It's a mad, mad, mad, mad world.
When Mad About You took its final bow in 1999, stars Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt had no intention of reprising their roles as spouses Paul and Jamie Buchman.
After 20 years though, the pair have reunited in their beloved roles for a revival of the same name. It premiered on Spectrum's On Demand streaming platform.
"We don't think of this as a nostalgia thing," said Reiser, who co-created the original sitcom.
And though the original series, which ran from 1992 to 1999, was part of NBC's acclaimed comedy lineup of the time (including Seinfeld and Friends -- both of which participated in Mad crossovers), Reiser, 62, is adamant they're "not trying to bring it back to 1999. We're not trying to go back to anything.
"The hope is that it's sort of timeless and that it's not confined to any period or anything topical," he said.
The '90s iteration saw the couple adjusting to married life in the months following their wedding. Now, viewers will see them adjusting to a semi-empty nest, Hunt says, while their 18-year-old daughter Mabel (Abby Quinn) is living at New York University ... five blocks away.
"The idea [for the original] was the hoopla from the wedding died down ... now what? And the series was sort of an answer to that," Hunt, 56, said. "This season is all about the hoopla around getting your kid off to school, and then you look at each other and say, 'Now what?'"
When the original concluded, Mabel was a toddler, and the finale offered out-of-order flashbacks with the adult Mabel, played by Janeane Garafalo, narrating the trio's life over the coming decades -- including a temporary separation for Paul and Jamie.
"We aren't pretending any of it didn't happen," Hunt said.
"In this particular moment where we're jumping in, it's when we are absolutely together," Reiser said. "What we alluded to in the finale, that over the course of their happy together forever, happily ever after, there were moments where it wasn't going great ... those still happen."
But fear not.
"I always believed that those separations were not long," Reiser said. "I don't think Paul or Jamie ever thought they were really going to break up. ... They always come back to knowing that they should be together."
Their daughter, Reiser says, "is the best and worst of her parents."
"We never made ... Paul and Jamie The Odd Couple. They each have a little bit of everything at any given moment. And that's the same here."
And while Reiser says he and Hunt have remained close the last two decades and totally at ease getting back in the groove, Paul and Jamie have more navigating to do, "because they're not the same people."
The show deals with problems, Hunt says, "like how untenable it is to love a kid so much and how really untenable it is to be expected to fall back in love with your partner when they haven't been your number one priority."
Ultimately, Hunt says, the story tries to determine "how do you learn how to be together when the people you used to be don't exist anymore."
The show is billed as a 12-episode limited series, the duo isn't ruling out a continuation.
"We've been wrong about everything," said Reiser, pointing to their previous reluctance about a revival. "I don't think either of us would have done this if they said, 'We need you for three years or seven years.' ... It's not impossible. We would never say it's impossible again. But the idea was ... let's just do a little visit and see how that goes."
Style on 11/24/2019
Print Headline: Mad About You revival now streaming on Spectrum