Friday, February 2, 2018

Femslash February: Mrs. Maisel

Okay, who is watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel?

It's 1958.

First, we have Midge, a femme comedienne - inherently subversive, already - full of charisma, raw talent, smarts, and curiosity about the art. Midge has a loser husband who (is it a spoiler alert if it happens right away in the pilot?) steals comedy routines for his own use and has an affair because he's insecure about his lack of talent.

For that reason alone, he barely warrants mentioning. Yet, the more important reason I don't give a hoot about "the husband" is that Midge has the best chemistry with her friend/comedy tutor/agent, a butch gal named (wait for it) Sue.

And honeys, if ever a lez there was:

I love her.

What I adore most of all about Sue is that I know approximately 37 actual queer and/or butch women who have Sue's exact persona (although only a few of them are actually named Sue).  

Look at the suspenders, pageboy hat, slacks with tucked-in shirt, and keys on a chain around her neck (definitely NOT a necklace, but what are they keys to? where do they fit? what do they open?). Notice the way she looks at Midge, whether they're drinking Schlitz together or Midge is on stage doing a routine. Observe Sue's dry humor, which she clearly uses to mask her discomfort about showing any feelings that might be construed as "affectionate" or "letting someone in." Is it self-preservation? This is the 1950s, after all. But, will Midge, one day, unlock the stony walls around Sue's heart?

We get a lot of Midge/Susie subtext. I like to think it's intentional and Amy Sherman-Palladino is somewhat making up for the lack of queer characters in Gilmore Girls. Although, it's also 2018, so throw us a real bone, eh?

I can see it now: Sue books Midge to perform at Lezzies, and afterwards they drink dry martinis with Carol, Terese, and Abby (who are now in a poly relationship, obvs).

Happy Femslash February, y'all!

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