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Mad About You Information
"Mad About You" Show Description
Renowned for capturing the essence of a
loving marriage maintained despite the
pressures of modern-day problems and
anxiety-provoking relatives, "Mad About You"
returns for its sixth season. Having earned a
reputation as one of television's most
well-written, funny and thoughtful sitcoms,
"Mad About You" continues the tales of Paul
and Jamie Buchman (Paul Reiser, Helen
Hunt), trying their best in a very complicated
world to be in love, to be married...and now to
have a family. While the series still focuses on
the Buchman couple, the birth of a baby
daughter last May in a highly-rated,
much-acclaimed episode will cause Paul and
Jamie to learn new things about themselves.
"Mad About You" has long succeeded in
relating the pinnacles, plateaus and pitfalls of
marriage, effectively portraying a couple
madly in love, while they experience the
urbane, the inane, the mundane, and the
profound. Their foibles delight viewers as
they watch -- and relate to -- the couple
buying a sofa, celebrating an unwanted
birthday, discovering an aphrodisiac, finding
a lost wedding ring, arbitrating meddling
parents, falling apart and staying together.
The series also has seen Paul and Jamie
reflecting back and looking forward to the
very real events of meeting for the first time,
getting engaged, preparing for a wedding,
experiencing the threat of separation, making
up, being pregnant...and now having a baby.
With a new Buchman baby and the hit
beginning its sixth season, Reiser says,
"We're committed to keeping the show fresh.
In a selfish way, we want to entertain
ourselves, so we always think, 'What stone
can we turn over?' Like our viewers, we don't
want to do what we've seen before on other
shows or on our own show. Our challenge is
to take the best of what we do, and nurture it
to create something new or better. In this
vein, the baby only accelerates the depth of
the characters and the comedy."
Still, the core of the show is Paul and Jamie:
a love that audiences believe in while they
revel watching the couple's dance through
The tenor of "Mad About You's" plots in the
upcoming year also will be consistent with the
kind of stories audiences expect from the
show. "Real life" and real time will prevail,
which have always been traits distinguishing
the series from others. The show, Reiser
proudly points out, continues to get "better,
deeper, richer and funnier year after year."
As exemplified by last year's stories, "real
time" gives "Mad About You" plenty of
opportunity to mine comedy from life's
experiences -- petty and milestone. Last
year's pregnancy arc found Paul and Jamie
selecting the right doctor or hoping a "Dr.
Wonderful" would take them on, helplessly
watching plans to announce their pregnancy
spiral out of control as an ill-kept secret,
miserably attempting to pass a "birthing"
class, mediating mothers-in-law over
catastrophic crib purchases, and hopelessly
realizing that none of their friends or family
wanted to be guardians for their unborn child.
Other plots from season five found Paul and
Jamie visiting a therapist; learning that, after
visiting an astrologer, Jamie has been
celebrating the wrong birth date all these
years; arguing over Paul's "mystery man"
persona at his gym; and his filming the
documentary "Buchman," despite his Uncle
Marty's on-camera heart attack and the
subsequent family secrets that unraveled
because of dying words.
Reiser realizes that television's legacy has
dictated that often, a series veers into adding
babies and children to a series' cast when a
program has run out of ideas. But for "Mad
About You," this theory hardly applies.
He says, "We resisted the idea of introducing
a baby over and over again, but then saw
what these characters were telling us: this is
where they wanted to go. Paul and Jamie had
talked about it and thought about it. So we
decided we had to let their lives move
forward with it."
Fellow Executive Producer Victor Levin
adds, "Having a baby became a natural
extension of this couple's life. And the show
will be even better because of this baby.
Audiences don't need to worry that we will
change the context of the show or lose the
intimacy viewers have come to experience.
They'll have everything they loved
before...plus, something else they will love
Loyal to the fans which have made the series
a hit, Reiser makes clear that "We're not
taking the audience's investment lightly. The
baby just gives you another avenue into
these people's lives and gives you
somebody else to care about. How funny and
how real we can make it is what we are
always striving for. Plus, we like hearing
people say, 'Boy, is that my husband,' or
'Boy, is that my wife,' and we expect that
people will be saying that more and more."
As the series probes Paul and Jamie's
outlooks, views, assessments and schedules
with their baby's newfound influence, other
characters will also be similarly examined.
The way the baby girl will show two sides to
Paul and Jamie, she will also draw out facets
of other characters, and how all their lives are
affected, including Cousin Ira (John Pankow);
Fran (Leila Kenzle); Lisa (Anne Ramsay);
Paul's parents, Burt and Sylvia (Louis Zorich,
Cynthia Harris); as well as Jamie's, Gus and
Theresa (Carroll O'Connor, Carol Burnett);
Paul's sister Debbie (Robin Bartlett); and her
companion and Jamie's obstetrician, Dr.
Joan (Suzie Plakson).
Last season found Cousin Ira often pursuing
his own get-rich-quicker schemes while
playing a role in Paul's less-successful
exploits; an excitedly engaged Lisa falling in
love with a handyman and subsequently
losing her Klarik's department store
heir/fiancÚ Sanford; Fran continuing her
revived relationship with ex-husband Mark;
and both sets of parents exhibiting the loony,
but lovable, aspects of being in-laws and
A string of relatives alternately enhanced,
exacerbated, enlightened and exasperated
the couple's lives: Uncle Phil (Mel Brooks)
inadvertently helped Paul start to film the
documentary "Buchman;" Uncle Harold (Sid
Caesar), Aunt Ida (Estelle Getty) and the
now-deceased Uncle Marty (Shecky Greene)
played roles in unintentionally uncovering
family secrets; and Carol Burnett and Carroll
O'Connor joined the guest cast as Jamie's
parents, Gus and Theresa.
"Writing for this extended family keeps the
show growing. As Paul and Jamie's world
gets bigger, colorful people keep entering it,
and we're so lucky to find people to play
these roles so beautifully," says Reiser.
The guest stars that have come to "Mad
About You" have lent a prodigious presence
to several episodes during the past five
seasons. The casting has included comedy
greats Carl Reiner, Jerry Lewis, Brooks,
Caesar, Burnett and O'Connor, other
celebrities such as Yoko Ono, Cyndi Lauper,
Eric Stoltz, Bruce Willis, and Lyle Lovett, as
well as contemporary comedians like Mo
Gaffney, who currently portrays the
Buchmans' therapist Sheila Kleinman.
"These stars have always been so willing to
come do the show because they've all been
fans," says Reiser. "We've been so honored
that those we have invited have said 'Yes.'"
Stories for the new season will include
Jamie's vacillating over a return to work,
highlights of the baby's first year of life, and
relatives' interminable involvement with
bringing her up. And Paul's documentary film
"Buchman" will also continue, having
successfully served as a window into Paul's
work and family.
Reiser still culls from his own life for some
plots and ideas often pop out of life's
unpredictable mishaps. Inspiration for an
element of the highly-rated fifth season finale
occurred when Reiser and then-executive
producer Larry Charles were marveling over
the mayhem outside a Beverly Hills hospital
when Michael Jackson's first child was born.
Watching that event translated into the
premise for Bruce Willis' guest appearance.
Collaboration is also key to the "Mad About
You" writing staff, which balances show
veterans with up-and-coming writers. Levin,
who has been with the series for the past four
years, is the new executive producer, after
serving last season as co-executive
producer. According to Reiser, "We're
excited to have Victor in charge because he
knows the voices so well, and has written
some of our best episodes."
"Mad About You" has been honored with one
Golden Globe Award, a Peabody Award, a
Genesis Award, five Emmy Award
nominations for Outstanding Comedy Series,
and was chosen Best Quality Comedy by the
Viewers for Quality Television.
Paul Reiser and Danny Jacobson are the
creators of "Mad About You". Reiser,
Jacobson and Victor Levin are executive
producers with Helen Hunt serving as
co-executive producer. "Mad About You" is
produced by Infront Productions and Nuance
Productions in association with TriStar
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