top of page

The Final Season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

By Lori Perkins

I may be the only one who wasn’t satisfied with Season 5 or The Fabulous Mrs. Maisel. That’s especially hard to admit because I was really into the first four.

Season 5 opened many years in the future and featured brief scenes with Miriam’s now-grown children Ethan and Ester, both of whom seemed unhappy, and barely interacted with their Mom. But I thought, I get it. She had become a HUGE star since last I saw her with Lenny Bruce in the 60’s. And it appeared that Season 5 was going to be the round up in how that happened. And I was eager and excited to learn exactly how that came about.

But I didn’t really learn that.

I was shown sketch after sketch after sketch of scenes from the life and times of Miriam Maisel and her family like flashing cards in a deck that spanned 30 or even 40 years. It wasn’t so much a story as annotated footnotes. Joel doesn’t marry to Joy who gets an abortion; Miriam’s dad gets sexually harassed; Miriam gets a writer’s room gig on the Gordon Ford Show as the only female writer; Susie gets roasted at the Friar’s Club; Miriam leaves Philip Roth at the altar; Joel goes to prison; Lenny Bruce looses himself.

And then, the finale episode – the season finale – and the five-season icing on the cake – Miriam forces herself on to the Gordon Ford Show live as a stand-up against her boss’ wishes, but she’s so fucking good that he realizes he made a mistake and introduces her as “the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and all is right with the world.

And we see a final scene of Susie and Miriam watching VHS-Tapped episodes of Jeopardy 3,000 miles apart (Susie’s in Hollywood/Miriam’s in NYC) all old and wrinkled, but living their best lives.

I could tell you all the things they should have done, like introduced the Gordon Ford Show as the ultimate comedienne launch pad in every episode before this one (maybe even had Lenny Bruce tank on his show?) or paced the five seasons so that the first four weren’t time crawls through the ‘50’s and early ‘60’s followed by 40 years collapsed into one season, but that’s hindsight. The finale season could have been another three or four seasons, or even another five. As an editor, every once in a while an author gets three quarters through a book and then runs out of steam and just rushes through the climax and types THE END. That’s what this felt like.

It just didn’t satisfy.


bottom of page