Forget the Catskills. This year, Mrs. Maisel’s going on tour across the country.
One of Amazon Prime’s most celebrated series, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” returns for its third season Friday and leaves New York as Midge takes her comedy career to the next level with the help of manager Susie Myerson and singer Shy Baldwin.
The new season takes the cast into a decade of change — the 1960s — which is fitting given how much has shifted for stand-up Midge (Rachel Brosnahan), Susie (Alex Borstein) and their families and friends since viewers last saw them.
“Everything got tossed up in the air and people are trying to figure out how and where to land,” Tony Shalhoub, who plays Midge’s father Abe, told the Daily News.
“He gets knocked for a loop,” adds Shalhoub, 66. “His daughter isn’t who he thought she was. His son is not who he thought he was. Even his marriage and his life’s work, or what he thought of as his life’s work, weren’t really what he thought they were. He has to reevaluate and figure out how to reinvent himself.”
Abe, no longer working at Columbia University or Bell Labs, has become entrenched with a group of young beatniks and taken to wearing black turtlenecks and saying things like, “It’s the ’60s, man.”
Midge’s mother Rose (Marin Hinkle) says goodbye to her family and her trust fund. Joel (Michael Zegen) sinks his savings into a comedy club.
“We’re trying to show what happens to a group of people, a family, that has had something happen to them that has thrown them all up in the air,” Dan Palladino, half of the husband-and-wife team of showrunners, told The News. “They can’t land where they were, so where are they going to land?”
That’s the common theme as Midge leaves the Upper West Side, first for a USO show in New York, then Las Vegas and Miami.
For Susie, in particular, failures could be ruinous. Her successes are private; if she’s doing her job properly, no one should know she’s even there. But watching Susie grow, which this season includes taking on a new client in Sophie Lennon (Jane Lynch), it seems impossible for her to stay above water for long.
“If Midge fails on stage, it could be a public embarrassment and a s —— y night,” Borstein, 48, told The News. “If Susie fails, her whole career could end. Susie could f — k it all up with one really bad misstep. I really like her as Wile E. Coyote. I like that she misses the mark a lot. I like anvils dropping on her head.
“Down the road, if (Susie and Midge are) achieving some modicum of success, I’d still like for Susie to fall off the edge of a cliff.”
The comedy-drama series, which started its story in 1958, subtly moves into the ‘60s. It shows up in the stand-up material, which, thanks to Lenny Bruce (Luke Kirby), has become more political. In the bookings, a black musician like Shy Baldwin (Leroy McClain) is not only allowed, but invited to shows for white audiences.
“It felt natural to get (Midge), who considers herself a little bit of an outsider in this world, to hook her up with people who maybe are successful within the industry but are a little bit of outsiders themselves,” said showrunner Amy Sherman-Palladino, who made Emmy history last year when she won for comedy writing and directing.
“Everything is about her learning what the world really is,” Sherman-Palladino explained. “It’s not just six blocks on the Upper West Side and temple. We want to make sure her world expands.”
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