Mrs. Maisel and other TV notes
The entire first season of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” has been available for streaming as of Nov. 29 on Amazon Video. Created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, 51 (“Gilmore Girls”), the series is self-described like this: “It’s 1958 Manhattan and Miriam ‘Midge’ Maisel has everything she’s ever wanted — the perfect husband, two kids, and an elegant New York apartment perfect for hosting Yom Kippur dinner. But her perfect life takes an unexpected turn” when Midge (Rachel Brosnahan) discovers her talent for stand-up comedy. The Wall Street Journal, by the way, says “its Jewish milieu makes no sense” (Yom Kippur dinners?). Michael Zegen, 38, plays Midge’s husband and Alex Borstein, 46, plays a comedy club employee who becomes a pal of Midge’s. The pilot episode last year got rave reviews.
The “Carol Burnett 50th Anniversary Special” will air on CBS at 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3. No doubt many of the clips will feature the late Harvey Korman, a series co-star. Celebrity guests on the special include Maya Rudolph, 45.
On Friday, Dec. 1, Netflix will offer up its second season of “Easy,” an anthology series set in Chicago. San Francisco native Aya Cash, 35, who co-starred in two episodes in season 1, will return as Sherri, very pregnant with her first child. Her husband is involved in a home beer brewing business with his best friend, played by Dave Franco, 32, who grew up in Palo Alto and is the brother of actor James Franco, 39, and the husband (since March) of actress Alison Brie, 34. Marc Maron, 54, also will return this season; the WTF podcaster starred as a graphic artist in one episode last season.
David Cassidy’s Jewish son
David Cassidy, who died Nov. 21 at 67, told People magazine earlier this year that he was not in contact with his daughter, actress Katie Cassidy. However, he was close to his son, Beau Cassidy, 26 (Katie’s half-brother). A singer like his father, Beau was born to Cassidy and his third wife, songwriter Sue Shifrin Cassidy, 67. In 2001, a Las Vegas synagogue newsletter noted that David and Sue had joined the congregation. However, they moved to Florida the next year and I don’t know if they joined a Florida temple, but I do know they split in 2014.
On the big screen … the Flash is a Jew!
“Justice League” opened Nov. 16 to mixed reviews, but it did offer tribe members an early Hanukkah present. There’s a scene in which the Flash’s alter-ego, Barry Allen, describes himself as a “hippie, long hair, very attractive Jewish boy.” So the Flash, who wasn’t identified as Jewish in the comics, is now the first clearly Jewish superhero on the big screen. The website Geeknation says that Ezra Miller, 25, who plays Flash, ad-libbed the Jewish part of Allen’s description of himself and the director opted to leave it in.
“Coco,” a Disney/Pixar animated film, opened Nov. 22 and the reviews ranged from good to glowing. Capsule plot: 12-year-old Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, dead (fictional) musician Ernesto de la Cruz. However, his family has a generations-old ban on music. He ignores this and journeys to the Land of the Dead where, with help, he unlocks the real story behind his family history. Bay Area resident Lee Unkrich, 50, co-directed and co-wrote the story that is the basis for the screenplay. Unkrich won an Academy Award in 2011 for best animated film (“Toy Story 3,” which he produced and directed on his own). He also has co-directed many other Pixar hits. Lee and his wife, Laura, are members of a Marin synagogue.
Variety reported that Asher Angel, 15, has been cast as Batson in “Shazam!,” another blockbuster comic-based movie set to open in 2019. Basic plot: Young Billy Batson is transformed into superhero Shazam when he says “Shazam!” You might know Angel as the character Jonah Beck on “Andi Mack,” a hit Disney Channel series that also stars Joshua Rosh, 15, playing Cyrus Goodman. Earlier this year, Arizona Jewish Life profiled Angel, noting that in 2015 he “became a bar mitzvah at his home in Paradise Valley, Arizona. He didn’t have time to attend Hebrew school, so his vocal coach, Michele Kahn, helped him prepare.” The piece said Asher was “glad he followed through” and that he added, “What Judaism means to me is being born to this family and it pulls them together and keeps them close.”