Five Seconds of Squirrel

Amy Sherman-Palladino’s work on “Gilmore Girls” has snuck into her new show, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

Sophia Wagner, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Five seconds. An entire new season of one of my favorite shows, and all that I can remember are these five seconds — a video of a squirrel.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel surrounds the exploits of one Midge Maisel (played by Rachel Brosnahan), a woman who turns to stand-up comedy after her ex-husband confesses an affair and leaves the family. Set in the late 1950s to early 1960s, the show follows Maisel’s career as she explores her exposed talent for comedy.
After being delayed due to COVID-19, the show released its fourth season on February 18, 2022. And gosh, was I excited. I had discovered the show due to the writer and creator, Amy Sherman-Palladino, who is known for a previous creation, Gilmore Girls. Sherman-Palladino’s talent is a rarity in TV production today. Her scripts are known to be chaotically long, resulting in quick and witty conversations between beloved characters. Intricate side plots contribute to Midge Maisel’s main goal of becoming successful within her field, but no characters are left behind without a turn in the spotlight.
But back to those five seconds. To break it down further, we must go back further, back to the days of Gilmore Girls. Gilmore Girls is known for many things — anxiety inducing family tension, pop culture references neatly tucked into the most intricate of jokes, but most importantly a sense of comfort brought by a quaint little town where problems never really seem to be that bad. To add to this comfort, Sherman-Palladino uses camera work which nestles series of B-roll of the town, highlighting just how charming it really is. Whether it’s a rolling view of the town’s center square, or a quick shot of classic New England architecture faded by the slight grain of early 2000s filming, she’s able to construct a world straight out of a picture book. But when The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel was released, there was a switch.
We were no longer in small-town Stars Hollow, Connecticut. No, we were in New York City. For three seasons, Sherman-Palladino has been giving us fast-paced filming to match the fast-paced world of Midge Maisel — shots of busy streets and crowded department stores. Raging crowds and smoky comedy clubs.
Until it switched to the squirrel. I am not kidding when I say that when I watched this scene, I had to take a moment. Let me make this perfectly clear: this is not an important scene. It is merely B-roll, filler footage. But for some reason, it seemed so unequivocally out of place that I paused my favorite show and had to sit and do nothing for five minutes. Because among this crazy, never-slowing, dialogue-sharper-than-a-butcher-knife show, there is a five second grainy shot of a little squirrel hopping around that looks straight out of Gilmore Girls. If anyone can confirm that someone in editing just put this in as a funny little reference, please let me know. Because after watching the 457 minutes that make up what I consider one of the most well-done shows of this year, all I can think about is that squirrel.