Abstract

This short, reflective essay considers various incongruous premises at the heart of the television show The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, particularly regarding protagonist Midge Maisel’s motivations and character development. It does so in the context of some 20th century touchstones of Jewish American women’s comedy, after which the show was, on some level, modeled. The essay argues that the series is best appreciated as fantasy, and that its fantastical outlook is on some level consistent with the unwieldy, troublesome nature of reducing an overlooked and complicated collective history to an individual, fictional story.

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