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Mad About You - The Complete Third Season


TITLE: MAD ABOUT YOU - THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON


Info:

DVD Release Date: February 6, 2007 (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)
Color/1994-95
MSRP: $39.95
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 22
Running Time: Approx 548 minutes
Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround; Closed Captioned
Special Features: None


Introduction:

April 22, 2003. Does anyone reading this review know what they were doing that day? I don’t. I do know this. I was a junior in high school that day. I’m now in my third year of college. That is how long the period between release of season two and season three were. Four years, ladies and gentlemen. Four years ago, this site wasn’t even doing DVD reviews, and now we’re just wrapping up our third year of doing them ­-- nevermind that four years ago I was on hiatus *from* this site. After all this time, is Mad About You worth the wait? As you’ll see, that’s a mixed answer.

Mad About You was a sitcom here in the US from 1992 to 1999. Reruns still air a couple of days a week on Nick at Nite, as well as in local syndication. The show starred Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt as a newly married couple in New York City. Reiser played the character of Paul, a film maker (making documentaries). Hunt played Jamie, a PR (public relations) person. In many ways the show had similarities to another popular sitcom at the time, Seinfeld, in that both tended to find their comedy in observational humor, and was about 30-somethings in NYC. However, Mad About You tended to be more grounded in reality than Seinfeld.


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

I like this season. A lot of really good episodes this year. In the season premiere, "Escape from New York," NYC is undergoing a heat wave, and without a functional AC, they have no way to stay cool. They go outside and discover it’s even worse out there. In “Till Death Do Us Part,” Jamie’s dearest uncle dies. Paul gets convinced to make a speech at the funeral, but insults her family by making rather uncomfortable notices. Jamie winds up insisting that her uncle’s ashes be kept in the house until they find a better place for them. (Always leave specific directions on where your ashes are to be kept folks!) In “Pandora’s Box,” Jamie works around Paul opposing to having a TV in the bedroom, and wires an additional cable outlet, with the help of Fran. The result is a blackout for all of New York City! In “Giblets for Murray,” Jamie has what I would consider to be the perfect Thanksgiving feast…a buffet for ten, and five turkeys…thanks to Murray and the neighborhood grocer Kim. In “Fifteen Minutes,” Paul (and five other documentary makers) gets chosen by PBS to turn the camera on themselves for 15 minutes. In the episode “The Alan Brady Show,” Paul finds it very difficult to deal with the considerable ego of a certain legendary TV star. Three guesses who. In “Purseona,” Paul has some Canadian troubles, while Jamie and Lisa accidentally switch purses ­ this works to Lisa’s benefit ­ Jamie not so much. "Cake Fear" recounts Paul’s birthdays since meeting Jamie. In the two parter "Up in Smoke," Paul gives Jamie a slip of paper promising her a magical night. If you’ve seen any sitcom, ever, you know how badly this is going to go. Finally, in the season finale, Paul and Jamie finally have dibs on a parking space in a nearby garage. Except they still don’t have a car.

Guest stars: Lisa Kudrow, who at this point had just started on Friends, guests in her recurring Ursula character (Phoebe’s sister) in Escape From New York, Pandora’s Box, How to Fall in Love, and Up in Smoke. Ernie Sabella, who site users know from Perfect Strangers as Larry and Balki’s original boss, guests in Till Death Do Us Part. Of course, at the time, Ernie could be heard in millions of theaters as the voice of Pumbaa in The Lion King. Al Roker appears as himself in Pandora’s Box. NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani guests as himself in “The City”. Musician Lyle Lovett guests in the two-parter “Mad About You.” Jay Leno and Rachel Hunter both appear as themselves in the episode “Just My Dog,” which also features Brent Spiner -whom Star Trek fans best known as Data- as Bob. In the episode The Alan Brady Show, Carl Reiner reprises his legendary Alan Brady role. Patrick Ewing guests in the episode “Money Changes Everything.”


Packaging:

It has been four years, and no packaging changes. Outer box in a similar style as the first two releases, this time colored white and gold. Inside the outer box is a Digipak. Both are quite glossy. Front cover of the Digipak features Paul hugging Jamie. Back cover features the two plus Murray. Left panel of the unfolded Digipak features Murray in a Director/Star chair with his name on the back. Each of the three remaining panels shares its photo with the corresponding disc.

Disc 1/Panel 2: Paul. Episodes 1-8.
Disc 2/Panel 3: Jamie. Episodes 9-16.
Disc 3/Panel 4: Lisa/Ira. Episodes 17-24.


Menu Design and Navigation:

And for a 4 year span, the menus between seasons two and three aren’t that different either. Yet another set of plain Sony menus. The main menu photo is the same as the front cover’s, zoomed into Paul & Jamie’s heads. At the bottom is the Mad About You logo over a yellow bar at the bottom. The yellow bar features the New York sky line. Episode selection menus feature 4 stills from each episode, with the same yellow bar at the bottom. These menus have a very strong similarity to the King of Queens menus. On Disc 2, the color of the bottom bar changes from Blue to Yellow. On Disc 3? Red.


Video and Audio Quality:

The video quality’s not bad, thought it has just a couple of flaws. One is faded colors. This issue’s shown up on the Nick at Nite prints as well. Also, the picture looks overly sharpened. You can see sharpening artifacts around the edges of some things. The video’s not bad though, and certainly is watchable. Audio sounds nice ­ Dolby Surround 2.0 track, there’s no defects in the audio, everything is loud and clear...it’s nice, if a bit less than special. Chapter stops at the end of each act.

Runtimes/Disc Breakdown
Disc 1:
1) Escape From New York: 22:46
2) Home: 22:47
3) Till Death Do Us Part: 22:52
4) When I’m Sixty-Four: 22:39
5) Legacy: 22:47
6) Pandora’s Box: 22:51
7) The Ride Home: 23:20
8) Giblets for Murray: 22:42

Disc 2: 9) Once More With Feeling: 22:50
10) The City: 22:42
11) Our Fifteen Minutes: 22:48
12) How to Fall in Love: 22:45
13) Mad About You (Part 1): 22:49
14) Mad About You (Part II): 23:56
15) Just Our Dog: 22:46
16) The Alan Brady Show: 22:51

Disc 3:
17) Mad Without You: 22:54
18) Purseona: 22:34
19) Two Tickets to Paradise: 22:47
20) Money Changes Everything: 22:53
21) Cake Fear: 22:49
22) My Boyfriend’s Back: 22:37
23) Up in Smoke (1): 22:31
24) Up in Smoke (2): 22:53


Special Features:

There are no special features on this set. It is your basic Sony set that is not Seinfeld.


Final Comments:

So, was it worth it? Well, if you were expecting any sort of special features, any creativity with the menus, or even something as simple as the theme playing behind the main menu, you’re out of luck. Sony dropped the ball on the little things side of the fence, though with all due respect to the Sony Corporation, that’s not out of character for them. However, this set does deliver all 24 episodes, in good enough quality, at a good enough price. And on the big thing, where it counted, Sony finally comes through (For all I knock Sony in the little things department, in the big things department they’re much better).

If you’re a fan of the show ­ and if you’re not you should be ­ by all means, pick yourself up off the floor (where you rolled onto with glee when this set was announced) and pre-order the set if you haven’t already --­ this ensures the rest of the seasons are released. There’s even a handy link to pre-order the set at the end of this review. If you’re not a fan, you might only spring for a rental initially, but it’s at least worth that few bucks to see if you like it. Let’s just hope we don’t have to wait until 2011 for season 4. RECOMMENDED.


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)

Video Quality: 3.5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 3/5
Special Features: 0/5
Final Score: 4/5

-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher on 01/28/07

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000KX0IPO/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20

Questions or comments about this set? Post on our message board:

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=193010


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