Review: ‘Mad About You Paul Is Dead’

Mad About You" simply gets better as Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt demo how it's done. Blessed with rich script by Billy Grundfest, top comedy direction by Lee Shallat and first-rate character actors, this sitcom's first 1994 entry sparkles.

Mad About You” simply gets better as Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt demo how it’s done. Blessed with rich script by Billy Grundfest, top comedy direction by Lee Shallat and first-rate character actors, this sitcom’s first 1994 entry sparkles.

Reiser’s and Hunt’s Paul and Jamie Buckman, married a year and still trading smart remarks as they juggle with the truths of life, find themselves broke on a Saturday when his bank credit card is turned down because another Paul Buchman has died.

An ordeal with a waitress (Lisa Kudrow), confronting a British neighbor (Judy Geeson), arguing with a maddening bank manager (Carolyn Mignini), dealing with a matter-of-fact funeral director (Luis Antonio Ramos) are only part of the troubles.

Paul begins identifying with the unknown dead man who bore his name, and Paul and Jamie wind up at the funeral home. Storymakers Russ Woody and Grundfest even go into fantasy and get away with it: Anyone connected with the sitcom is a pro.

But it’s Reiser and Hunt who beautifully carry the venture. They know how to play off each other, they’re adept at physical comedy, and they make outrageous gambits charmingly credible. “Mad About You,” sophisticated and bravely taking on everyday annoyances, is a comic jewel.

Mad About You Paul Is Dead

(Thurs. (6), 8-8:30 p.m., NBC)

Production

Filmed at Culver Studios, Culver City, by InFront Prods., Nuance Prods. and TriStar TV. Exec producers, Jeffrey Lane, Danny Jacobson; producers, Paul Reiser , Bruce Chevillat; co-producer, Steve Paymer; director, Lee Shallat; writer, Billy Grundfest; story, Russ Woody, Grundfest; creators, Reiser, Jacobson.

Crew

Camera, Richard Hissong; editor, Sheila Amos; art director, Bernard Vyzga; sound , Peter Damski; music, David Kitay, Don Was, Reiser.

Cast

Cast: Paul Reiser, Helen Hunt, Leila Kenzle, John Pankow, Anne Ramsay, Lisa Kudrow, Judy Geeson, Antonio Ramos, Carolyn Mignini, Lenny Wolpe, Race Nelson.
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