Mrs. Maisel not so marvelous any more

Shark-jumping takes over once solid series

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Where: Prime Video
What: Series, season 5, 9 episodes, 55 mins.
When: Fri., Apr. 14
Genre: Period comedy-drama
Rating: NNN (out of 5)
Why you should watch: Feels like the art direction, the fashion and the décor are more important than ever in the last season of this early-’60s-set feminist look at New York’s comedy scene when men (even more than now) ruled the roost. However, a strange series of “flash-forward” scenes suggest shark-jumping may be on the horizon.

AFTER A GREAT START to the series, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel isn’t so marvellous anymore.

In its fifth and final season, art decoration, fashion and awesome mid-century décor all have become even more important to the ’60s-set series, perhaps being relied upon when the story and the actors feel a little tired.

The gimmicky use of flash-forwards confirm Mrs. Maisel goes on to be a huge star, but when the current season opens, she continues to struggle and deal with the fallout of some bad career decisions. Seeking a steady paycheque, she gets a job as the first-ever female writer on a Johnny Carson-like show.

The once rapid-fire repartee between characters is sliding into schtick-handling territory as dialogue feels more like a routine than a conversation. Actors get very actor-ly in their scenes and you can almost see the self-satisfaction after they deliver what they think is a great line.

The show looks so gorgeous we want to love it, and it’s still satisfying when Mrs. Maisel calls out the patriarchy or exposes misogyny. But what was once the compelling and personal tale of an ex-housewife-turned-struggling-comic has descended into gotcha story details and each character indulging their most excessive character traits to stereotype levels.