Reflections on the series finale of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
After finishing The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel last night, I went searching for some behind-the-scenes info and found this article from Vanity Fair.
The two bits that stood out. The first is from Amy Sherman-Palladino:
We had so much story to get into this season because we needed to wrap everybody up. It really became, what is the big punch? Because you could think of a bunch of funny flash-forwards that would be entertaining to watch—but what is the story punch? That automatically weeded a few things out.
I was a fan of the flash-forwards, especially as we finished the season. By allowing us to know the status of all the characters beforehand, it allowed the final episode to focus on Midge's career and her relationship with Susie.
The second quote is from Daniel Palladino:
In a nine-episode season, we tend to come up with 11 episodes of stuff, and then we try to pound them into [the allotted number] or we start eliminating. It's inevitable.
Overwriting is such a smart strategy to avoid the filler that plagues so many shows. Every episode must fight for its existence and how it contributes to the story. I think it's a good strategy, even for books and scripts. Add 10 or 20% of the material, and then you can cut and tighten the story.
I'm not sure what the general take on it was, but I liked the final season. It kept me engaged. I liked the structure, and it left me wanting more. The finale had no big fireworks, but it gave me what I wanted—to see the moment Midge's career truly goes into the stratosphere and the resolution of the Susie storyline.
And to finish this one out, here is the final part of her four minutes:
I want a big life. I want to experience everything. I want to break every single rule there is. They say ambition is an unattractive trait in a woman. Maybe. But you know what's really unattractive? Waiting around for something to happen. Staring out a window, thinking the life you should be living is out there somewhere, but not being willing to open the door and go get it. Even if someone tells you, you can't. Being a coward is only cute in The Wizard of Oz.
Thank you, and goodnight.
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