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In September of 1992, NBC premiered a new sitcom called Mad About You, which starred Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt as newlyweds Paul and Jamie Buchman. The series ran for 7 seasons, following the ups and downs in the couple’s relationship, including the arrival of their daughter Mabel. In the series finale, the show jumped ahead 22 years into the future (2021). However, as no show ever truly ends these days, Spectrum Originals has revived the series for a limited 12-episode 8th season, which ignores those flash-forwards (or maybe those events just haven’t happened yet).
As the new series opens, Paul and Jamie are saying goodbye to their daughter Mabel (Abby Quinn, Black Mirror), who is heading off to college. But Mabel is attending NYU, which is just 5 blocks away. Jamie has a particularly difficult time letting go, and due to the close proximity of Mabel’s dorm, she is constantly showing up announced. Meanwhile, Paul is ready to start enjoying the couple’s empty nest and take the trip to Tahiti they always talked about. However, Jamie doesn’t seem to have any recollection of these plans.
Watching this revival series brought back a wave of nostalgia of the original series. It is shot in the same multi-camera format with limited sets and a laugh track. Over the first few episodes, the series pretty much takes place either at the Buchman’s apartment, Mabel’s dorm room, or Paul’s office. The show is very dialogue-driven, primarily consisting of a series of long conversations between characters. But this time around Paul and Jamie aren’t dealing with newlywed or newborn issues, but rather how they are going to spend the next phase of their life now that Mabel is out of the house, and Paul and Jamie have differing opinions on this topic. Instead working on films, Paul is now producing TV commercials, while Jamie is trying to figure out how to occupy her time now that Mabel is out of the house.
Also back for this revival are Jamie’s sister Linda (Anne Ramsay) and Paul’s brother Ira (John Pankow). Ira now owns a restaurant, which he runs with his Italian girlfriend/head chef Lucia (Antoinette LaVecchia). Paul’s friend Mark (Richard Kind) has also made some life changes – he’s divorced from Fran and is now re-married to psychiatrist Tanya (Kecia Lewis, The Passage).
The first 6 episodes of the revival are available today on Spectrum Originals, while the second half of the season will be released on December 18. You may be asking, “What is Spectrum Originals?!” Well, unfortunately, much like DirecTV/AT&T with its Audience Network exclusive original programming, Spectrum Originals is another provider-specific source of programming only available to Spectrum TV subscribers. While I don’t see anyone changing their cable provider to watch this series, fans of the original Mad About You who do already subscribe should enjoy this nostalgia trip.
I’ll also be watching/recording The Goldbergs, Schooled, Modern Family, Single Parents, Stumptown, Survivor, The Masked Singer, Almost Family, and Riverdale.
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