Thursday, January 10, 2019

Mrs. Maisel and the Golden Glow

UPDATE 12:19 Bornstein told Seth Meyers she inhaled something in Amsterdam and felt the effects before developing  her "Amstergang." 

9/19: Bornstein took the Emmy for her role, and her speech brought us the rallying cry, "Step out of line, ladies!"

As talent agent Susie Myerson in Season 2 of the Netflix series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel—the role for which she won an Emmy last year and just scored her second Golden Globe nom—the very funny Alex Borstein finds, smells, and smokes a joint...and then takes a glowingly stoned bubble bath. The character is based partly on Tokin' Woman Sue Mengers.

Another memorable character of Borstein's, Ms. Swan, smuggled in "the medicinal kine" on MadTV, and liked to be "just a little bit stone" in a skit where she outwits a protection racketeer.


Rachel Brosnahan, who just picked up her second consecutive Golden Globe for her lead role in the series, puffed in Season 1 with Luke Kirby playing Lenny Bruce (a stoner gal's dream date; at least one known Tokin' Woman, Annie Ross, did so).

Mrs. Maisel leads a charmed, wildly unrealistic life, but since Brosnahan's last Netflix appearance was as a call girl on House of Cards who becomes the obsession of powerful politico—leading to an end almost worse than the subway slaying of another female character—it's nice and notable that the matriarchal village behind Mrs. Maisel, which Brosnahan thanked in her acceptance speech, has given her a more positive and empowered role to portray.

The plot of the series plays into just what Glenn Close—who toked onscreen herself in The Big Chill—got a standing ovation for at the Globes, when she spoke of her mother sublimating her own needs to her family's. Mrs. Maisel, who wears a cocktail dress and pearls as did Tokin' Woman Joan Rivers, is also said to be based on housewives-turned-comics Phyllis Diller (whose hair has inspired a marijuana strain) and Totie Fields. But actually, show creator Amy Sherman-Palladino said at Paley Fest it was inspired by her father, a New York comic, who would sit around with his friends in the backyard smoking "odd-smelling cigarettes" and making each other laugh.

In the James Baldwin novel brought to the screen in If Beale Street Could Talk—which was honored with multiple Globe nominations—a young black man is falsely accused of rape by a series of events that spiraled from a marijuana charge. Regina King, who was so powerful in Ray, won the Globe for her performance in that film.

It's too bad Sandra Oh wasn't given a chance to be her sassy self as hostess sans the drab Andy Samberg. I thought her character was so cool when she passed a joint to Virginia Madsen in Sideways, hiding it from her kids. I haven't seen Killing Eve, for which she grabbed a Globe, but I hope it's not about actually killing a woman.

A Special Achievement award went to Carol Burnett, who played a medical marijuana smoker on Hawaii 5-0. The prestigious Cecil B. DeMille award, which Oprah won last year,  went to Jeff "The Dude" Bridges, who embraced his Duditude in what was the sweetest, stoniest speech since Whoopi Goldberg won her Oscar on weed.

For counterbalance, it all ended a bit creepily as Richard Gere groped the waist of co-presenter Julianne Moore (who smoked a vape pen with her ex-husband's new girlfriend in Gloria Bell), and Best Writing and Directing honors went to the gritty Mexican film Roma, also on Netflix, in which the men get away with leaving their wives and girlfriends to bring up their children and clean their dog's shit. 

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