If Midge Maisel wants to be successful as a standup comedian, her portrayer Rachel Brosnahan says, “she’s going to have to give up her personal life. She’s going to have to go at it alone.”
The second season of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” ended with Brosnahan’s 1950s housewife-turned-comic, character getting the opportunity of a lifetime to open on tour for famed singer Shy Baldwin (Leroy McClain), which would take her on the road for six months — away from her family, including her two kids; her ex-husband Joel (Michael Zegen); and the man who wanted to marry her, Dr. Benjamin (Zachary Levi). The third season will begin with her embarking upon that tour.
“She’s hungry as ever, she’s determined, she’s tenacious, she’s ambitious. She wants to do well,” Brosnahan tells Variety. “This is a brand new chapter for her.”
Midge’s foray into standup comedy in the first two seasons already saw some ripple effects on the people around her, notably her mother Rose (Marin Hinkle), who was inspired to get some of her own independence back after seeing her daughter strike out on her own. The third season will see more changes, as well as some consequences of fame and challenge characters with how to deal with newfound attention.
“There’s a little bit more of the ups and the downs of what the reality of doing what she’s doing is, and that’s a big deal,” showrunner Amy Sherman-Palladino says.
Another challenge Midge will face is the ever-evolving relationship between her and her manager, Susie (Alex Borstein), who was surprisingly asked to manage Sophie Lennon (Jane Lynch) last season.
“Midge and Susie, it’s a ‘womance,'” Borstein says of the close-knit friendship between the two women. “They are going to have to grow in leaps and bounds, if they’re going to succeed. And you’re not sure if the other person in a relationship with you is going to grow in the same way, and if you’re going to grow in the same direction.”
Midge’s father Abe (Tony Shalhoub) has been disapproving of her career choice in the past. “He can’t imagine how she’s going to be able to support herself and strive in the world and take care of her children,” Shalhoub says of Abe’s failure to understand Midge’s career path. “He doesn’t know anything about show business or the world of comedy. He didn’t know she was funny, really.”
But he adds that Abe will loosen up a bit this season, in part due to the changes going on in his own life. (The last time viewers saw Abe, he decided to quit both of his jobs, which leaves him and Rose without their New York City apartment.)
As for Midge’s love life, the dynamic between her and her ex-husband Joel is the biggest question mark heading into the third season. The Season 2 finale ended with Midge spending the night with Joel. And to complicate things further, her father had finally just given her permission to marry Benjamin, whose “Mrs. Maisel” future remains to be seen.
“Perhaps someday they can come back together,” Zegen says of Joel and Midge. But it may have to wait, as he adds that “there might be a new love interest.”
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” Season 3 streams Dec. 6 on Amazon.