Rachel Brosnahan defends Marvellous Mrs Maisel character over criticisms she’s an absent parent

'Midge isn't evil'

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel - Season 2 trailer

Rachel Brosnahan has responded to criticisms that her character in the programme The Marvellous Mrs Maisel is an absent parent.

The 28-year-old actor plays Miriam “Midge” Maisel, a woman with two young children whose husband leaves her for his secretary, prompting her to pursue a career in stand-up comedy.

But viewers have complained on Twitter that the childrens’ role in the show is pointless given how little time she spends with them, often doing stand-up gigs in the evenings and attending meetings during the day.

“I am in the middle of season two and I am wondering what the point was in the writer deciding Midge should have two kids,” wrote one person.

They’re an afterthought. She has no interest in being a parent so why have her be one? It makes her less likeable. Would have been more interesting to have them later.”

The tweet garnered more than a hundred likes, with some people saying that they felt similarly.

But a lot of respondents pointed out that a male protagonist would not be criticised for appearing to prioritise his career over his children.

It would either be ignored or he would be applauded for pursuing his ambitions aganst all odds.

“Nobody would call out a male for doing what Midge did,” wrote one person, who argued that she shouldn’t be chastised for subverting the stereotypical gender roles that occupied 1950s, which is when the show is set.

“Clearly you are not paying attention to the underlying premise of the show!” they added, implying that this is exactly what the show aims to celebrate.

Another person said that it was wrong to declare yourself a fan of the show only to lambaste Midge as “a terrbile mom”, prompting Brosnahan herself to chime in and defend her character.

“Absolutely. I’m not sure I would go as far as terrible, however she’s certainly not winning ‘parent of the year’,” she wrote before making references to the lead male characters in Mad Men and Breaking Bad, both of whom happen to be fathers who, like Midge, are ambitious, but their parenting skills are rarely the subject of criticism among fans.

“This was not one of the primary criticisms of Don Draper or Walter White who were similarly, single-mindedly ambitious.”

In subsequent tweets, the actor clarified that, unlike Breaking Bad, The Marvellous Mrs Maisel is a comedy and that her drive to defy expectations and pursue her dream as a comedian is a crucial part of her narrative.

“She’s a woman who achieved every dream she ever had and then it all falls apart,” Brosnahan writes.

“And then she gets a new dream, and it’s completely at odds with her former life.

“This tension is something she frequently addresses in her sets and I expect she will continue to as it becomes more complicated. She’s deeply imperfect on this”.

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