Moving on Up/ Introducing Noah and Astrid: Abe, Astrid, Midge, Joel
While it should be a huge deal Abe got a job offer, to be a consultant, for Bell Labs, that gets buried by Noah and Astrid, Midge’s brother and sister-in-law, finally appearing. If only because Astrid drowns us in how she is trying to be a good Jewish wife, because she converted, and how that is driving Noah nuts. Especially since Astrid is 30 and has yet to conceive and with Joel leaving Midge, oh that has her worried she is next.
Luckily, Midge calms her down a bit and even though seeing Joel at Abe’s celebratory dinner flares up old issues, they move on. But, what perhaps matters the most is Noah giving Midge a nod that she has always been funny and that he will keep the secret of her vulgar comedy records. Though considering Abe finds out about Midge’s arrest while his background check is happening, it seems her secrets won’t be held in for much longer.
We Could Make A Real Go At This Thing: Susie, Midge, Randall
With Midge still recovering from her multiple bombs, she has really taken to doing dinner party stand up. Which, of course, she knows isn’t real stand up but it has made for a good confidence booster. After all, those dinner party people are her people and the small and safe environment gives her time to really use what she took notes about in practice. Such as changing her routine from what works for a younger audience to those her parents’ age – while still being a bit progressive in her set.
Which should come at some surprise since the two seemingly made up. Well, Susie coerced Midge into an apology and admitted no wrong in her part of the argument. But that’s not the point, the point is, Susie broke up her professional partnership with Midge, nothing was on paper, and technically Midge has every right to look around if she wanted to. But, you know Susie, she wants to keep Midge at arm’s length yet have the key to her diary. Something that Midge refuses to do anymore, especially after being told off.
For with Imogene wherever she is, Susie is the only one Midge has to talk to and she can’t keep up this one-sided situation. To be her “personal manager” you have to harness the personal and be a friend. Midge is trying to be so much in order to adapt to this new life, one she chose based off Susie’s encouragement, and is having trouble doing it on her own. After all, no one knows about her comedy but Susie and stand up is now a huge part of her life. So she has to be more than someone giving lectures, setting up gigs, and things of that nature or else Midge falling apart, it is going to happen more and possibly get ugly.
Other Noteworthy Facts & Moments
Esther is the name of Midge’s daughter
She did her set in episode 1 on 9/23/1958
Randall and Midge + The History & Business of Comedy
Honestly, while the Hitler joke seemed a bit on the nose, Randall and Midge’s act would have been something cool to see. Especially in terms of really making a go at becoming the next Nichols and May. Two people who, since they were only active 4 years, and disbanded at their height, aren’t noted as one of the great duos like Lucy and Ricky and… I’m sure there are others. But that is one of the great things about this show, it isn’t just comedy but presents a bit of history and opens you up to understanding the business of comedy. Something you can learn a lot about watching various comedy documentaries [Such as Can We Take a Joke and Dying Laughing]. Which makes up for the increasingly eye-roll inducing bits dealing with Midge’s life outside of comedy.
On The Fence
Midge’s Family, Friends, and the B. Altman Girls
While a girl has to have friends and family, it is increasingly hard to invest in them. Their role as supporting characters has become Midge’s babysitters, landlords, or simply their confidence boosters. All of which who, like Vivian and Abe, have this vibe or shouting about their latest storyline begging us to care. The problem is though, the person whose name is in the title of the show, that is the only one who we are pushed to care about.
What reason do we have to care about Abe’s new prospect, 20 years in the making of being obsessed with Bell Labs? Why should we care about Astrid’s wanting to fit in the family? Has the gag not gotten old that Vivian is looking for love with everyone, including her cousin twice removed? Hell, perhaps the only reason Susie remains interesting is because she not only pushes Midge forward, on top of challenges her but because she doesn’t talk about herself much. That is, until you, like Midge, actually have a curiosity about who this woman is.
But with this being the show’s first season, what do you expect really? Also, I’d argue it is the first Amazon series which could go beyond gaining recognition from critics and those who saw programs like Transparent laudably progressive. It has the type of appeal which could lead to subscribers and perhaps be to Amazon Prime what Orange Is The New Black was to Netflix. The catalyst for a service not being part of some niche or, in Amazon’s case, some extra feature to the real value of having a Prime account, but something that could hold the banner and lead the original content department. Especially in terms of the series division.