“Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and the Magic of Making Stuff
If you paid any attention to the Emmy Awards this week, you know that the Amazon show, Marvelous Mrs. Maisel won a giant pile of awards in comedy categories. Like most things that happen in the world these days, people have conflicting opinions about that. Some people think Atlanta should have snagged some of those awards. There are those were surprised to learn that the show exists. Some folks, like myself, would like to think that some of those awards also double as posthumous awards for Amy Sherman-Palladino’s Gilmore Girls, an equally smart show that never received any award-shaped love. Our CEO, Joe Boyd, is primarily excited because his tweet about the show went semi-viral (966 likes and counting!).
Awards or not, it’s nice to see the story of Mrs. Maisel getting some attention. The show is visually stunning and has a colorful, playful soundtrack to match. The script is loaded with all the words people wish they could say in their real lives. Like Sherman-Palladino’s other shows, Midge’s story, brought to life by Rachel Brosnahan, is a chance to imagine what life would be like if people could string together all their best thoughts on a second’s notice.
But we love Maisel around our office because aside from being beautifully made, it’s also the story of Making Something Beautiful.
Midge’s story is about what it’s like to stumble into something that makes you feel more alive. In the pilot episode, a drunken Midge Maisel accidentally ends up baring her soul on the comedy stage. The rest of the season follows her as she tries to turn this moment into a way of life.
Her story, and the whole show, is about what it looks like to find the thing that makes you more like yourself. It’s about creating something and creating yourself in the process.
Midge and her manager, played by fresh-Emmy winner Alex Borstein, become students of comedy. They make the rounds and learn from other artists. Midge tries new things to hone her craft, failing sometimes, practicing all the times. The show doesn’t shy away from the complexities of how it feels when something that starts as a passion becomes a job. It deals with some of the aftermath of turning creative work into career work.
As the show goes on, Midge has to sort out how to be herself and be an artist. She has revelations, sometimes onstage, working out who to be and speaking truth about her life out loud for the very first time in front of an audience.
We see this story come to life in our offices as we produce videos, write scripts, design logos, craft experiences, edit footage, and tell stories. We see this story in the work of our clients, as they talk about their pains and their plans. All of us in our work are making stuff. And when we make it right, we make ourselves too.