Comedy dies slow, never has a statement been truer than with Amy Sherman-Palladino’s comedy The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Comedy dies in the silence, in the absence of the fast pace that has become accustomed to Sherman-Palladino’s work over the years. Gilmore Girls established itself with its fast dialogue and the signature tone that we now recognized as Sherman-Palladino’s voice, something that had been so different at first with only two characters, Lorelai and Rory, using became the norm by the end where every character used the same pace as the two leading ladies did ever since the first moment of the pilot. It was something that could have been seen as a gimmick and never be seen again but once the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel premiered in 2017 on Amazon Prime, the fast-paced dialogue that had defined Gilmore Girls was back. But unlike what she did it’s predecessor, Sherman-Palladino found a way to integrate her signature dialogues into the story that would inhabit the world that would become The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Comedy dies slow, it’s that simple and that is why Mrs. Maisel never slows down.
There’s a thing about a show being established enough that you can be thrown right back in without any explanations of the rules of the world. If with Gilmore Girls the fast-paced dialogue felt like something that was a gimmick, with Mrs. Maisel it’s in its DNA. Yes, Midge speaks fast and the people around her do too but the world around her also follows her pace. The camera moves just like she does, the long shot that has become more and more masterful pair themselves perfectly with Midge’s voice. The dialogue and the cinematography have become one with this show. No longer does it feel like a gimmick, it’s part of her world. The world of Mrs. Maisel expands to more than just what is said but also to what we see and that is why it is so powerful.
But that doesn’t mean that Mrs. Maisel doesn’t give itself the time to breathe. The opposite actually, there are silent moments, moments that are calmer than the mad life that Midge lives. But even with that, the show finds a way to integrate what has become it’s DNA. Moments of silence or calm are welcomed but they never feel jarring. Most of those moments come with the appearance of Luke Kirby’s Lenny Bruce. Just a quick google of Bruce’s life and you can see why most of those moments happen with him. Even when he is funny, Lenny Bruce is the only one that seems to be on another cadence then everyone else. He speaks fast but not as fast as everyone else. Kirby’s ability to portray the famed comic whose tragic life is only being hinted at in the show is incredible. The way he is able to slow down moments even with the fast-paced dialogue is a gift that makes him special and underused.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel found its groove early in the first season. As it expanded its world over the next two seasons never made it feel like we were diverting from Midge’s rise to fame. The story became about more than just Midge and as we were introduced to more of her world, the tone never changed. It could have been a problem but it truly never was. From its opening moment, the show establishes what is going to be its DNA and never differs from it. It’s clearly something Sherman-Palladino learned from Gilmore Girls. The pace of the dialogue became part of the storytelling, the world was built around it. The camera, the action, the characters, all of them relied on it. Which is what makes this show so unique. It stands out, nothing else is like it. It’s able to stand out in a crowd, just like Midge.