What Happened In 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Season 1? Here's Your Midge Refresher
After a year of waiting, we are finally about to dive back into the stand-up comedy rise of Midge Maisel in Season 2 of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. The debut season of the Amazon series swept up almost all of the major comedy awards at the Emmys this year, so now everyone is even more pumped for its second season to premiere on Wednesday, Dec. 5. But before you can start bingeing Season 2, you are going to need to refresh yourself on what happened in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 1. Don't worry, you don't need to rewatch eights hours of television — this recap will have you ready to jump into Season 2 of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel right when it comes out.
Midge, the housewife
The first season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel begins by introducing us to the detail-oriented, picture-perfect 1950s housewife Midge Maisel. Midge lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her businessman husband Joel Maisel and their two young children. Every so often, Midge and Joel will go down to the Gaslight Cafe in Greenwich Village to watch stand-up comedy, which is Joel's passion. It's Joel's dream to succeed in stand-up, but when his sets at the Gaslight get lukewarm responses. Later, Midge discovers that Joel was actually stealing his jokes from other comedians and had never delivered his own material.
The first taste of comedy
Midge Maisel's seemingly perfect life falls apart when Joel reveals that he has been having an affair with his secretary, Penny Pann, and he intends to leave Midge for her. Devastated, Midge gets drunk and stumbles into the Gaslight Cafe still in her nightgown. She begins talking about her misfortunes on the mic to uproarious applause, and her unintentional stand-up set ends with her getting arrested for flashing the crowd. In jail, she meets the well-known comic Lenny Bruce, who warns her against pursuing comedy, but Midge takes the warning as encouragement to continue.
Parents just don't understand
Following their separation, both Midge and Joel's parents try to convince their children to get back together, to no avail. Midge moves out of their shared apartment and in with her parents, Abe and Rose Weissman. Abe and Rose make it their duty to save Midge's marriage, and look down on her newfound interest in comedy. To make a living, Midge gets a job at the high-end department store B. Altman.
Manager to the stars
A Gaslight Cafe employee named Susie Myerson immediately takes an interest in Midge after witnessing her drunken stand-up act and offers to become her manager. Although Susie does not have experience as a comic manager, she is a connoisseur of stand-up comedy and takes Midge under her wing to help her hone her craft. Susie takes Midge to see a variety of both mainstream and experimental stand-up acts to broaden her horizons, and also starts booking her on gigs.
Susie manages to book Midge's biggest gig yet: opening for stand-up star Sophie Lennon. Midge is impressed by Sophie's set, which is all about her humble life in Queens, but is then surprised to see Sophie is actually incredibly wealthy and looks nothing like her on-stage persona when she meets her for lunch. Sophie tells Midge that female comics need to rely on gimmicks to be successful, which rubs Midge the wrong way. At her set at the Gaslight that night, Midge exposes the truth about Sophie in her set. Sophie's manager is in the audience and tells Susie that Midge he will blackball from performing in New York for exposing Sophie's secret.
Where we left off
At the end of the season, Midge sleeps with Joel at their son's birthday party and seem to get back together. Later, Susie calls on Lenny Bruce to help Midge get an audience for her set at the Gaslight since that is the only place in New York she can still perform. Lenny pulls through and draws a large crowd for Midge, who nails her set and reveals her new stage name: Mrs. Maisel. Unbeknownst to Midge, Joel is in the audience during her set, and he finally admits that Midge is a great stand-up comedian.
And that's it — now you are primed for Season 2 of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which will begin streaming on Amazon on Wednesday, Dec. 5.