classic way to explain him. And he’s a progressively-minded guy, particularly for the late 1950s. He doesn’t want just some doting housewife; he wants somebody that challenges him. And Midge turns out to be quite a challenge… as she is to most of the people in her life.”

Also Read: ‘Marvelous Mrs Maisel’: Amazon Sets Season 2 Premiere Date for Rachel Brosnahan Comedy (Video)

Watch the fast-talking snippet of our interview with Levi above and check back with TheWrap for the actor’s thoughts on the end of Season 2 (once you are done binging it, that is) and his upcoming DC film “Shazam.”

“Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” Season 2 is streaming now on Prime Video.

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If you’ve managed to binge the second season of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” since it dropped late Tuesday, then you’ve already discovered series newcomer Zachary Levi is a natural with rapid-fire dialogue. And that skill has earned the Season 2 star his stripes as a new member of Amy Sherman-Palladino’s fast-talking club.

The “Maisel” creator and her husband, writer/director Daniel Palladino, are known for writing quick, witty banter for their characters, and Levi’s Benjamin — a Jewish doctor introduced as a new love interested for Midge (Rachel Brosnahan) in the Prime Video comedy’s second installment — is no exception.

“I think I’m pretty good at the rapid-fire speech. You know, when I don’t stumble over my own tongue, which is easy enough to do,” Levi told TheWrap in an interview Wednesday.

Levi says, “Amy and Dan and that writers’ room, they write just excellent material” and notes there is definitely a particular way that they want that material delivered on screen.

“Not only is it rapid-fire, but they want you to be word perfect as well,” Levi said. “And sometimes the way that they would word things was just really — I don’t know, it felt very counter-intuitive to the way I would word it.”

The actor says the duo were “collaborative” and open to letting him do what he needed to do so he could remember it all — and ended up nailing it on screen.

“I mean, look, I’m fast-talking right now!” he said. (Which he was.)

Benjamin and Midge meet about halfway through Season 2, when both of their families are staying in the Catskills for the summer and their mothers try to set them up.

“It’s a slow burn, you know? Because she’s very bossy, and Benjamin’s just not having it,” Levi said. “People have kind of likened the character to a Mr. Darcy archetype, and I think that’s actually a really good, classic way to explain him. And he’s a progressively-minded guy, particularly for the late 1950s. He doesn’t want just some doting housewife; he wants somebody that challenges him. And Midge turns out to be quite a challenge… as she is to most of the people in her life.”

Watch the fast-talking snippet of our interview with Levi above and check back with TheWrap for the actor’s thoughts on the end of Season 2 (once you are done binging it, that is) and his upcoming DC film “Shazam.”

“Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” Season 2 is streaming now on Prime Video.

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‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ Was Perfect — So ‘Change Everything’ Was the Plan for Season 2

Amy Sherman-Palladino, Rachel Brosnahan, and Tony Shalhoub discuss the risks of refusing to play things safe on Amazon’s biggest show.

The first season of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” is one of the streaming era’s most perfect stretches of television — the kind of once-in-a-generation Hale-Bopp of a comedy that can only happen when a singular talent is given a blank check to make her dream project a reality, and then the stars align so that it somehow turns out just right. And so — fresh off Emmy and Golden Globe wins for Best Series — creator Amy Sherman-Palladino knew exactly what she had to do to keep the magic alive for Season 2: Change everything.

Sitting next to her husband and creative partner Daniel Palladino in a quiet Manhattan hotel suite that felt worlds removed from the manic zeal of their work, Sherman-Palladino suggested that you might have to kill a golden goose if you want to make something more valuable out of its feathers. “The thing that interests us the most,” she said, “is taking something, blowing it up, and then seeing how people relate to each other from there.” Hence the decision to begin Season 2 by uprooting everything that made the first one so familiar and moving the show to Paris for the spirited, bittersweet, vaguely musical episode that kicks off this new run.

And yet, when it comes to a visionary TV veteran who’s finally afforded the stability she’s always deserved, the decision to mix things up might be a tough pill to swallow — if not for Sherman-Palladino, then perhaps for her long-suffering fans, who’ve spent more than a decade waiting for a Sherman-Palladino show that isn’t going anywhere.

The road from Stars Hollow to the City of Lights has been long, winding, and punctuated with more sudden cliffs than a Road Runner cartoon. After turning “Gilmore Girls” into one of the most beloved hour-longs the WB ever had, Sherman-Palladino was practically forced out before the show’s bungled final season because the network was too stingy to let her end things on her terms. Her follow-up, a pregnancy-themed Parker Posey vehicle called “The Return of Jezebel James,” was canceled by Fox after only three episodes, while “Bunheads,” a brilliant and ballet-centric dramedy that felt like a spiritual successor to “Gilmore Girls,” wasn’t granted a second season despite the general consensus that it was “by several orders of magnitude the best show ABC Family has ever aired.”

At a certain point, even Sherman-Palladino’s most dedicated fans began to suspect that her warm and buoyant shows were just too pure for this sick, sad world. And now that “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” is the biggest thing to happen to Amazon since the invention of books, those same fans may naturally find themselves rooting for Sherman-Palladino to savor that success and not do anything that might break the spell. At the same time, this is a show about a plucky, privileged Jewish divorcee whose burgeoning stand-up career forces her to find her voice at a time when women are expected to be silent, and that means a measure of radical change.

In fact, that’s what Sherman-Palladino loves most about it. “I think the evolution of characters as life sweeps you along has been the constant in our careers,” she said, and Season 2 of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” finds Midge (Rachel Brosnahan) isn’t the only one trying to find some kind of a balance in a world that’s shifting under her feet. All the major characters are either looking for a change, or bracing for one. This, it seems, is what the show is about, and the new episodes are so vital because of how deeply they take that to heart.

The relationship between a TV show and its fans is kind of like a marriage: A covenant is agreed upon, with a mutual commitment to be there for each other until cancellation do them part, predicated upon a tacit understanding that nothing ever stays the same. Both a TV show and the people who watch it have to grow in order to survive, but it can be terrifying to watch someone (or something) you love blossom into a richer, fuller version of itself. What if that richer, fuller version doesn’t love you back?

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 2 Rachel Brosnahan

Rachel Brosnahan in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

Amazon

That’s the question that haunts Midge’s father (Tony Shalhoub) for much of Season 2. Abe Weissman, a Columbia professor who until recently had everything under control, begins to suffer the symptoms of an existential crisis when he realizes his wife and kids aren’t defined by their relationship to him. “That marriage is nothing like our marriage,” Palladino insisted, “but Abe is someone who’s very set in his ways and likes everything as it is. And Rose right now is the one who’s realizing ‘maybe I’m not happy — maybe I don’t even know what happiness is.’”

Shalhoub spoke with IndieWire later that same day, while his wife Brooke Adams and their friend Carol Kane listened in from a nearby couch. He said working with Sherman-Palladino and her husband reminds him of his time with the Coen brothers, when he worked on films like “Barton Fink” and “The Man Who Wasn’t There.”

Although he’s a modern man, Shaloub still appreciates what Abe is going through. “I relate to this in so many ways because Brooke and I have two daughters close to Midge’s age, and they constantly surprise and unsettle us by demonstrating that whatever we thought we were putting into those vessels… well, something completely different is coming out,” he said. “And that’s ultimately good thing.” Adams chimed in from the background: “They’re so much better than I ever was!”

Sherman-Palladino reiterated that she and her husband have always been interested in skipping rocks through still waters. “This is the thing that interests us the most,” she said. “Take something, blow it up, and then see how people relate to each other from there.”

Of course, that was the show’s inciting incident when Joel (Michael Zegen) left Midge, spurring her to pursue the dream that he didn’t have the courage to seek himself. (Zegen described his character as the show’s “realest.”)

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 2 Tony Shaloub

Tony Shaloub, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

Amazon

“There’s a cutthroat aspect to Midge’s ambition,” Sherman-Palladino said. “And ambition, maybe more than any other word, is something that a woman couldn’t be in the ’50s. Not even if they worked. If men thought a woman was ambitious, that was the death of everything. And yet, in Season 2, Midge is learning that she will not stop going on stage and talking about her husband, even though she loves him.” Sherman-Palladino paused. “That’s a tough thing to learn about yourself.”

Brosnahan, who speaks with her character’s flashbang intelligence, said Midge’s primary bond is now with her manager, Susie (Alex Borstein). “Alex lovingly refers to their relationship as a ‘womance,’ and I’ve held on to that — it’s exactly right. Season 2 shows that the honeymoon period is over.”

Brosnahan placed most of the blame for that on Midge, who’s so busy changing that she takes advantage of the one person who’s sticking by her side. The actress said she resented Midge’s narcissism, in large part because Brosnahan cites solidarity as the biggest difference between being a woman in 2018, and playing a woman in 1958.

“I’ve been so enveloped and lifted up by a real sisterhood, especially in the last year or so, and Midge doesn’t have that,” she said. “She doesn’t have the kind of support as a woman attempting to break barriers that I feel today walking forward in this industry and in this country. Back then, if there was room for a woman at the table, there was only room for one woman at the table. So Midge doesn’t realize how much Susie has invested in her.”

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 2 Rachel Brosnahan Marin Hinkle

Marin Hinkle and Rachel Brosnahan in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

Nicole Rivelli / Amazon

Brosnahan cautioned people not to frame Midge as a symbol of empowerment, even if “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” happened to come at a time when the world is growing more sensitive to the silencing of women. “People talk about Midge as a feminist hero, but I’ve felt very conflicted about that because I don’t actually believe that Midge is a feminist. Yet. She still has a lot of learning to do, and that can be challenging as an actor. You want her to be more ahead of her time than she is, and have her eyes open wider than they are. I believe that she can get there, and I believe that she wants to. She’s just naïve and blinded by her own privilege.”

Brosnahan’s take speaks to the cognitive dissonance of the show’s premise, a bubbly piece of escapism that invites viewers to luxuriate in the Technicolor splendor of a more oppressive time. “The show doesn’t shy away from the constricting social structures of the ’50s,” she said. “But there was also so much beauty then that we don’t have today. I mean, when they made a toaster back then, the toaster had to be beautiful. Beauty used to be the norm. If you were a woman, you weren’t gonna go outside until you were presentable. And it took you 12 hours and you couldn’t go to work simply because you couldn’t get there on time.”

While Sherman-Palladino famously had to fight the WB for the fake snow she needed for a “Gilmore Girls” Christmas episode, her show’s generous Amazon budget is practically a character in its own right. “Part of the fun of this show is showing people a New York that doesn’t really exist anymore,” she said. “We always knew it was going to be a big show, and that it couldn’t just be about people sitting in rooms talking to each other. It needs space and air and atmosphere and those things cost money. So Amazon wrote some checks. While they were crying. They were writing and crying at the same time.”

Daniel Palladino is still waiting for the gravy train to derail. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve shown up to set and thought: ‘When are they going to stop us?’” As a recent Daily Beast article framed it, HBO has dragons, and Amazon has a family of plucky, upper-middle-class Jews. “There was one day last year where Amy and I got off the subway and there were cop cars and hundreds of extras lined up on our set and the whole street was shut down and it’s like: ‘We’re creating a world that’s pretty much gone. These are Amazon’s dragons.’”

“At this point,” Sherman-Palladino said, “I don’t think they’re going to fight us unless we want to stop the show tomorrow.” That’s right: In the year of our lord 2018, Amy Sherman-Palladino is making a show so popular that its network — or streaming platform — would be furious if she stopped. The world turned upside down. A little change, it seems, isn’t always so bad.

Season 2 of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” is now streaming on Amazon Prime.

Amy Sherman-Palladino to Receive PGA’s Norman Lear Achievement Award in TV

Amy Sherman-Palladino, the mastermind behind the cult fave “Gilmore Girls” and the Amazon Prime hit “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” will receive the Producers Guild of America’s 2019 Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television, the guild announced Wednesday.

The 20-year veteran producer, creator, writer, and director will receive the award at the 30th annual Producers Guild Awards on Jan. 19, 2019 at The Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles.

In January, Sherman-Palladino won the PGA’s Danny Thomas Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Comedy, for her work on “Mrs. Maisel.”

Also Read: Why ‘Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ Creator Amy Sherman-Palladino Loves Torturing Actors

Sherman-Palladino also made history at this year’s Emmys by taking home the awards for both comedy writing and comedy directing, becoming the first woman in the awards’ 70-year history to do so.

“Amy Sherman-Palladino is everything you want a TV producer to be. She’s smart, she’s tenacious, she knows the story she wants to tell and how to put together the right team to tell it,” PGA presidents Gail Berman and Lucy Fisher said in a statement. “Her characters and stories may span different eras, but her sensibility is unique and unmistakable. Watch any episode from one of her series for just five minutes, and you’ll instantly understand why she’s built such a wide and passionate following.”

Ryan Murphy was the 2018 recipient of the PGA’s Norman Lear Award. Previous honorees include James L. Brooks, Shonda Rhimes, Mark Gordon, Chuck Lorre, J.J. Abrams, Dick Wolf, Jerry Bruckheimer, Lorne Michaels, David L. Wolper, Aaron Spelling, Carsey/Werner/Mandabach, Steven Bochco, David E. Kelley, Mark Burnett and Norman Lear himself.

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Amy Sherman-Palladino, the mastermind behind the cult fave “Gilmore Girls” and the Amazon Prime hit “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” will receive the Producers Guild of America’s 2019 Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television, the guild announced Wednesday.

The 20-year veteran producer, creator, writer, and director will receive the award at the 30th annual Producers Guild Awards on Jan. 19, 2019 at The Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles.

In January, Sherman-Palladino won the PGA’s Danny Thomas Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Comedy, for her work on “Mrs. Maisel.”

Sherman-Palladino also made history at this year’s Emmys by taking home the awards for both comedy writing and comedy directing, becoming the first woman in the awards’ 70-year history to do so.

“Amy Sherman-Palladino is everything you want a TV producer to be. She’s smart, she’s tenacious, she knows the story she wants to tell and how to put together the right team to tell it,” PGA presidents Gail Berman and Lucy Fisher said in a statement. “Her characters and stories may span different eras, but her sensibility is unique and unmistakable. Watch any episode from one of her series for just five minutes, and you’ll instantly understand why she’s built such a wide and passionate following.”

Ryan Murphy was the 2018 recipient of the PGA’s Norman Lear Award. Previous honorees include James L. Brooks, Shonda Rhimes, Mark Gordon, Chuck Lorre, J.J. Abrams, Dick Wolf, Jerry Bruckheimer, Lorne Michaels, David L. Wolper, Aaron Spelling, Carsey/Werner/Mandabach, Steven Bochco, David E. Kelley, Mark Burnett and Norman Lear himself.

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Amy Sherman-Palladino Tapped for Producers Guild’s Norman Lear Award

The Producers Guild of America has named Amy Sherman-Palladino as the recipient of its Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television. Sherman-Palladino will receive the award at the 30th Annual Producers Guild Awards on Jan. 19 at the Beverly Hilton Hote…

The Producers Guild of America has named Amy Sherman-Palladino as the recipient of its Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television. Sherman-Palladino will receive the award at the 30th Annual Producers Guild Awards on Jan. 19 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. Sherman-Palladino is the producer of the television series “Gilmore Girls,” the […]

‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ Team Talks Expanding the World in Season 2

SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched the first five episodes of the second season of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” Everything is bigger in the second season of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” — from its episod…

SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched the first five episodes of the second season of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” Everything is bigger in the second season of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” — from its episode count (10 total, up two from its freshman year), to the talent Midge (Rachel Brosnahan) exhibits […]

TV Review: ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ Season 2

The first season of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” crashed onto Amazon Prime’s shores much like its heroine crashed her first comedy stage. Cruising on a cocktail of ebullience and determination, “Maisel” broke through the otherwise grim boys’ club of Ama…

The first season of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” crashed onto Amazon Prime’s shores much like its heroine crashed her first comedy stage. Cruising on a cocktail of ebullience and determination, “Maisel” broke through the otherwise grim boys’ club of Amazon’s original programming to deliver a vision entirely Amy Sherman-Palladino’s own, with all the chatty wit […]

‘Marvelous Mrs Maisel’: Amazon Sets Season 2 Premiere Date for Rachel Brosnahan Comedy (Video)

Midge is finally ready to return to the stand-up stage.
Fresh off a big night at its first Emmys, Amazon has set a premiere date for the second season of Amazon’s “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” The Rachel Brosnahan-led comedy will premiere …

Midge is finally ready to return to the stand-up stage.

Fresh off a big night at its first Emmys, Amazon has set a premiere date for the second season of Amazon’s “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” The Rachel Brosnahan-led comedy will premiere its sophomore follow-up on Dec. 5.

Amazon also released a new trailer for the season, which you can see above.

Per Amazon, here is the synopsis for season two: After Midge’s triumph at the Gaslight, the fallout from her takedown of Sophie Lennon (Jane Lynch) looms large, making her climb up the comedy ladder more challenging than ever. As the actual grind of being a comic begins to take its toll on Midge, the pressure to come clean to her family weighs on her – especially as her choices have a ripple effect on everyone around her.

The comedy is coming off a huge night at last month’s Primetime Emmy Awards, which saw the Amazon series bag 8 Emmy wins, including Best Comedy. Brosnahan and Alex Borstein won for Best Lead and Supporting Actress, respectively, while creator Amy Sherman-Palladino won a pair for writing and directing.

“Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” also stars Tony Shalhoub, Marin Hinkle, Michael Zegen and Kevin Pollak. Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino are executive producers.

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Amazon, Netflix Lead Streaming Revolution at Primetime Emmys

The streaming revolution took another step forward on Monday night at the Primetime Emmys, with Amazon — powered by the success of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” — and Netflix highlighting Hollywood’s increasing dependence on new media.

In total, the big three streaming services — Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix — took home nearly half of the night’s awards, grabbing 12 of the 26 trophies handed out. That tripled last year’s total of four wins for the three companies. (It’s worth mentioning there were nine more trophies handed out at this year’s broadcast.)

“Mrs. Maisel” was the star of the show — much like “The Handmaid’s Tale” was last year for Hulu — netting five Emmys for Amazon, including for Outstanding Comedy Series. Rachel Brosnahan, playing aspiring late-1950s stand-up comic Midge Maisel, won for lead actress in a comedy, while Alex Bornstein won for her supporting role as Maisel’s brash manager. “The Looming Tower,” Amazon’s take on Lawrence Wright’s book on 9/11, was nominated three times, but didn’t earn a victory.

Also Read: Emmys Get Sentimental on the Way to Saluting ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’

Not to be outdone, Netflix pulled in seven Emmys for the night. The Western drama “Godless” netted both Jeff Daniels and Merritt Wever trophies for their supporting roles, while “The Crown” contributed two awards as well.

Netflix’s big bet on stand-up comedy paid off, too, with John Mulaney’s “Kid Gorgeous at Radio City” winning for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special.

The night wasn’t as sweet for Hulu, though. One year after being the belle of the ball, Hulu was shut out and its trademark show “The Handmaid’s Tale” lost its bid for back-to-back Outstanding Drama Series victories to HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”

Also Read: ‘Happy Days’ Reunion: Henry Winkler Tweets Emmys Pic With Ron Howard (Photo)

The writing was on the wall heading into this weekend’s awards. Altogether, the big three streaming service earned 161 total nominations — a 31 percent jump from last year. Netflix led the way, with its 112 nominations toppling HBO’s 17-year run as the most nominated network. (HBO, for its part, still pulled in 108 noms and has transitioned about as well as any legacy media company to the streaming world.)

Once Monday wrapped up, Netflix had tied HBO, taking home 23 Emmys this year.

While the streaming services are often coy when it comes to viewership, it’s not hard to see their trajectory in comparison to traditional TV. Netflix passed 130 million subscribers last quarter, Amazon chief Jeff Bezos revealed earlier this year it has 100 million Prime customers, and Hulu boasts about 20 million paying customers.

Their shows are now the mainstream. And with more tech money entering the content battle, expecting YouTube or Apple to crash the party in the years ahead isn’t a stretch.

For a look at all of Monday’s winners, click here.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Emmys 2018: Here’s What You Didn’t See on TV

Emmys by the Numbers: HBO and Netflix Tie for First, ‘Game of Thrones’ Takes Series Crown

Emmys Get Sentimental on the Way to Saluting ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’

The streaming revolution took another step forward on Monday night at the Primetime Emmys, with Amazon — powered by the success of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” — and Netflix highlighting Hollywood’s increasing dependence on new media.

In total, the big three streaming services — Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix — took home nearly half of the night’s awards, grabbing 12 of the 26 trophies handed out. That tripled last year’s total of four wins for the three companies. (It’s worth mentioning there were nine more trophies handed out at this year’s broadcast.)

“Mrs. Maisel” was the star of the show — much like “The Handmaid’s Tale” was last year for Hulu — netting five Emmys for Amazon, including for Outstanding Comedy Series. Rachel Brosnahan, playing aspiring late-1950s stand-up comic Midge Maisel, won for lead actress in a comedy, while Alex Bornstein won for her supporting role as Maisel’s brash manager. “The Looming Tower,” Amazon’s take on Lawrence Wright’s book on 9/11, was nominated three times, but didn’t earn a victory.

Not to be outdone, Netflix pulled in seven Emmys for the night. The Western drama “Godless” netted both Jeff Daniels and Merritt Wever trophies for their supporting roles, while “The Crown” contributed two awards as well.

Netflix’s big bet on stand-up comedy paid off, too, with John Mulaney’s “Kid Gorgeous at Radio City” winning for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special.

The night wasn’t as sweet for Hulu, though. One year after being the belle of the ball, Hulu was shut out and its trademark show “The Handmaid’s Tale” lost its bid for back-to-back Outstanding Drama Series victories to HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”

The writing was on the wall heading into this weekend’s awards. Altogether, the big three streaming service earned 161 total nominations — a 31 percent jump from last year. Netflix led the way, with its 112 nominations toppling HBO’s 17-year run as the most nominated network. (HBO, for its part, still pulled in 108 noms and has transitioned about as well as any legacy media company to the streaming world.)

Once Monday wrapped up, Netflix had tied HBO, taking home 23 Emmys this year.

While the streaming services are often coy when it comes to viewership, it’s not hard to see their trajectory in comparison to traditional TV. Netflix passed 130 million subscribers last quarter, Amazon chief Jeff Bezos revealed earlier this year it has 100 million Prime customers, and Hulu boasts about 20 million paying customers.

Their shows are now the mainstream. And with more tech money entering the content battle, expecting YouTube or Apple to crash the party in the years ahead isn’t a stretch.

For a look at all of Monday’s winners, click here.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Emmys 2018: Here's What You Didn't See on TV

Emmys by the Numbers: HBO and Netflix Tie for First, 'Game of Thrones' Takes Series Crown

Emmys Get Sentimental on the Way to Saluting 'Game of Thrones' and 'Marvelous Mrs. Maisel'

Emmys Get Sentimental on the Way to Saluting ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’

Who knew that Emmy voters were such softies?

The 70th Primetime Emmy Awards was supposed to be “Game of Thrones” v. “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” v. “Atlanta” — but from the first award of the night, which handed Henry Winkler his first Emmy after four decades in television, voters turned it into a feel-good, four-hankie affair.

So Winkler won for “Barry.” And “The Americans,” long acclaimed but just as long ignored by Television Academy voters, got two shiny parting gifts in the form of Emmys for star Matthew Rhys and writer/creators Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg for the series’ final season. And Claire Foy scored an upset victory for “The Crown,” which will have a new actress playing an older Queen Elizabeth next year.

Also Read: Emmy Awards: The Complete List of Winners

“This wasn’t supposed to happen,” said Foy when she won. And it wasn’t, if you bought the conventional wisdom that the award was likelier to go to defending champion Elisabeth Moss for “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Sandra Oh for “Killing Eve” or Keri Russell for “The Americans.”

(For the record: Yes, I bought the conventional wisdom.)

But Foy was a deserving choice who also happened to be the sentimental choice, as was Rhys, and Winkler, and “RuPaul’s Drag Race” in the reality-competition category long dominated by “The Amazing Race” and “The Voice.”

So when “The Oscars” director Glenn Weiss decided to use his acceptance speech to propose to his girlfriend, it made perfect sense on a night that was dominated by awards that felt good. (As John Oliver later pointed out, the ceremony would have felt very different if she’d said no.)

Sure, it would have been even more sentimental to give the Outstanding Variety Sketch Series award to the final season of “Portlandia” rather than the 44th season of “Saturday Night Live” — but let’s face it, “Portlandia” was always a little too weird for voters to fully embrace, as was “Twin Peaks” in the movies/miniseries categories.

Also Read: Here’s What the Emmys Bleeped From Thandie Newton’s Acceptance Speech

And yes, it would have been more sentimental to give the night’s final award, Outstanding Drama Series, to “The Americans” or “The Crown.” But nothing on TV has the scale and drama of “Game of Thrones” — and even though voting took place in a year in which the show wasn’t on the air, voters remembered the last season and let habit take over.

Warning to every other drama on television: At next year’s Emmys, you’ll probably be competing against the final season of “Game of Thrones.” You will not win.

As usual, the night’s trends only emerged slowly, as voters doled out mostly-expected wins for the first hour, starting with Winkler and then going into a “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” streak with consecutive wins for supporting actress Alex Borstein, director and writer Amy Sherman-Palladino and lead actress Rachel Brosnahan.

The real surprise didn’t come until almost an hour into the show, when Merritt Wever took the supporting actress in a limited series award for “Godless” over Penelope Cruz and Judith Light in “The Assassination of Gianni Versace.”

Also Read: Emmys 2018: Oscars Director Glenn Weiss Pops the Question to Girlfriend Jan Svendsen on Live TV

In fact, “Gianni Versace” had already lost five times (it had that many nominees in the two supporting categories) by the time it won its first award, for director Ryan Murphy — but then Darren Criss won for his leading role, and as expected, “Gianni” took the Outstanding Limited Series prize.

Despite a record number of non-white nominees, and African-American winners in all four guest-acting categories at the Creative Arts Emmys, this was not a particularly diverse evening, with Regina King (“Seven Seconds”) and Thandie Newton (“Westworld”) the only winners of color in the 12 acting categories.

At the end of the night, there was almost no suspense over which show was going to win the Outstanding Comedy Series award: “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” had rolled through the earlier comedy categories so easily, with only supporting-actor Tony Shalhoub not winning, that its victory was all but preordained.

Also Read: Teddy Perkins, Donald Glover’s Creepy ‘Atlanta’ Character, Spotted in Emmys Audience

But the Outstanding Drama Series category was a real question mark, because the defending champion, “The Handmaid’s Tale,” hadn’t won a single award all night, and “Game of Thrones” had only won the supporting actor award for Peter Dinklage.

But that didn’t matter. And while it might not have been the most sentimental ending to the night, it made sense and maybe even felt right. Even on a night of sentiment, there’s a place for a few dragons.

Related stories from TheWrap:

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Who knew that Emmy voters were such softies?

The 70th Primetime Emmy Awards was supposed to be “Game of Thrones” v. “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” v. “Atlanta” — but from the first award of the night, which handed Henry Winkler his first Emmy after four decades in television, voters turned it into a feel-good, four-hankie affair.

So Winkler won for “Barry.” And “The Americans,” long acclaimed but just as long ignored by Television Academy voters, got two shiny parting gifts in the form of Emmys for star Matthew Rhys and writer/creators Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg for the series’ final season. And Claire Foy scored an upset victory for “The Crown,” which will have a new actress playing an older Queen Elizabeth next year.

“This wasn’t supposed to happen,” said Foy when she won. And it wasn’t, if you bought the conventional wisdom that the award was likelier to go to defending champion Elisabeth Moss for “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Sandra Oh for “Killing Eve” or Keri Russell for “The Americans.”

(For the record: Yes, I bought the conventional wisdom.)

But Foy was a deserving choice who also happened to be the sentimental choice, as was Rhys, and Winkler, and “RuPaul’s Drag Race” in the reality-competition category long dominated by “The Amazing Race” and “The Voice.”

So when “The Oscars” director Glenn Weiss decided to use his acceptance speech to propose to his girlfriend, it made perfect sense on a night that was dominated by awards that felt good. (As John Oliver later pointed out, the ceremony would have felt very different if she’d said no.)

Sure, it would have been even more sentimental to give the Outstanding Variety Sketch Series award to the final season of “Portlandia” rather than the 44th season of “Saturday Night Live” — but let’s face it, “Portlandia” was always a little too weird for voters to fully embrace, as was “Twin Peaks” in the movies/miniseries categories.

And yes, it would have been more sentimental to give the night’s final award, Outstanding Drama Series, to “The Americans” or “The Crown.” But nothing on TV has the scale and drama of “Game of Thrones” — and even though voting took place in a year in which the show wasn’t on the air, voters remembered the last season and let habit take over.

Warning to every other drama on television: At next year’s Emmys, you’ll probably be competing against the final season of “Game of Thrones.” You will not win.

As usual, the night’s trends only emerged slowly, as voters doled out mostly-expected wins for the first hour, starting with Winkler and then going into a “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” streak with consecutive wins for supporting actress Alex Borstein, director and writer Amy Sherman-Palladino and lead actress Rachel Brosnahan.

The real surprise didn’t come until almost an hour into the show, when Merritt Wever took the supporting actress in a limited series award for “Godless” over Penelope Cruz and Judith Light in “The Assassination of Gianni Versace.”

In fact, “Gianni Versace” had already lost five times (it had that many nominees in the two supporting categories) by the time it won its first award, for director Ryan Murphy — but then Darren Criss won for his leading role, and as expected, “Gianni” took the Outstanding Limited Series prize.

Despite a record number of non-white nominees, and African-American winners in all four guest-acting categories at the Creative Arts Emmys, this was not a particularly diverse evening, with Regina King (“Seven Seconds”) and Thandie Newton (“Westworld”) the only winners of color in the 12 acting categories.

At the end of the night, there was almost no suspense over which show was going to win the Outstanding Comedy Series award: “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” had rolled through the earlier comedy categories so easily, with only supporting-actor Tony Shalhoub not winning, that its victory was all but preordained.

But the Outstanding Drama Series category was a real question mark, because the defending champion, “The Handmaid’s Tale,” hadn’t won a single award all night, and “Game of Thrones” had only won the supporting actor award for Peter Dinklage.

But that didn’t matter. And while it might not have been the most sentimental ending to the night, it made sense and maybe even felt right. Even on a night of sentiment, there’s a place for a few dragons.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Emmys 2018: 9 Snubs and Surprises (Photos)

Emmys 2018: Rick and Morty Call All Emmy Winners 'Monsters'

'Happy Days' Reunion: Henry Winkler Tweets Emmys Pic With Ron Howard (Photo)

Amy Sherman-Palladino Makes History With Emmy Wins for Comedy Writing and Directing

Amy Sherman-Palladino made Emmy history Monday with her wins for comedy writing and directing, making her the first woman in the awards’ 70-year history to do so. Sherman-Palladino was nominated and ultimately won for the pilot episode of “…

Amy Sherman-Palladino made Emmy history Monday with her wins for comedy writing and directing, making her the first woman in the awards’ 70-year history to do so. Sherman-Palladino was nominated and ultimately won for the pilot episode of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” her Amazon period comedy about a New York City housewife-turned-stand-up-comedienne. Sherman-Palladino was up […]

Amy Sherman-Palladino Pulls Off Rare Feat With Double Win For ‘Mrs. Maisel’ – Emmys

In a major (though not entirely unpredictable) turn of events at tonight’s Primetime Emmy Awards, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel creator Amy Sherman-Palladino picked up back-to-back statuettes for Comedy Writing and Comedy Directing, reportedly becomi…

In a major (though not entirely unpredictable) turn of events at tonight’s Primetime Emmy AwardsThe Marvelous Mrs. Maisel creator Amy Sherman-Palladino picked up back-to-back statuettes for Comedy Writing and Comedy Directing, reportedly becoming the first artist to do so with a television pilot, and making light of the celebratory moment in her own way. “Wow. Whoever put that carpet down hates women, I just want to say that right away,” she joked, “Times Up.” Thanking…

TV’s Gender Gap Widened Last Season Both on Screen and Off, New Study Finds

Female representation both in front of and behind the camera has dropped on TV programs in 2017-18, according to the latest “Boxed In” report released Tuesday by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University.

Of all the projects produced for television, the study showed that women accounted for only 27 percent of all creators, directors, writers, executive producers, producers, editors and directors of photography in the 2017-2018 seasib. It’s an even smaller percentage than last year, when 28 percent of creators were women.

And when it comes to onscreen characters, females comprised 40 percent of all television speaking roles (on broadcast networks, cable and streaming services) during that same period, which is down from 42 percent in the previous cycle.

Also Read: Olivia Munn Says She Feels Isolated by ‘Predator’ Cast After Scene Cut

Greater female representation off screen correlated with greater representation on screen, the report concluded. In studying programs with at least one female creator, women played 47 percent of major roles versus 38 percent on programs with no female creators.

For example, one of this year’s Emmy-nominated directors, Amy Sherman-Palladino, created “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” a comedy centered on a female protagonist (Rachel Brosnahan). Similarly, Kari Skogland was nominated for “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which depicts the grueling plight of women in a totalitarian society.

“The findings indicate that strategies aimed at increasing the numbers of women creators and executive producers would help make subconscious bias work for women rather than against them,” Dr. Martha Lauzen, executive director of the Center, said in the report. “These individuals hold the keys to viewers seeing more female characters on screen and more women working in other important behind-the-scenes craft areas including writing, directing, and editing,”

Also Read: Billie Jean King Says Serena Williams Is a Victim of ‘Abuse of Power’

Despite the popularity of such shows, women comprised only 22 percent of creators and 26 percent of executive producers on television programs this past season.

With the 70th Primetime Emmys coming up this week, the conversation over lack of gender parity is front and center. Of the seven directing categories, only four women were nominated, compared to 40 men. This imbalance was reflected in this year’s annual report.

“The fact that I’m the only girl at the party is, frankly, f—ing ridiculous. I mean, what the hell?” Sherman-Palladino told TheWrap in August.

Female representation in television differs across the board according to race, as well. On broadcast networks, 66 percent of females were white, 20 percent were black, 7 percent were Asian, and 6 percent were Latina.

The study noted that despite 2017-18 being a peak for Latina representation, “Latinas remain the most underrepresented ethnic group when compared to their representation in the U.S. population.”

Also Read: ‘Woman at War’ Film Review: Goofy Icelandic Ecoterrorism Thriller Is a Beautiful Hoot

A study of the individual broadcast networks — NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, The CW — showed that CBS programs had the lowest percentage of females behind the scenes, with 23 percent. The network also had just 37 percent of speaking roles for women — again the lowest margin for the the broadcast networks.

The numbers may shed light on the inner workings of the network, especially with president Les Moonves’ resignation after accusations of sexual misconduct and misogyny. Despite female-led programs such as “Mom,” CBS lagged well behind its counterparts.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Female Digital Entrepreneurs on Creating Inclusive Tech Industry: ‘We Have the Power’ (Video)

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Female representation both in front of and behind the camera has dropped on TV programs in 2017-18, according to the latest “Boxed In” report released Tuesday by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University.

Of all the projects produced for television, the study showed that women accounted for only 27 percent of all creators, directors, writers, executive producers, producers, editors and directors of photography in the 2017-2018 seasib. It’s an even smaller percentage than last year, when 28 percent of creators were women.

And when it comes to onscreen characters, females comprised 40 percent of all television speaking roles (on broadcast networks, cable and streaming services) during that same period, which is down from 42 percent in the previous cycle.

Greater female representation off screen correlated with greater representation on screen, the report concluded. In studying programs with at least one female creator, women played 47 percent of major roles versus 38 percent on programs with no female creators.

For example, one of this year’s Emmy-nominated directors, Amy Sherman-Palladino, created “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” a comedy centered on a female protagonist (Rachel Brosnahan). Similarly, Kari Skogland was nominated for “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which depicts the grueling plight of women in a totalitarian society.

“The findings indicate that strategies aimed at increasing the numbers of women creators and executive producers would help make subconscious bias work for women rather than against them,” Dr. Martha Lauzen, executive director of the Center, said in the report. “These individuals hold the keys to viewers seeing more female characters on screen and more women working in other important behind-the-scenes craft areas including writing, directing, and editing,”

Despite the popularity of such shows, women comprised only 22 percent of creators and 26 percent of executive producers on television programs this past season.

With the 70th Primetime Emmys coming up this week, the conversation over lack of gender parity is front and center. Of the seven directing categories, only four women were nominated, compared to 40 men. This imbalance was reflected in this year’s annual report.

“The fact that I’m the only girl at the party is, frankly, f—ing ridiculous. I mean, what the hell?” Sherman-Palladino told TheWrap in August.

Female representation in television differs across the board according to race, as well. On broadcast networks, 66 percent of females were white, 20 percent were black, 7 percent were Asian, and 6 percent were Latina.

The study noted that despite 2017-18 being a peak for Latina representation, “Latinas remain the most underrepresented ethnic group when compared to their representation in the U.S. population.”

A study of the individual broadcast networks — NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, The CW — showed that CBS programs had the lowest percentage of females behind the scenes, with 23 percent. The network also had just 37 percent of speaking roles for women — again the lowest margin for the the broadcast networks.

The numbers may shed light on the inner workings of the network, especially with president Les Moonves’ resignation after accusations of sexual misconduct and misogyny. Despite female-led programs such as “Mom,” CBS lagged well behind its counterparts.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Female Digital Entrepreneurs on Creating Inclusive Tech Industry: 'We Have the Power' (Video)

Time's Up, Oscars: Fewest Female Winners Since 2012

Time's Up for Hollywood Agencies to Sign (and Support) Female Filmmakers (Guest Blog)

Listen: ‘Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ Cast and Creators Talk ‘Bigger, Fancier’ Season 2

Welcome to “Remote Controlled,” a podcast from Variety featuring the best and brightest in television, both in front of and behind the camera. In this week’s episode, Variety’s executive editor of TV, Debra Birnbaum, chats with …

Welcome to “Remote Controlled,” a podcast from Variety featuring the best and brightest in television, both in front of and behind the camera. In this week’s episode, Variety’s executive editor of TV, Debra Birnbaum, chats with the cast and creators of Amazon’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” which is in contention for 14 Emmy awards, including best comedy, best actress […]

4 Female Emmy-Nominated Directors on Being Outnumbered by Men 10-to-1: ‘What the Hell?’ (Video)

This story on the female Emmy directing nominees uses material drawn from the Down to the Wire issue of TheWrap’s Emmy magazine.

The numbers couldn’t be more dramatic, and the timing couldn’t be more disheartening.

After a year in which the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements swept through Hollywood and the culture, and a year in which we were focused on the inequities faced by women in the entertainment industry and beyond, the Emmy nominations came out.

And in the seven directing categories, the gender breakdown was pitiful: Forty men were nominated for directing but only four women.

Also Read: Study: Male Indie Filmmakers Outnumber Women 2 to 1 at Major US Film Festivals

We spoke to the four women directors who were nominated: Kari Skogland for the drama series “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Amy Sherman-Palladino for the comedy series “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” Carrie Brownstein for the variety series “Portlandia” and Lynn Novick (who co-directed with Ken Burns) for the documentary “The Vietnam War.”

In the other three directing categories — Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special, for a Variety Special and for a Reality Program — all the nominees were men.

Sherman-Palladino, who was not available for video above, shared her thoughts in a phone interview. “It’s so stark it’s breathtaking,” she said. “And when I look at my category, it was always a category that more women would slip into. And the fact that I’m the only girl at the party is, frankly, f—ing ridiculous. I mean, what the hell?

The co-creator of “The Gilmore Girls” and “Mrs. Maisel” in part blamed the networks’ reliance on lists.

“When you get a pilot, you’re given a list of the approved directors, and sometimes people don’t want to push past that list. And there aren’t very many women on the list,” she said. “We keep talking about [‘Wonder Woman’ director] Patty Jenkins, but who’s the next Patty Jenkins? She was supposed to open the door so there’d be 12 more Patty Jenkinses, and open doors are supposed to stay open.”

Also Read: ‘Half the Picture’ Film Review: Women Directors Tell All in Illuminating, Infuriating Doc

Sherman-Palladino noted the irony that her show deals with a woman trying to be recognized in a male environment. “When I did the pilot, I had no political agenda,” she said. “But when you see a storyline about a woman having to struggle, you realize it’s not that far off from what’s happening now.

“That story took place in 1959 and now it’s 2018. It’s, ‘C’mon, people!’ We’ve got to keep getting women through the door — and when they get through the door, women have to turn around and yank more women through the door. It’s not going to happen quickly just because we pushed a few goons out of power.”

Also Read: Cannes Film Festival Signs Pledge for More Women Directors, More Transparency

For “Portlandia” co-creator and performer Carrie Brownstein, the disparity in nominees serves as a wake-up call. “People assume that progress is inevitable, and it’s not,” she said. “Progress is not a linear, upward trajectory, and it’s not something that can be a hobby — we can’t dabble in the betterment of society, we actually have to work at it.

“We live in an unequal system, and we’ve been raised to value things that keep us unequal. We can’t just dismantle that with some news articles or a couple of meetings — it has to be an institutional shift, and those don’t happen overnight.”

Also Read: ‘Portlandia’ Final Season: We Put a Bird on Fred and Carrie’s 15 Best Sketches (Videos)

Skoglund, whose series “The Handmaid’s Tale” places its heroines center stage, noted the slowness of progress. “It’s getting to be a very old story. The demoralizing thing about that statistic, four versus 40, is that it happened after such a banner year for women,” she said. “I spent 15 years working on the DGA Women’s Steering Committee trying to move that needle, and the only way to change it is to actively change it.

“It has to start with studios saying they’re going to even up the numbers. That takes time and training. The statistics come out, and we feel like nothing’s changed — but if we knew something was bubbling and percolating underneath those statistics, and there’s going to be more to choose from next year, that would put a tremendously positive spin on this. I would say that where it’s really changed is that we’re no longer afraid to be vocal. In the past, if you were too vocal, it was considered a negative. Now it’s encouraged.”

Also Read: The 17 Most Important Political TV Series of All Time, From ‘West Wing’ to ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ (Photos)

And while there have traditionally more opportunities for women to break into directing jobs in the documentary field, Novick noted, “even in the doc world, there are structural problems in who gets to be in charge, who gets to speak, who’s deemed to have the authority to tell a story.”

Some of the resistance comes from seeing women in charge. “If you’re a director, you’re telling other people what to do, and you have to assert a certain kind of authority and purpose,” she said. “And I fear that in our unconscious bias, we tend to accord that responsibility more readily to men.”

See video interviews with Brownstein, Skogland and Novick above. To read more of TheWrap’s Down to the Wire issue, click here.

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Emmys and #MeToo: ‘Transparent’ Shut Out of Nominations

This story on the female Emmy directing nominees uses material drawn from the Down to the Wire issue of TheWrap’s Emmy magazine.

The numbers couldn’t be more dramatic, and the timing couldn’t be more disheartening.

After a year in which the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements swept through Hollywood and the culture, and a year in which we were focused on the inequities faced by women in the entertainment industry and beyond, the Emmy nominations came out.

And in the seven directing categories, the gender breakdown was pitiful: Forty men were nominated for directing but only four women.

We spoke to the four women directors who were nominated: Kari Skogland for the drama series “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Amy Sherman-Palladino for the comedy series “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” Carrie Brownstein for the variety series “Portlandia” and Lynn Novick (who co-directed with Ken Burns) for the documentary “The Vietnam War.”

In the other three directing categories — Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special, for a Variety Special and for a Reality Program — all the nominees were men.

Sherman-Palladino, who was not available for video above, shared her thoughts in a phone interview. “It’s so stark it’s breathtaking,” she said. “And when I look at my category, it was always a category that more women would slip into. And the fact that I’m the only girl at the party is, frankly, f—ing ridiculous. I mean, what the hell?

The co-creator of “The Gilmore Girls” and “Mrs. Maisel” in part blamed the networks’ reliance on lists.

“When you get a pilot, you’re given a list of the approved directors, and sometimes people don’t want to push past that list. And there aren’t very many women on the list,” she said. “We keep talking about [‘Wonder Woman’ director] Patty Jenkins, but who’s the next Patty Jenkins? She was supposed to open the door so there’d be 12 more Patty Jenkinses, and open doors are supposed to stay open.”

Sherman-Palladino noted the irony that her show deals with a woman trying to be recognized in a male environment. “When I did the pilot, I had no political agenda,” she said. “But when you see a storyline about a woman having to struggle, you realize it’s not that far off from what’s happening now.

“That story took place in 1959 and now it’s 2018. It’s, ‘C’mon, people!’ We’ve got to keep getting women through the door — and when they get through the door, women have to turn around and yank more women through the door. It’s not going to happen quickly just because we pushed a few goons out of power.”

For “Portlandia” co-creator and performer Carrie Brownstein, the disparity in nominees serves as a wake-up call. “People assume that progress is inevitable, and it’s not,” she said. “Progress is not a linear, upward trajectory, and it’s not something that can be a hobby — we can’t dabble in the betterment of society, we actually have to work at it.

“We live in an unequal system, and we’ve been raised to value things that keep us unequal. We can’t just dismantle that with some news articles or a couple of meetings — it has to be an institutional shift, and those don’t happen overnight.”

Skoglund, whose series “The Handmaid’s Tale” places its heroines center stage, noted the slowness of progress. “It’s getting to be a very old story. The demoralizing thing about that statistic, four versus 40, is that it happened after such a banner year for women,” she said. “I spent 15 years working on the DGA Women’s Steering Committee trying to move that needle, and the only way to change it is to actively change it.

“It has to start with studios saying they’re going to even up the numbers. That takes time and training. The statistics come out, and we feel like nothing’s changed — but if we knew something was bubbling and percolating underneath those statistics, and there’s going to be more to choose from next year, that would put a tremendously positive spin on this. I would say that where it’s really changed is that we’re no longer afraid to be vocal. In the past, if you were too vocal, it was considered a negative. Now it’s encouraged.”

And while there have traditionally more opportunities for women to break into directing jobs in the documentary field, Novick noted, “even in the doc world, there are structural problems in who gets to be in charge, who gets to speak, who’s deemed to have the authority to tell a story.”

Some of the resistance comes from seeing women in charge. “If you’re a director, you’re telling other people what to do, and you have to assert a certain kind of authority and purpose,” she said. “And I fear that in our unconscious bias, we tend to accord that responsibility more readily to men.”

See video interviews with Brownstein, Skogland and Novick above. To read more of TheWrap’s Down to the Wire issue, click here.

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Why ‘Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ Creator Amy Sherman-Palladino Loves Torturing Actors

A version of this story on Amy Sherman-Palladino first ran in the Down to the Wire issue of TheWrap’s Emmy magazine.

The Amazon series “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” landed 14 Emmy nominations this year, more than any other new series and more than any comedy except “Atlanta.” Creator Amy Sherman-Palladino (“Gilmore Girls”) crafted the ’50s-set story of a Jewish housewife and young mother from New York City, “Midge” Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan), who is driven to standup comedy when her husband leaves her for another woman.

Sherman-Palladino herself received nominations for producing, writing and serving as a music supervisor on the series, and another nom for directing its pilot episode.

Also Read: Tony Shalhoub Had to Learn a New Skill for ‘Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’: Talking Fast

Is a pilot episode particularly tricky, because you’re setting the template?
Pilots are really hard. People have to be able to not only see characters they love and see a journey that they’ll want to hang around for, it has to be a good hour of entertainment on its own, but also make it worth my time to come back to that world, and worth it to Amazon to open up the checkbook.

Pilots are also hard because they’re the ones where they give you the most time and money. And then they pick up the series and say, “OK, now you have less days and less money, but we want the same thing.”

And in this case, because Midge’s journey [from housewife to comic] is so big in the pilot, it was important for me that people understood what her life was before — so when it does fall apart and rocks her into a whole new state of being, it hinges on the fact that you understood what she lost.

Your style — long scenes, fast-paced dialogue — can be tough on actors.
Yeah. I wrote very rhythmically, and I write long scenes that are meant to be done in one shot. And I have this cast who are all theater actors, and they love rehearsal and love to do it again and again.

The very first scene we shot was the big fight scene where Midge tells her father and mother that [her husband] Joel has left her. The master of that is one shot that goes through the entire scene. It’s a seven- or eight-page master, and I realized after we rehearsed it that perhaps that was not the best thing to start with. But we slammed right into the hardest scene with this cast of theater actors. And once we accomplished that together, we were like a really tough summer-stock troupe.

Also Read: ‘Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ Star Alex Borstein on the Origin of Her Scene-Stealing ‘Bulldog’

But even in shots that aren’t as long as that one, you’re still asking them to get out a lot of words very quickly.
The pace is pretty heavy on this show. The scripts are long, but they shrink so much because they’re written to be done fast. If you have a 10-page scene, it’s really a five-page scene. And again, if you had a cast that was a little less enthused, it would be hard.

The Emmys have 40 male directing nominees this year, and only four women. What’s wrong with that picture?
It’s so stark it’s breathtaking. And when I look at my category, it was always a category that more women would slip into. And the fact that I’m the only girl at the party is, frankly, f—ing ridiculous. I mean, what the hell?

Part of it is the list system. When you get a pilot, you’re given a list of the approved directors, and sometimes people don’t want to push past that list. And there aren’t very many women on the list. We keep talking about [“Wonder Woman” director] Patty Jenkins, but who’s the next Patty Jenkins? She was supposed to open the door so there’d be 12 more Patty Jenkinses, and open doors are supposed to stay open.

Also Read: Women, Minorities Locked Out of First-Time TV Directing Gigs, DGA Says

It must be especially stark to you because you’re making a show about a woman trying to be recognized in a very male environment.
When I did the pilot, I had no political agenda. But when you see a storyline about a woman having to struggle, and you realize it’s not that far off from what’s happening now, and that story took place in 1959 and now it’s 2018, it’s, “C’mon, people!”

We’ve got to keep getting women through the door–and when they get through the door, women have to turn around and yank more women through the door. It’s not going to happen quickly just because we pushed a few goons out of power.

To read more of TheWrap’s Down to the Wire issue, click here.

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‘Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’: Amazon Releases First Look at Season 2 of Rachel Brosnahan Comedy (Video)

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Emmy Nominees Are Gratefully Honored to Be Thrilled Into Over-the-Moon Shock

A version of this story on Amy Sherman-Palladino first ran in the Down to the Wire issue of TheWrap’s Emmy magazine.

The Amazon series “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” landed 14 Emmy nominations this year, more than any other new series and more than any comedy except “Atlanta.” Creator Amy Sherman-Palladino (“Gilmore Girls”) crafted the ’50s-set story of a Jewish housewife and young mother from New York City, “Midge” Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan), who is driven to standup comedy when her husband leaves her for another woman.

Sherman-Palladino herself received nominations for producing, writing and serving as a music supervisor on the series, and another nom for directing its pilot episode.

Is a pilot episode particularly tricky, because you’re setting the template?
Pilots are really hard. People have to be able to not only see characters they love and see a journey that they’ll want to hang around for, it has to be a good hour of entertainment on its own, but also make it worth my time to come back to that world, and worth it to Amazon to open up the checkbook.

Pilots are also hard because they’re the ones where they give you the most time and money. And then they pick up the series and say, “OK, now you have less days and less money, but we want the same thing.”

And in this case, because Midge’s journey [from housewife to comic] is so big in the pilot, it was important for me that people understood what her life was before — so when it does fall apart and rocks her into a whole new state of being, it hinges on the fact that you understood what she lost.

Your style — long scenes, fast-paced dialogue — can be tough on actors.
Yeah. I wrote very rhythmically, and I write long scenes that are meant to be done in one shot. And I have this cast who are all theater actors, and they love rehearsal and love to do it again and again.

The very first scene we shot was the big fight scene where Midge tells her father and mother that [her husband] Joel has left her. The master of that is one shot that goes through the entire scene. It’s a seven- or eight-page master, and I realized after we rehearsed it that perhaps that was not the best thing to start with. But we slammed right into the hardest scene with this cast of theater actors. And once we accomplished that together, we were like a really tough summer-stock troupe.

But even in shots that aren’t as long as that one, you’re still asking them to get out a lot of words very quickly.
The pace is pretty heavy on this show. The scripts are long, but they shrink so much because they’re written to be done fast. If you have a 10-page scene, it’s really a five-page scene. And again, if you had a cast that was a little less enthused, it would be hard.

The Emmys have 40 male directing nominees this year, and only four women. What’s wrong with that picture?
It’s so stark it’s breathtaking. And when I look at my category, it was always a category that more women would slip into. And the fact that I’m the only girl at the party is, frankly, f—ing ridiculous. I mean, what the hell?

Part of it is the list system. When you get a pilot, you’re given a list of the approved directors, and sometimes people don’t want to push past that list. And there aren’t very many women on the list. We keep talking about [“Wonder Woman” director] Patty Jenkins, but who’s the next Patty Jenkins? She was supposed to open the door so there’d be 12 more Patty Jenkinses, and open doors are supposed to stay open.

It must be especially stark to you because you’re making a show about a woman trying to be recognized in a very male environment.
When I did the pilot, I had no political agenda. But when you see a storyline about a woman having to struggle, and you realize it’s not that far off from what’s happening now, and that story took place in 1959 and now it’s 2018, it’s, “C’mon, people!”

We’ve got to keep getting women through the door–and when they get through the door, women have to turn around and yank more women through the door. It’s not going to happen quickly just because we pushed a few goons out of power.

To read more of TheWrap’s Down to the Wire issue, click here.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Marvelous Mrs. Maisel': Amazon Releases First Look at Season 2 of Rachel Brosnahan Comedy (Video)

Sandra Oh on Her Historic Emmy Nomination: 'I Share This Moment With My Community'

Emmy Nominees Are Gratefully Honored to Be Thrilled Into Over-the-Moon Shock

Inside the Art of the Peak TV Overall Deal

Since sam esmail signed his first overall deal with Universal Cable Prods. in 2015, peak TV has kept peaking. That year, according to FX research, 422 adult original scripted series premiered across broadcast, cable and streaming. This year, more than …

Since sam esmail signed his first overall deal with Universal Cable Prods. in 2015, peak TV has kept peaking. That year, according to FX research, 422 adult original scripted series premiered across broadcast, cable and streaming. This year, more than 500 are anticipated. The number of original scripted series on streaming-only platforms could triple from […]

‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’: Amy Sherman-Palladino Promises a Big Season 2, But Can’t Promise Too Much Diversity

TCA: A clip shown to critics reveals that Midge will have a new job when the show returns for a second season.

Head of Amazon Studios Jennifer Salke called “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” “the gift that keeps on giving” during her opening remarks at the Television Critics Association press tour Saturday. Given its 14 nominations for the 2018 Emmys, it’s hard not to see her point.

During a panel with creator Amy Sherman-Palladino, executive producer Dan Palladino, and stars Rachel Brosnahan, Michael Zegen, Alex Borstein, Tony Shalhoub, and Marin Hinkle, not much was revealed about what we might expect Season 2 to cover, except that the repercussions from the implosion of the Maisel marriage and Midge’s discovery of stand-up comedy will continue to spread through the lives of those around her.

“Season 2 is big — sorry, Jen,” Sherman-Palladino joked, noting that “in general, we feel like we got, for the first time in our career, the support from the brass and the actors we needed to go big.”

Sherman-Palladino credited the quality of the show’s production, from the sets to the costumes to the hair and makeup, with the fact that they began working on the show very soon after the cancellation of the HBO/Martin Scorsese series “Vinyl.” As she joked, “We walked down the street and everyone who looked upset wearing a ‘Vinyl’ sweatshirt, we grabbed.”

Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel PalladinoAmazon 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' TV show panel, TCA Summer Press Tour, Los Angeles, USA - 28 Jul 2018

Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino

Todd Williamson/January Images/REX/Shutterstock

That production value was seen in a dazzling long clip from Season 2 that Amazon played before the panel, as we see Midge’s current state of employment — as a switchboard operator at the department store she started working at in Season 1. The new gig is a demotion for her, but as she zooms her chair around the other switchboard operators, it’s clear she once again has found her groove.

Midge’s path to success won’t likely be an easy one, though: As Brosnahan noted, at the end of the first season “we left Midge in a pretty triumphant moment — she had finally arrived as a comedian… Good things can’t last long.”

One thing Sherman-Palladino didn’t want to promise was a great deal of diversity, simply due to the nature of the time period being depicted in the show. “It’s a tricky thing, because as writers we want the diversity as well,” she said. “[But] doing the show in 1959, you find out how divided things were… It’s interesting to try to find that balance and represent a 1959 that is true to what 1959 is, because you don’t want to pretend that there were no problems and that these issues didn’t exist.”

When asked about the pressure that comes with following up the success of Season 1, Sherman-Palladino noted that the expectations she was facing had nothing to do with awards — it had everything to do with the caliber of talent they’d enlisted. “When we got into bed with the people we got into bed with, the pressure was there,” she said.

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How Multiple Emmy Nominee ‘Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ Made A Mark In #MeToo Times

In comedy, timing is everything, and for the comedy series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, its timing couldn’t be more perfect.
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