Amazon Prime Original series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel took home the Emmy for Outstanding Music Supervision this past week – the third year in a row for the hit show. The award recognizes the work of Music Supervisor Robin Urdang and Executive Producers and show creators Amy Sherman-Palladino and Dan Palladino in using music to elevate storytelling.
Robin Urdang was presented last week during the Creative Arts Emmys, a four-night virtual awards ceremony recognizing the creative and technical professionals in television. This marks just the 4th year that Music Supervision has been recognized by the Television Academy.
“At first I felt guilty and uncomfortable over the Emmy nomination, thinking ‘How could I possibly be happy when the world is falling apart around us?’” Urdang shared with Tunefind. “But through the weeks, I realized that this is the world we live in right now, and we can only hope and do what we can to change it. I needed to find my happy place because the nomination – and win – was one thing that actually felt good.”
In another sign of these strange times, the virtual Emmys meant no red carpet and gala awards ceremony. Instead, Urdang was on Zoom with some of her Maisel colleagues, including producer Matt Shapiro and songwriters Tom Mizer and Curtis Moore (also nominated, for the song ‘One Less Angel’). Urdang’s boyfriend, Ian Schiff, and the spouses of the others provided patient moral support during the ceremony.
“My feed was slower than theirs, so when the award for Music Supervisor was being announced, they muted their sound so I didn’t hear the winner ahead of time,” recalls Urdang. “But for some reason I turned and looked at the Zoom and saw their hands all up in the air and huge smiles on their faces and I screamed out ‘No! Really? Really? We won?’ And then I finally heard it with my own ears.”
Urdang was shocked, but also grateful and honored to have won again.
“My reaction was one of utter surprise, because I never expected to win with so many great music supervisors and shows nominated,” said Urdang. “I thought the voters would be sick of voting for us by now. I’m so thrilled they were not.”
With a third Emmy to show for their efforts, it’s no surprise that The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel has been raising the bar each year in how the show incorporates music. After taking a musical romp through the Catskills in season 2, this time Midge is on tour with fictional crooner Shy Baldwin.
Season 3 of The Marvelous Mrs Maisel has a massive number of on camera musical numbers with singing and dancing, original songs by Tom Mizer and Curtis Moore and produced by Stewart Lerman, new recordings of existing copyrights, as well as licensed tracks.
“We make sure, though, that we keep true to the original soundscape of the show that Amy [Sherman-Palladino] and Dan [Palladino] created in Season 1,” said Urdang. “It’s intense, but our music team is so tightly woven that we get done in a week what we would normally have months to do on a film.”
It was difficult for Urdang to select which episode to put up for the Emmy Award. Each had something unique highlighting the skills of a music supervisor. Episode 301 started with a huge tap dance choreographed by Marguerite Derrick, then original songs, with singing, dancing, bands, live recordings, and more. Episode 306 opens with a water dance to the song ‘Good Morning,’ a tipsy Rose singing ‘One Less Angel’ by Mizer and Moore, plus a ton of music used as score.
But Urdang landed on episode 305, ‘It’s Comedy Or Cabbage.’ Bobby Darin’s ‘Beyond The Sea’ opens the episode as Midge and Susie arrive at the Miami hotel. And though we don’t hear a lot of music featured again until about 15 minutes into the episode, after that it is non-stop.
“The music defines this episode,” says Urdang. “No other music would have worked in the same way. It transports us to Miami and into their world.”
One of Urdang’s favorite scenes in the episode is the flirtatious repartee between Lenny and Midge at the Cuban Club.
“Pedrito Martinez performs ‘Loco Amor’ around the club – he also recorded it for us – and when Lenny and Midge get up to dance, the song transitions to Peggy Lee’s ‘Til There Was You,’” says Urdang. “I get chills every time I watch the two of them dancing together – it’s so romantic.”
Fans will have to wait until next season to see how all that flirtation plays out, though. And while season 4 is in the works, production is waiting on the Covid delays affecting so much of the entertainment industry.
“Season 3 had me travel to the sets and studios to Long Island, New York and Miami. This year, it may be just virtual for me,” shared Urdang. “I hope not, as I already miss the Marvelous crew and cast, the Marvelous family that I adore working with.”
Fan Favorite Songs from The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 3
At Tunefind we track all the songs featured in the series. Here are some of the most popular songs, according to viewers of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
While you wait for new episodes of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, you can check out other shows and movies music supervised by Robin Urdang. Her projects include television shows like We Are Who We Are and Younger, as well as the films Call Me By Your Name, The After Party, and Suspiria.
The other 2020 Emmy nominees for Outstanding Music Supervision are Better Call Saul (Thomas Golubić), Euphoria (Jen Malone, Adam Leber), Insecure (Kier Lehman), Killing Eve (Catherine Grieves, David Holmes), Stranger Things (Nora Felder), and Watchmen (Liza Richardson).
〉Songs from the 2020 Emmy-winning episode of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel