After pandemic-related postponement of the fourth season, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel finally returns with all its charm and excitement. As one of the most critically acclaimed series recently, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel has won a total of twenty Primetime Emmy Awards, and this season is nothing short of the previous ones.
There is, however, not many aspects of the show that separates it from the previous seasons, though this is not negative by any means. The writers of the show managed to perfectly encapsulate the strengths of the previous three seasons, managed to weed out almost all weaknesses, while the cast and directors improved themselves in the same manner. Thus, if we want to talk about the fourth season, we practically need to talk about the show in general.
The performances are probably the easiest part of the show to discuss, mainly because they did not significantly change, but improved appropriately. Rachel Brosnahan is as great as ever in the role of strong and independent comic Miriam ‘Midge’ Maisel, just as Tony Shalhoub is in the role of conservative mathematician Abe Weissman and Marin Hinkle as the new matchmaker in town, Rose Weissman. However, one actor who especially stands out this time around is Alex Borstein as Midge Maisel’s manager Susie Myerson who was always amazing in her role, but thanks to the writing of this season, had the chance to evolve her character even further as a result of the increased screen-time and her enhanced subplot.
Speaking of which, this season gives more of an in-depth look into supporting roles by adding and improving the corresponding subplots, and it does so without taking the spotlight away from Midge Maisel or reducing the significance of her role. This results in a more vibrant and diverse storytelling which is a welcome addition to an already impressive collection of episodes.
Moreover, the directors (mainly Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino) introduce new sequences that fit the style of the series so far, yet still manages to freshen things up quite a bit. These sequences are so unique and well-arranged that they are worth rewinding more than once to admire them to their fullest extent.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is also great at including feminist issues in its catalogue of social commentary, especially mixed with the difficulty of the time the show is set in, which is no easy feat. It is neither too subtle so the audience would miss the point, nor too in-your-face that it takes over the show. Instead, the point the writers are trying to make perfectly comes across while also further progressing the story. This is the best way to deliver a message in storytelling no matter the medium.
One might attempt to find some faults in this season, and there would be faults in pretty much any given show, of course. A possibly worrying detail is that the show is ending with the fifth season, so there is the question of if the newly developed subplots will be wrapped up adequately since the show only has one season to go. One other point is, after taking an understandable break given the circumstances, the show begins the season a bit too abruptly as the audience needs a bit of time to refresh their memories. Also, there are one or two scenes in the season that are absurd and are only relevant for comedic purposes that take some liberties from the reality of the show.
Though neither of these points are really too pertinent, since we need to see the fifth season to come to a conclusion about the quality of the subplots, and the season beginning a bit too abruptly is almost nit-picking at this point, since it probably will not take the audience more than half the episode to settle in. For the absurd scenes, they are quite rare, so it is easy to overlook them.
All in all, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, as before, keeps getting better with each season, and ends on a really interesting note to make way for the fifth season. If anyone that is a fan of the show still has not seen the season, it is definitely high time to get on with it.