Tuesday, March 15, 2022

TV Tap Out: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel


Years ago I came up with the term "TV Tap Out."  This referred to when a TV series did something that bothered me so much that I had to "tap out" and quit.  

And I believe I have reached this point with The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

The show takes place in the late '50's/ early '60s.  Miriam Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan) is an upper-middle class Jewish New York married mother whose husband leaves her.  After this, she decides to pursue a career in stand-up comedy.

I was turned off by the show in the pilot when the main character tricked members of her Jewish family into eating shellfish at her wedding.  I thought this was an unnecessarily antagonistic move towards people of faith.

However, I gave the show another chance.  I found that while it was often vulgar, it had some incredibly funny writing, fantastic production design, and some great performances.  I soon found myself getting caught up in the main character's professional and family drama.

The fourth season is airing on now, with new episodes dropping every Friday.


This past week, Miriam's father (Tony Shalhoub) was trying to hide out from people threatening him.  So he decides to take refuge in a Catholic Church just as the communion line was forming.  He did not know what was happening, until he was at the communion rail.  He then received the Body of Christ.  As he relates this story to his wife (Marin Hinkle), he pulls out the Host from his pocket.  The two then proceed to discuss how to dispose of the Blessed Sacrament.

I can be charitable and imagine that there was no ill intent involved.  Perhaps there was only a significant display of ignorance about what Catholics believe about the Host.  And to be fair, Miriam's father was very disturbed that he was sacrileging something holy to Catholics. I'm not sure I can continue watching the show.

After watching that scene, I felt all the enjoyment drain from what I was watching.  I had to stop and attempted to look up how this situation got resolved (I could not find anything conclusive).

As a Catholic, I believe that the Eucharist is Christ Himself.  To see a depiction (though fictional) of our Lord treated so horribly is something I find very disturbing.  I have witnessed scenes of the Blessed Sacrament being abused, as in the movie Romero.  But in those circumstances, you are meant to be filled with horror at the act and moved by the bravery of the hero to save the Eucharist from further desecration.  

In The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, this desecration is played for laughs.  It felt to me that our Lord was mocked as He was when crowned with thorns.

Again, I wish to be charitable to the producers and believe that this degradation of the Blessed Sacrament was only meant as a gentle tease instead of a blasphemy.  But I do not know that I can continue on with this series now.

I would like to close with the Angel's prayer from Fatima:

O Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore Thee profoundly. I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifference by which He is offended. By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg the conversion of poor sinners.

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