Four years after Mad About You
's complete second season was released on DVD (and two years after a highlights collection
seemed to signal the end of season-by-season releases), the complete third season of everyone's favorite neurotic couple is finally on DVD. If Paul (Paul Reiser) and Jamie (Helen Hunt) Buchman don't drive each other nuts, they'll do it to their British neighbors, or the whole building, such as when an attempt to steal cable TV goes awry ("Pandora's Box"). Not to mention their whole crazy cast of characters, including Jamie's useless sister Lisa (Anne Ramsay), Paul's shifty cousin Ira (John Pankow), Paul's parents (Cynthia Harris and Louis Zorich), Jamie's parents (Theresa Fuller and John Carlin, replaced in later years by the stunt casting of Carol Burnett and Carol O'Connor), the building super (Jerry Adler), Jamie's best friend Fran (Leila Kenzie), and supremely clueless waitress Ursula (Lisa Kudrow). Some of the episodes had appeared on the highlights collection, such as the zany Thanksgiving dinner ("Giblets for Murray"), Paul's reality TV show in which he turns the camera on Jamie and himself ("Our Fifteen Minutes"), and Carl Reiner's appearance as a TV legend ("The Alan Brady Show"). But others are finally seeing the DVD daylight, including "The Ride Home," in which Paul and Jamie take a cab ride and recount, from different perspectives, how Fran's birthday party turned into a disaster involving guest stars Wendie Malick and Eric Stoltz. In the two-part "Mad About You," they flash back to the preparation for their wedding, and Paul flashes back to birthdays from hell in "Cake Fear." Cyndi Lauper returns as Ira's ex-wife (a guest appearance for which she won an Emmy, as did Reiner) in "Money Changes Everything" and Stoltz turns Jamie into a comic-book character ("My Boyfriend's Back"). Then in the two-part season finale, they're transported It's a Wonderful Life
-style into a world in which they'd never met ("Up in Smoke").
Does it matter that the set has no bonus features? Maybe not so much. The bells and whistles of the Mad About You Collection were nice, but they don't compare to having a complete season's worth of episodes on DVD. We want Paul and Jamie, with their hilarious and touching quirks and chemistry, just as we watched them on TV. That's all we're saying. --David Horiuchi
Paul Reiser and Academy Award(r)-winning actress Helen Hunt (1997, Actress in a Leading Role, As Good As It Gets) are back for another season of laughs and charm. Take a road trip with the Buchmans as they try to find their favorite restaurant and can't remember the name. Relive the reasons why Paul hates his birthday, watch Murray become a star, and see what happens when one of Jamie's old boyfriends pays a visit. This season features amazing guest stars such as Carl Reiner, Cyndi Lauper, Lisa Kudrow, Wendie Malick and Eric Stoltz. Bring home all the romance and insanity from the Emmy(r) award-winning series with this three-disc DVD set. Fall in love all over again.