We’ve been catching up/binging on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (which I HIGHLY recommend) and I’m repeatedly struck by how this vivid, entertaining, downright hilarious show is also a serious depiction of the artists’ path (or that of any other nonconformist sort) – and the many prices paid for the freedom to stay on that path.
The last episode we saw – Season 3 Episode 2 “It’s the Sixties, Man!” – we find Midge’s parents, Abe and Rose facing a complete downsizing of their lifestyle as Abe reconnects with his activist past by teaming up with a bunch of revolutionary beatniks and Rose has flung off her family’s trust fund when she realizes they have absolutely no respect for her. Rose harangues her daughter later, blaming her for their imminent homelessness: “You’ve made me passionate and independent and BROKE!”
And I realized that Midge’s divergence from her cookie cutter, 50’s (extremely strict – wow, it was really strict, man) straight and narrow road to pursue something quite scandalous for a woman at the time (a career in stand-up comedy) ended up not only changing her, but also her parents and others close to her. By questioning society’s rules and making unthinkable (at the time) choices, she ended up holding up a mirror to Abe and Rose and although they didn’t like what they saw, they ended up questioning their own automatic adherence to society’s rules – and remembering what they used to truly hold dear.
The new road is bumpy as hell and nobody’s comfortable – but Midge, Abe and Rose are standing a bit taller, their heads a bit higher with a little gleam in their eyes, foreshadowing a more sweeping cultural revolution waiting just around the corner.