At the end of season two, Mrs. Maisel got her big break, what every star dreams of. Even after she’s given the final slot in a telethon after everyone has tuned out, famous singer Shy Baldwin admires her act and wants her to open for him on his six-month tour. Now, Shy Bladwin is big time (he’s also fictional, unlike Lenny Bruce). He often performs with Moms Mabley, a real comedian known for her forthright, boundary-pushing act. Midge also reveals that her mother is a huge fan, and when Shy sings “Younger than Springtime,” the audience is enthralled. One potential analogue is Harry Belafonte, the popular entertainer who gave Moms her first television appearance. Shy and Midge travel together and get to trusting each other quite a lot. Meanwhile, Shy’s agent notes that Susie’s faith in Midge could be a problem. “Smells like trouble…Just means you can't be objective,” he notes. This, of course, is foreshadowing.
His Dark Materials is ramping up: episode four introduced a flurry of new characters with strange names like Yorik, Serafina, and Lee Scoresby. All willingly join Lyra’s team, emphasizing her centrality. Episode five has Lyra choosing to trust the golden compass and heroically riding off to investigate a “ghost” and discovering Billy, horrifically severed from his daemon and dying. This reveals what she and her friends are fighting for. It also, intriguingly, brings in Will, the human boy from earth who will star in the second season. He, it seems, is as lost as Billy. Of course, the episode ends with Lyra’s being captured by the Gobblers, condemned to the same fate.
Mrs. Maisel season three is breezing along. All the family are up to their usual hijinks. The ex is having problems with his new club but is proceeding well with the new girlfriend. The parents and the in-laws are having a terrible time together. Susie’s pretentious actress client Sophie is struggling with her own arrogance, or rather making others struggle. But all that’s not central here.