One holiday present requires no unwrapping, just an Amazon Prime account, but it’s well worth it. The much-anticipated second season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, premiering December 5, more than lives up to its stellar first year. The comedy about a 1950s Jewish housewife who becomes a standup comedian won eight Emmy Awards for good reason, and it’s just as charming, hilarious and visually gorgeous as ever, with musical numbers and Paris and Catskill Mountains locations as backdrops for the fun. Most of the credit goes to writer-director Amy Sherman-Palladino and her producing partner and husband Dan Palladino, whose partnership works on and off screen.
“While we break the stories together, we write separately and there’s long chunks of time during the day when we don’t see each other, because we’re doing different things. We can come together for our 10:30 dinners at night and ‘what was your day like?’” says Sherman-Palladino. Her mother was Southern Baptist and father was a Jewish standup comic, and her knowledge of the comedy world makes Mrs. Maisel genuine and funny. There’s a new romantic angle this season too: Zachary Levi is introduced in the fourth episode as Ben, a surgeon and new love interest for Midge (Rachel Brosnahan).
After meeting on Instagram and dating for three years, This is Us star Mandy Moore married rock musician Taylor Goldsmith, who is Jewish, on November 18 at their home in Pasadena, CA. Moore was raised Catholic but has some Jewish roots as well: Her maternal grandfather was Jewish. “I feel incredibly loved and supported by Taylor,” she told People. “I found the right person, and I feel like we can handle anything together.”
Among the 50 guests at Moore’s wedding was her This is Us co-star Chrissy Metz, who is dating Hal Rosenfeld, also a Jewish musician, orchestrator and composer. Castmates Chris Sullivan and Susan Kelechi Watson also attended the sunset ceremony.
The latest movie in the Transformers franchise, Bumblebee, out December 21, stars Hailee Steinfeld as a teenage mechanic who finds and befriends the Autobot of the title, a battered Volkswagen Beetle hiding out from villains who want to junk him for good. Steinfeld, whose single “Back to Life” is on the soundtrack, is the daughter of a Jewish father and a mother of part Filipino and African-American descent. She’ll next play poet Emily Dickinson in an HBO bio.
Better Things star Pamela Adlon, who plays Steinfeld’s mother in Bumblebee, also has a Jewish father. Her mother, who was raised Episcopalian, converted to Judaism. Adlon is the mother of three daughters who have followed her into acting. Odessa was in Nashville and stars in the new CBS comedy Fam, premiering January 10. Gideon (Blockers) is in The Mustang due for release in March.
Amid the marathon of Christmas movies playing 24/7 on Hallmark Channel, a lone interfaith rom-com incorporates Hanukkah. Hitched For the Holidays is a 2012 made-for-TV film starring Joey Lawrence and Emily Hampshire about a Catholic guy and a Jewish girl who pretend to be a couple to appease their nagging families, only to fall in love for real. Set your DVR: It airs December 18 at 4 am. Hallmark has also announced there will be two new Hanukkah themed movies next December, when the Festival of Lights coincides with Christmas.