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Arts and Entertainment Wednesday, May 15, 2019 3 years ago

Binge Blog: Ambitious amateurs

Two leading ladies show us what ambition can do, even in unexpected situations, in this week's picks.
by: Katie Johns Community Editor

Hello, dear friends,

I know last time I wrote one of these I said I would be switching off with Ryan, but I accidentally lied.

As it turns out, May 15 was my last day with the Observer. I accepted a new job back in Illinois where I’m from, so by the time you read this, I will be back in the Midwest preparing for the cold. (#WinterIsComing? #WinterAlwaysComesToIllinois?)

But, never fear, Ryan will still provide you with his glorious recommendations.

Anyway, should we get to it?

We made it through another week, and I think we deserve some quality time with our television, or more likely, computer screens.

This time, I’ve chosen a TV show and movie that feature ambitious women. One is newer, the other bit older, but both are fun, which is exactly what the doctor ordered this weekend.


The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (2017)

Amazon Prime, TV-MA, 57 mins

If you’re looking for a fun  and ~marvelous~ show, look no further.

Midge Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan), a housewife in 1950s New York City, has a seemingly picture-perfect life. She has a husband, two young kids and lives in a pretty nice apartment.


But, then things go south. So, like any self-respecting woman, she decides to turn passion into work and tries her hand at being a stand-up comic.

She’s actually good. Really good, but society, and her family, are not quite ready for a woman, especially her, to take on this role. Boooooooo.

But, thankfully, she doesn't care about their opinion at all and continues writing jokes. There are certainly a few hilarious bumps along the way, like Midge getting arrested for flashing the crowd, but she usually finds her footing with some help.

She finds an unlikely friend and agent in Susie (Alex Borstein) and their back- and-forth dialogue is witty and lightning fast and exactly what you’d expect from former “Gilmore Girls” creator Amy Sherman-Palladino.

The show is fun, the soundtrack is great and the characters are lovable — even the ones who try to keep Midge in her housewife box.

Midge Maisel is relatable and honestly, I’d like to be her when I grow up. She’s ambitious, kind, funny, strong and refuses to take "no" for an answer.

I can probably make just as good of jokes as her too, but maybe Amy Sherman-Palladino can help me there.

Season 3 is set to come out at some point in 2019, and I have no doubt it will be as vibrant as the past two seasons.


The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO, PG-13, 109 minutes

Maybe it’s because I always knew I wanted to be a writer, but this movie, based off the book of the same name, has been at the top of my favorite movies list since I first saw it.


If Midge Maisel is relatable, then Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway) is even more relatable.

She knows what she wants out of life, but like most people, is stumbling on the path toward that goal. She lands a job at Runway magazine, a fashion magazine, but quickly learns her position isn’t what she thought.

Her formidable editor is none other than Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly. The other office assistant is Emily Blunt as the grumpy and miserable Emily, and neither are too keen on helping Andy figure this gig out.

Thankfully, Nigel (Stanley Tucci), the magazine’s art director, is there for Andy through every fashion emergency.

As Andy begins her journey at Runway, she learns her role is less of an assistant editor and more of a babysitter, coffee fetcher and “Harry Potter” seeker. (Not the quidditch kind. The kind who has to find two copies of the yet-to-be printed book for Miranda’s daughters).

Andy answers at every beck and call of Miranda’s to the point where her friends and boyfriend, Nate (Adrian Grenier) get mad at her. We won’t dive into that because that’s problematic, and we’re keeping things light hearted here.

The fashion world is an intimidating one, and Andy, a fresh-out-of-college grad, has a rough time navigating it, but who wouldn’t?

She had the same dream a lot of journalism majors did — get a byline on the glossy pages of a national or international magazine — and she was ready to get that byline no matter what it took.

Until (this isn’t really a spoiler, but also the movie is almost 13 years old, so there’s that) she realizes she doesn’t have to change who she is.


Granted, it takes a glamorous trip to Paris for her to realize this, but eventually our girl comes back down to Earth.

The movie is fun and flirty, and if you’re a writer, at times infuriating.

But movies can’t be all rainbows or butterflies. Not even Disney does that.

Give this one a watch if you haven’t or watch it for the 1,404,00 time like I will this weekend.

That’s all folks! It’s been fun!


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I’m Katie. I’m the Longboat Observer community editor, which means I cover all people, places and things pertaining to Longboat Key. I graduated from the University of Missouri in 2016 with degrees in journalism and Spanish. Reach me at 941-366-3468 ext. 364.

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