Follow TV Tropes


Fridge / The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Go To

    Fridge Brilliance 
  • When Joel quits, almost everyone in the board room frowns and looks upset. However, one of Joel's underlings smiles as he watches him leave. Look who's expecting a promotion!
  • Midge finds the Cossack performance in the employee talent show at Steiner Resorts to be hilarious, whereas everyone else is either stone-faced or offended. Then you remember, she's the one with a degree in Russian literature.
  • The season 1 finale has an interesting detail foreshadowing the upcoming seasons when Midge and Joel are about to have sex. Remember, they’ve gone down certain roads for awhile now and decided to go for a divorce. Suddenly, she tells him about unhooking half her bra all those years:
    Joel: “What did you think was gonna happen?”
    Midge: “What?”
    Joel: “If I had to unhook the whole thing all my myself what’d you think was gonna happen, you think I was gonna get bored?”
    Midge: “I don’t know.”
    Joel: “You think halfway through I’d lose interest and go make a sandwich?”
    Midge: “Maybe. I just wanted to make things easy for you.”
    • Which just highlights that Midge has been aiding and abetting Joel's problem with being spoon-fed this “perfect” life by being a perfect wife (a societal problem at the time, not her fault really). His attitude is all like “Screw that shit, I’m a big boy, I love you, and I would have ripped your bra off if I had to”. Midge confessing to wanting to “make things easy” for her husband made her understandably nervous, because the facade of flawlessness is gone, but Joel felt relieved and liberated by it, if in a small way. In the morning too, he sees that her face isn’t perfectly done and he eats it up. Midge is also realizing that those Wifely Rules are bullshit in real-time; mainly through her comedy, but also by interacting with her husband both from a distance and up-close (in-the-same-twin-bed kind of close).
      It’s almost like Joel is seeing her for the first time and they’re falling in love again. Watching this episode and the first episode of season 2 back to back, one can see Joel’s biggest insecurity, exposing his vulnerability and people seeing him and his flaws. He doesn’t want people to see him, which is why he is so upset when he sees Midge’s stand up and so conflicted because he can't deny that she is so damn good. This insecurity pops up throughout Season 2, especially when he learns about Benjamin. He thinks Benjamin is lacking the flaws he has, so Joel flips. Joel is incredibly impulsive, in case we haven't noticed. And so is Midge (who didn't even hesitate when it came to Shy Baldwin's tour offer).

  • In "Let's Face the Music and Dance," Astrid is fasting at breakfast for Tisha B'Av. One episode later, at Yom Kippur dinner in "Look She Made a Hat", she blurts out that she's finally pregnant. On the Jewish calendar, Tisha B’Av is a little less than two months before Yom Kippur. Which means the weird smelling Chinese cream/remedy that Astrid got to help conceive did the trick!

  • We've seen Sophie Lennon try to cry in front of a camera, on the telethon, and she comes off as terrible. Yet Sophie is a Yale graduate, and in the season 2 finale, she claims she slept with Kazan. He studied there from 1930-32. Meaning Sophie could have been just another rich girl with aspirations.
    • Also important: Yale in the 1930s was NOT the place to study if you wanted to be a great actor. The real professional actors of that era did not go to Ivy League schools, and when the method acting revolution came to America, they still didn’t go there. Sophie is just a woman who wanted to be an actor 30 years ago and hasn’t actually done it in all that time. That’s not much evidence of talent, but her performance sure does indicate a great lack of it. Season 3 ultimately confirms it when Sophie is put into a production of Miss Julie.

  • Joel's exasperation and Only Sane Man attitude concerning his father's finances and their questionable banking practices makes sense when you remember that he's just quit his job at a company that had professional accountants in-house to handle money.
  • Susie's dressing down of Sophie Lennon after the disastrous performance of Miss Julie, after Sophie tries to blame Susie for conspiring with other cast and crew to tear her down to prop up Midge, is very telling.
    "I did not have to take you down for her. You are not her competition. You are not even in the same league! She's got guts. That is the difference between Midge Maisel and the "great" Sophie Lennon. You're a star for now, but she is going to be a goddamn legend."
    • Sophie, like Midge in season 1, was trying to go down a new career path. Both of them failed, but for entirely different reasons. Midge stood up for what she believed in and was willing to fail to do what was right, which is the reason she's still standing despite Sophie's efforts to put her down. Sophie lacked the courage to be vulnerable and just try at something she wasn’t 100% sure she was great at yet, which was dramatic acting. She couldn’t stand the thought of not being good. So when she bumps the prop table by mistake, she gets freaked out by the possibility of making more mistakes, and just reverts to her safe zone of "Sophie from Queens". Compare that to how Midge handled going off-script in "Midnight at the Concord" when she saw her father in the audience much more professionally (as professional as a comic on a "blue night" could be), Midge being willing to bare herself and die onstage for her artistic pursuits.
    • Not to mention, Sophie is one of those "demented famous people", which is to say, people who have been famous and rich for so long they've lost complete touch with reality. There are many real life cases (Mariah Carey is an example of a star who is outwardly and visibly like this) of seemingly sane celebs who are actually deeply coddled and spoiled like Sophie behind closed doors. Sophie has the two dogs flanking her throne-like chair, and an entourage of a butler and assistants who get her ridiculous things like Jell-O, and answer her phone and door for her. Sophie is just so afraid of not being famous anymore, that her whole life is defined by her success and the illusion of her greatness. And ultimately, she's a coward, too scared to lose it all...sending the message that "If you get too comfortable in your success, you will get suffocated by it."

  • If you know the premise of Miss Julie, Sophie's reasons for wanting to be the title character are clearer. It's a heavy serious play about aristocracy, one of the earliest versions of what's known as "naturalistic" drama (focused on realistic characters in true-to-life situations). The titular Miss Julie is the daughter of a Count, born to wealth and thinks she's above everyone else. She falls in love with her father's social-climbing valet, Jean, who she then sleeps with. They consider running away together, but Christine (the household cook) orders the stablemen not to give them horses, and when the Count returns home, their plans collapse. It ends with Julie committing suicide in despair. It explores morals and man/woman dynamic and socioeconomic factors. It's also very wordy and it's a three-person play, heavy on dialogue. Sophie is very much like Miss Julie. She is bossy and thinks she is above everyone else———and doesn't cooperate or share the limelight in a three-man show. Sophie Lennon does not break out of her comfort zone and is unable to share the spotlight in a play (remember the director telling her to "play tennis" in rehearsals—as in "react back to other actor convincingly etc."), to the point of forgetting the existence of her female costar Moira.

  • The seventh and eighth episodes of season 3 show how Midge and Sophie are complete foils. Like with Sophie, Midge was on stage in an unfamiliar setting when she appeared at the Apollo, lost confidence, and reverted to what she knew would get some laughs, even if it meant huge problems after the show. Though unlike Sophie, Midge seems quicker to accept responsibility.
    • Within "Marvelous Radio" itself, we see Midge and Sophie torpedo a gig, and jeopardize both the client's and manager's reputations. In the case of the Phyllis Schafely live ad, Midge refuses to speak out of her principles (having been guided properly by Abe), whereas Sophie torpedoes her Broadway show out of fear of failure after knocking over the table.

    Fridge Horror 
  • The treasure maps in "The Punishment Room" that Joel's parents use to hide their money stashes take on a different meaning if you're a history buff. Because they're a nod to valuables that were buried away from Nazis when Jews were deported to ghettos and concentration camps in Europe. People who hid under a fake identity used those “treasures” to survive or pay stooges.
  • Going into "Marvelous Radio," some viewers have expressed that it seemed rather abrupt that Midge would do radio work, as there was no real setup for it. But if the radio ad work seemed abrupt and chaotic, it's because it was. Obviously, it in part was because Shy postponed the tour due to recovery from his "exhaustion". But it's also because Susie's gambling problem is getting out of hand. She's losing money (to the point her own bookie has to tell her "if you need a bucket brigade to cobble up scraps, it might be time to slow down the gambling a little") and not telling Midge, so the scramble may have been to get quick income to offset the losses without Midge being the wiser.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: