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Quite simply, a Dom Com airing on NBC from 1992-99, about a married couple with a Seinfeld-esque interest in meaningless conversations and minor fiddling events over big important ones. Rather unusual in that the couple is composed of two intelligent, attractive, well-adjusted and financially well-off people who are deeply in love and rarely argue. Except over whether the floor is slanted.The well of inspiration ran dry in the final season (Viagra overdoses and breast implant jokes abound), but the series managed to wrap up with a truly heart-rending finale.Their dog, Murray, became an Ensemble Dark Horse due to his phenomenal acting talent.
This show provides examples of:
Art Shift: The whole comic book portion during "My Boyfriend's Back". Jamie's ex-boyfriend Alan draws her as the evil Queen Talon in a comic book, causing her a world of trouble as everyone now recognizes her as such. The episode ends with a full comic version of everyone.
Paul: Ouch. Jamie: What happened? Paul: No, no, no, I'm just practicing. Jamie: Fine. You're gonna fall in a well. Are you happy now? Paul: You know, I fell in a well. Jamie: You did not. Paul: Birthday, 15. Amish country. Jamie: You fell in a well? Paul: While making a wish. Jamie: Okay? My God. Paul: No, no, no, this is the beauty—this is the beauty of the thing. See, I know it's gonna suck. I know there's some disaster coming and still I continue to have birthdays. Jamie: Maybe this one will be better. Paul: Oh, no, no, it will suck. It's just that I just don't know what form the disaster will take and therein lies the fascination.
Bottle Episode: Plenty of episodes never left Paul and Jaime's apartment, and since most of the series was about everyday married life it was wholly appropriate. One episode however ("The Conversation") never left a single camera angle.
With Friends, sort of. Early on, Lisa Kudrow played Ursula, a scatterbrained waitress at Riff's. After Kudrow landed the role of Phoebe on Friends, Ursula was revealed to be Phoebe's twin sister. Jamie and Fran have a cameo in one episode of the latter show, where they go to the coffee shop where they see Phoebe and mistake her for Ursula. The fact that Phoebe, being a customer and not a waitress, doesn't take their order only further convinces them that she's Ursula.
It also turns out that Paul used to live in the apartment now inhabited by Seinfeld's Cosmo Kramer, which creates a weird Celebrity Paradox when a later season finds that program's George and Susan in bed watching a Mad About You episode!
Likewise, in one episode, Paul runs into real-life Jerry Seinfeld, and tells him that Jaime "loves your show."
NBC also liked to do cross over stunt nights when all the sitcoms in that night's line up would be self contained stories related to a larger arc (Generally to boost ratings during sweep periods). In one such instance Mad About You's Jamie tries to steal cable TV reception and manages to black out New York City. The characters of Friends and Madman Of The People then dealt with the blackout in their own shows. Somewhat typically, Seinfeld didn't participate in the gimmick, and just ran a regular episode.
Also with the classic Dick Van Dyke Show, when Carl Reiner guest stars as his DVDS character Alan Brady.
Ditzy Genius: Murray is indeed a little weird and appears to be a bit thick sometimes, but it's also suggested several times that he is far more intelligent than anyone gives him credit for, sometimes even outsmarting his owners.
Doppelgänger: In one episode, Lisa accidently comes home with a well trained twin of Murray.
Jamie: Lisa, this is not Murray! It looks like Murray, but it isn't Murray. Murray has a white spot and vacant eyes. This dog KNOWS THINGS!
Hypocritical Humor: Ira attempts to bribe a college professor into letting Jamie into his class. When Ira asks what he teaches, the professor coolly replies, "Ethics." In their very next scene, the professor is taking Ira's money and approving Jamie's entry into his class.
Kavorka Man: Ira. Lampshaded when he accidentally catches himself in a mirror while having intercourse, scarring him so deeply that he loses interest in sex (for about a week).
Mel Brooks: Played Paul's Uncle Phil. You can tell that most of his scenes are just him improvising most of his lines, the credit stingers actually have different takes with the cast cracking up.
Model Couple: Not quite models, but they're both good-looking enough to be an aversion of the Ugly Guy, Hot Wife trope that's so standard of many sitcoms.
My Own Private "I Do": Though the series starts with them already married, it's revealed that Jamie and Paul did this - the Plan First, Elope Later type. It happens in the middle of the night, on the sidewalk, performed by a ConEd worker, while Jamie has toothpaste on her face. And it's adorable.
One-Hour Work Week : Presumably Jamie works full time, but Paul seems to be home an awful lot between projects.
Paranormal Episode: The series had an incident like this where the place where the couple met had burned down. As the episode goes on, the pair start to forget about each other for an unexplained reason.
The Perry Mason Method: Uncle Phil is brought up on charges for illegally collecting old newspapers from the neighbors in his building, then amassing a fortune's worth of coupons. Phil calls the prosecutor to the stand, then proceeds to absolutely decimate his case by guilt-tripping the attorney about his parents, clipping coupons to pay for his law courses.
Runaway Bride: Paul and Jamie discover (in Season 7 and post-illegitimate baby) that their wedding wasn't legally valid. Naturally, Jamie starts fretting that their marriage's success rests on them not being...uh, married.
One memorable Thanksgiving, Paul and Jamie go through seven or eight replacement turkeys after Murray eats the first one.
Mad About You had quite a few Thanksgiving Episodes. The first season showed Paul and Jamie (and Lisa and Selby) heading to Jamie's family home for Thanksgiving (with Fran and Mark on the same train to their family's home), and then on the way home after their respective Thanksgiving experiences. A later T-Day episode dealt with how Paul and Jamie tried (with hilarious failure) to control the dissemination of their pregnancy to their relatives.
Theme Tune Cameo: Paul walks past an A Cappella group singing the theme song, which he'd co-written. To further mess with the wall, he mentions its familiarity. At the end of the episode, Paul and Jamie listen to the same group singing the theme again as the end-credits play. This time, Paul recognizes the tune and grins with satisfaction, but does not identify the tune out loud.
Time Skip: The series finale jumps around a lot. These scenes range from funny (teenage Mabel and Jamie having a door-slamming competition), to...not so funny, such as the funeral for Paul's father, Paul and Jamie's miscarriage, and subsequent breakup. Janeane Garofalo guest-stars as Adult Mabel.
Timmy in a Well: Murray's very good at this. After he communicates that the toilet is overflowing, Paul quotes the trope. Murray acts this out during the final credits of a Valentine's Day show as he gets Mark and Fran to rescue Paul and Jamie who have spent the entire episode trapped in the locked bathroom.