10/25/2013

Mad about Mad About You

Mad About You"Light television comedy featuring Paul and Jaime Buchman as a recently married couple in New York City. They point out the gentle humor of domesticity and in the everyday situations of life. [IMDB]

In my opinion, this was one of the best  tv shows out there. Paul and Jaime both have well established careers, Paul as a filmmaker, and Jaime as a Public Relations specialist. In the later seasons, the couple have a baby, Mabel. The problems they portray on screen range from not knowing what gift to get one another, to deciding how to procede on the professional front after having a child.

Also, by the last seasons, the two leads were being paid equally - :D



Why it stuck with me:

  • This show does not depend on gender exclusive stereotypes for comedic purposes, all their characters are strong in their own right, regardless of sex.
  • There is a  homosexual relationship - Paul's sister Debbie and her partner Suzie. This couple is not exploited for it's novelty value, it is presented as genuine.
  • The dialogue is clever, and the fast pace and wit of it is what keeps the show fresh despite it revolving mostly around relatively "common" scenes.
  • The fact that there is much more dialogue than actions is what makes the relationship so believable - relationships are about a dialogue, and compromise, and learning that silly dance as a couple, and falling asleep infront of the television together. The show deserves major brownie points for being able to make all of these entertaining.
  • The characters are not sexualized. The wardrobe choices are not chosen to be focused on. On the women's side, they aren't clothes you would traditionally associate to the word feminine, but this choice does not take away from the characters themselves. It's a world where clothes matter (obviously, since we wear them everyday), but they don't define the people wearing them.



Show's Faults:

  • There are no significant or recurring BME characters, or characters with disabilities. This is New York in the 90s over a span of 7 years, they could have done a better job I think.
  • The female characters are all thin and conventionally attractive.
Those aside, it really is good television, whether you look at it from a feminist perspective or not. Though not world famous as Friends or other hit tv series, Mad About You did run for 7 seasons (1992-1999). Seeing as nostalgia and the 90s seem like a recurring trend these days, I'm just throwing this in there with everything else. Of course, I didn't watch it back then, as I was a baby and toddler for the most part^^

In this scene, Jamie and Paul are attempting to film 15 minutes of their daily life unedited, when Jaime's sister Lisa shows up unanounced.

Other 90s TV shows I am a big fan of (that are also sexism free!):

My So Called Life (1994-1995)

3rd Rock from the Sun (1996-2001)

The Secret World of Alex Mack (1994-1998)

Freaks and Geeks (1999-2000)

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