We'll Tell You What's Marvelous About Mrs. Maisel Season 2

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is back on Amazon with Season 2, and we could not be more excited to share our thoughts with you! If you’re like us, we watched the whole season in one sitting because it’s just that good. Here we are, your Her Campus New School editors, Isabelle Fang and Amanda Miller to give you our take on season 2! Be aware that there are season spoilers all over, so don’t say we didn’t warn you!  

1.How did you feel about the pacing of the season?

Isabelle Fang: I feel like the setting changes affected the pacing a lot. The opening felt like everything was happening at once because within ten minutes, we’re in Paris! Later, it felt like it dragged on a little in the Catskills. We do get a big moment there, with Abe finding out about Miriam’s stand-up, but it just felt like it took forever to get there. It was a fun part of the season, I still enjoyed it, but it felt like a slower show there. Especially since once they’re out of the Catskills, so much more happens quickly.

Amanda Miller: I agree, they definitely rushed over some things and forgot about others. Like when the heck did Abe all of a sudden become a Parisian and dancing in the street? Just a minute ago he was complaining that dinner time is not at 8pm and wanted Rose to get back home. It was very strange at times, I’ll admit. But, I guess in some way, that is a true reflection of time, especially when you’re in Paris, and especially when you’re in the Catskills (it seems like the day just drags on!)

2. From New York, Paris, and interestingly, the Catskills, this season is set in various destinations. What are your thoughts on the new scenery?

AM: I really enjoyed the different settings, especially the Catskills. When the family went to the Catskills it really put some humor into the show—perhaps because Susie is dragged into it, carrying a plunger the whole time as her ticket into the camp. Paris was fun for a moment, but was a little over-dramatic. I guess Rose had to stand up for herself in some capacity. As a viewer, I don’t even really know what her point in the show is other than there has to be a mother figure. And of course, I love that Miriam’s family lives in New York—this is just a personal bias. It’s always fun to watch a show set where you live.

IF: I loved the different settings too, this show always makes for good eye candy with all the clothes and bright setting. Paris looked great, I loved how they did the transition between New  York and Paris with flipping the skylines. And they managed to play on a kind of classic, borderline cliché, image of Paris without it feeling overdone. And yeah, I agree, I had a hard time understanding Rose in Paris. But I liked the independent Rose we saw there, she was really living it up in Paris! I liked how cheesy of a vacation spot their place in the Catskills was. The weird activities, the around-the-world musical number, and the pageants - it was such campy fun. I also liked the small stops across different cities they did for Miriam’s first tour. Seeing Miriam, the high-maintenance person she is, deal with the motels was hilarious.

Gif Source via @MaiselTV

3. In Season 2, Miriam develops a new love interest— Benjamin, does he work well with the show? Do you see Benjamin and Miriam together in the long-run?

IF: I liked Benjamin, I think he could use some work though. I feel like when he first came in during the Catskills episodes, he had an interesting dynamic with Miriam. Their row-boat disaster date and car ride back to New York were funny and sweet, you can see a lot of potential there. But I feel like once they got together, he fell to the sidelines a bit and became blander than before. I don’t need him to be the focus, but I wanted to see more depth to their suddenly smooth-sailing relationship. I’m sure we’ll see that in season 3 though, given how this season ended.

AM: Ditto, Benjamin had potential being set up as this aloof, mysterious, tall and handsome guy. But then it all worked out too fast (back to the pacing) and it seemed like they were a thing before we all got swept up in him ourselves. This is why I don’t think I feel bad about Miriam’s decision at the end of the season since I wasn’t that big of a Benjamin fan. Perhaps the director’s don’t want us to be so attached because he is going to be left in New York while Miriam’s in Europe. We shall see...

4. We see Miriam’s stand-up career developing and integrating into her personal life, pretty much everyone knows now, and it’s only getting more complicated. Do you like the direction it’s going in or where do you want to see it developed even more?

AM: Omg—I love where her career is going. At least I love the development. When Miriam lands the gig on television, and is pushed all the way to the last slot by her arch-nemesis, Sophie Lennon, we see that things are going as well as expected. But then, she finally gets her chance, despite it being the last slot of the day, and she kills the show—everyone is watching and laughing, and loving her comedy. All the characters like her father and Joel know she has made it. I honestly cried at this scene, because I felt so happy for Miriam, she deserves it.  

IF: I also love where it’s going, her performing on T.V. got to me, too. I loved seeing her co-workers from the department store watching. I like how much they support each other down there in the telephone room! The progress in her career feels earned too after all the setbacks we’ve seen, she needed a victory like that. In the future, I’m excited to see how touring will affect everything. How is she going to deal with distance from her kids and family? Will she manage well travelling all the time?

AM: Making Miriam decide in an instant that she wanted to tour across Europe, without a thought of her children, was a very smart move on behalf of the writers. It really shows Miriam’s character, her passion for her blossoming career and seeing herself as more than just a mother or a wife. I really like that Miriam is able to make decisions like that because it shows us that women were and still are worried about making those decisions, and yet, in order to achieve such a magnificent dream, you almost have to run on instinct. Women at this time were increasingly becoming single-moms, as well as receiving access to the  birth control pill towards the end of the decade, which really brought them new opportunities they hadn’t been able to have before. Miriam Maisel is the modern woman.

5. In a shocking final scene, Miriam visits Joel at the factory after she has found out she will be on tour in Europe. She turns to Joel with a realization that she will likely be forever alone as her comedy comes between her and the men she loves. At this moment, Miriam confesses she wants to spend a night with someone who loves her (Joel) despite being potentially engaged to Benjamin. What are your thoughts on Miriam’s decision?

Gif Source via @MaiselTV

IF: As the last scene of the season, this was so frustrating. I hate that I have to wait a year now to watch this car-crash of a decision play out. In terms of how it fits into the rest of the season and Miriam’s development though, it’s still frustrating, but I like that. Up until now, Miriam has been kind of perfect. She’s funny, she’s a great homemaker, and she’s charismatic - there was like, nothing she couldn’t do or eventually excel at. I like that this season, and especially in this last frustrating scene, we see her mess up and make bad choices. It’s still hard to watch, because I liked where her and Benjamin were going, but it’s interesting to see Miriam just boldly go in this direction after realizing how alone she’s likely to be.

AM: Car-crash of a decision? Gahh, I just LOVE Joel so much, despite my inner-feminist who is saying f*ck that dude, he cheated on her. Hear me out—when Miriam was in Paris and was on the phone with Joel from the phone booth, you could just see how much love both of them has for one another, it really rings true to true love. They accept each other’s failures and weaknesses. It’s just Joel has a personal limit in which he can’t be with Miriam if she is going to use him for her stand-up content. I get that— he’s allowed to feel that way. I suppose, we all wonder is Joel’s limits due to a male insecurity of being demasculinized by his wife—after all, it is the 50’s. That being said, yeah, I am team Joel & Miriam all the way!

IF: I liked her and Joel too. But I don’t know, Joel feels like he’s not in a stable enough place to start anything - especially with someone like Miriam where there’s so much at stake! Who knows if they’ll lead to anything more or if Miriam really means that it’s just a one night thing, but if it doesn’t work out, they have the kids and their parents. The two of them together is just a lot given how both their lives are in weird transitional phases.

AM: You’re right, nothing plot-wise can really become of Joel and Miriam that would render it interesting. They already had it all. I guess if this was a soap opera, I’d have Miriam engage Benjamin, go off to Europe, have Joel meet her there, they sleep together, and she has another child with her husband, Joel. Speaking of husband—are they ever going to actually sign the papers and get a divorce? I’m pretty sure I still saw Miriam wearing her wedding ring in the final episode. Yup, just checked. So much for trying to get engaged to Benjamin...What is going on!?!

IF: I know! It’s so weird how she still wears it! For a while there, it looked like she was really moving on if it wasn’t for the damn ring on her finger. I can’t tell if she’s having a hard time letting go of Joel or if she’s just having a hard time giving up her past life. Either way, the timing just feels wrong for Joel and Miriam. It feels wrong for Miriam and anyone really, her career is taking off and it looks like it’s going to take priority. I like your soap opera take though lol, some more drama would be fun.

6. What do you want to see in season 3?

AM: I really want to see Miriam have a love affair—either with Joel or Lenny Bruce. I always thought something was going to happen with Lenny Bruce, but it seems like they are just friends. God, I am a sucker for a good love drama. I just hope Susie doesn’t let Miriam and the viewers down. She was such a great character, I’d hate to see her go to the dark side with Sophie Lennon.

IF: Same on the Lenny Bruce thing! I know they probably won’t cause he was a real comedian and they don’t want to mess with his image or life story too much. I like that he vouches for her and is just a great fellow comic - but they have such chemistry. Yeah, I don’t want to see Susie with Sophie Lennon. I like how passionate she is as a manager when she actually likes her client. But I get it, she’s in a much tougher financial place than Miriam. If I was her, I’d probably take the job.

AM: What! Lenny Bruce was a real historical figure? That’s so cool! He’s honestly like her work husband, at least that’s how I think about him. I love in Season 1 when they both end up bailing each other out of jail, it’s so Bonnie & Clyde of them. And you are spot on about Susie’s situation— I guess we have to be a little compassionate towards Susie when she is such a passionate manager and is struggling to feed herself and put a roof over her head. I’m always confused why we’ve only seen Miriam pick up Susie’s tab once when Miriam is pretty well off. They have set up Miriam’s character as one that is still struggling, but come on, are we really supposed to believe her dad doesn’t give her money? It’s good for the “independent woman” plot line, I guess I wish Susie was better taken care of though. I’m sure this is all to put a big punch once they become successful.

IF: Yeah, he is! I was surprised too. I think he died of an overdose in real life, so I’m preparing myself for a sad death somewhere down the line. I love their dynamic too, it’s so great how they just get each other as comics. And yes, totally agree on Miriam picking up the bill! Maybe Susie’s too proud to take help or let Miriam pay, since as manager she wants to take care of her client, but it’s weird Miriam wouldn’t try to help out there more.


Lightning Round Questions:

Favorite episode or moment?

IF: I think it’s a tie for me between Miriam performing on T.V. and Joel making sure Miriam got paid for that gig. I think that was the first time I liked Joel without hating him at the same time!

AM: Mine would probably be Miriam and Joel’s telephone call when she was in Paris, because we see how much they love one another then. And also, the moment in the Catskills when everyone is searching for Susie because she had gone “missing,” and then she just nonchalantly walks back into the campsite and everyone treats her like royalty. She’s not even supposed to be there in the first place! I laughed so hard.

Favorite character this season?

AM: God, I love Susie, that woman makes me laugh!!!

IF: Yes! Susie was so great this season.

Anything you disliked about this season?

IF: Nothing huge, but I didn’t love that scene of Joel and Archie just smacking baseballs and talking about their lives. I know it’s the 1950s and all, but they just looked like such insecure men. I guess that’s the point though.

AM: This is more a scene I didn’t like because of who the character was becoming than on the behalf of the writers and producers—it was the scene where Miriam is at her friend’s wedding reception and stands up and performs inappropriate comedy in front of her friend’s family and friends and makes a joke about the priest. It made Miriam look very self-indulgent and selfish.

IF:Yeah that was a frustrating scene. It was weird to see Miriam not read the room, I get it though, the lines are blurring for her social life and her identity as a comic.

Gif Source via @MaiselTV