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Mad About You
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this '90s sitcom about a married couple sometimes includes discussion about adult relationship issues like sex or parenting. But these topics are handled with light humor, and nothing ever gets graphic. When Paul and Jamie fight, things can be a little tense, but it never lasts long. A supporting character is gay, and occasional episodes include accepting-but-awkward discussion of same-sex relationships. One character struggles with psychological issues, including an eating disorder, but these subjects are mostly played for laughs.
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What's the story?
MAD ABOUT YOU was a long-running 1990s sitcom that followed the lives of New York City marrieds Paul (Paul Reiser) and Jamie Buchman (Helen Hunt). The Buchmans live a comfortable life in Manhattan. Paul is a documentary filmmaker, and Jamie works in public relations. The show is based around the pair having to work out trivial domestic disputes -- with the occasional bigger issue popping up. On the periphery of Paul and Jamie's lives are their quirky family members and friends. Jamie's sister Lisa (Anne Ramsay) is crabby and forever in therapy dealing with her eating disorder, her jealousy of Jamie, and other myriad issues related to her and Jamie's parents (their mother is played by Carol Burnett). Ira Buchman (John Pankow) is Paul's cousin from Brooklyn who keeps him connected to his roots and sometimes reminds him what single life was like, for better or worse.
Is it any good?
While Mad About You is certainly aimed at adults, parents will find very little to worry about if teens choose to watch (though chances are most younger folks will be bored by the adult shenanigans). The Buchmans often model passive-aggressive communication, and Paul plays the childlike half of the couple to Jamie's tsk-tsking grown-up, but otherwise the series' humor is innocuous and charming.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about relationships. What makes a healthy relationship? What kind of good and bad dynamics do teens and adults see in the main characters' relationship? Do any of these dynamics seem familiar? What creates chemistry between couples? Are the main characters people you would like to hang out with -- why or why not?
For kids who love comedy
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