on February 11, 2003
Like a lot of people, I loved the first few years of Mad About You, when it was really well-written romantic comedy about a newlywed couple negotiating the difficulties of settling into a marriage. The video quality on these discs isn't perfect, but it's certainly good enough to enjoy these episodes all over again.
HOWEVER, some insane person made the decision to run the episodes on the discs in *production* order instead of *air-date* order, and the consequence is that parts of the series make no sense whatsoever -- for example, the discs swap episodes 2 and 4, so that the couple have in episodes 2 and 3 the couch they buy in ep 4 (originally episode 2). Something even worse is done with the last two episodes of the season, swapping them and thereby ruining both the story arc and the symmetry intended for the season finale.
I think we should all write angry letters to the studio protesting this idiotic decision and demanding better treatment for future releases. And, when available, a free replacement with the episodes in the right order.
In the meantime, if you loved Mad About You, you'll probably have to buy the set and reorder the episodes manually.
on October 26, 2002
While "Mad About You" would go on to become one of the definitive sitcoms of the 1990s, its first season was a little rocky. To be certain, much of the later greatness could been seen (especially at the beginning and end of the season), but rotating characters and a few truly awful episodes made for a rocky start for this series.
The first season showed that Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt had great chemistry together as newlyweds Paul and Jamie Buchman, but many of their friends had difficult beginnings - especially Paul's friends Selby (who disappears by episode 13) and Ira (who appears, initially, as an even less-likeable version of the eternal bachelor Selby). The episodes that really stand out from the season are the ones that deal with Paul and Jamie's newlywed issues - how they met, whether Paul should give up his old bachelor pad, their first anniversary - but there are also some truly unfortunate episodes from the season, especially Jerry Lewis' execrable turn as an eccentric billionaire. Likewise, the first episode featuring Paul's father shows only a little of the depth that his family would later have. All that aside, though, the first season is definitely strong enough to want to buy - unless, of course, you look at the discs from a technical perspective.
While the price for the series is great, I would happily have seen them add another ten or twenty dollars to the price tag to have another disc. Not only is the set devoid of any extras (save multilingual tracks), but the compression of 11 episodes on to each disc makes each look impressively bad on a laptop or HDTV system. On a normal TV from six feet or more away, it looks fine, but I pity the person taking this set with them on an airplane flight.
All in all, it'd hard not to be disappointed in this release. I'm always glad to see more TV series released in full-season formats on DVD, but presentations such as this make you very disappointed in the companies that release them. Maybe Columbia-Tristar will get the hint for Season 2 and put out a much better release. It would be a shame to see them stop with this season just because they did a bad job with it technically.
on March 15, 2003
Mad About You has finally made it's way to DVD, but is it worth the price. In my opinion yes, but with some flaws.
The series is on two discs, with eleven episodes on each disc. A Spanish language track is available as are closed capitioning for English and Spanish. Visually the series looks the same as it did when it aired, minus the annoying logo in the corner. I've heard some complaints that the picture looks grainy, but I have not noticed it. I have noticed that there are some scenes that have been removed from the syndicated series are back in the show, so that is a plus.
The major problem that I have with this set is the fact that the episodes do not have chapter stops. So if you want to skip ahead in the episode, you have to fast forward through the show. Another problem that I have is that there aren't any extra's on the disc. Not a major deal, but it would be nice to at least have a 'behind the scenes' featurette.
If you like Mad About You, you should probably pick this set up. But be forewarned, all you are getting is the shows and nothing more.
on November 2, 2002
Just finished watching the last of the 22 episodes. I am assuming that if you are considering buying a complete season of a TV show you know what the show is about and therefore won't comment on the show itself but on the boxset details.
The box is very slim (which I like - shelf space is a scarce resource here). It comes with only 2 DVDs (11 episodes each) and a small episode guide in a sheet of paper, that's it.
There's no additional material whatsoever (no featurettes, etc), which is fine with me anyway, since I'd rather get all the episodes at this very decent price than pay... more for an interview or whatever.
Picture quality is very good, which is news to a 10 years old TV show put in DVD. It was quite a pleasant surprise.
Audio comes in English, French, and Spanish (they didn't use the same dubbing as the broadcast in Spain, though). Subtitles come only in English, but both as standard DVD subtitles and closed captions.
on November 2, 2002
I was thrilled to see this wonderful series finally being released on DVD and even more ecstatic at the very low price it's being sold at. What a disappointment once I popped the first disc into my DVD player! First of all, there are no frills on this disc, which I kind of expected considering how inexpensive it is. But they've also sacrificed image quality in order to cram 22 episodes on 2 discs. The bit rate is quite low (around 3 1/2 to 4) resulting in a really fuzzy picture. I mean, you could get a better picture recording it off of television on your VHS!
I just hope that Sony doesn't release the remainder of the seasons in this disgraceful low bit rate format.
One more note. I've noticed that this DVD has received a high rating from Amazon users, but after reading the reviews I realized that most of them had not yet actually purchased the discs and were simply excited (as I was) that it this wonderful series was finally being released.
on September 7, 2005
I foolishly ignored the comments about how the episodes were crammed onto two discs. I'm not a videophile, I don't own an HDTV, and I don't watch DVDs on my laptop. Even on a regular TV, the video quality was so poor that it was distracting. I would almost rather the old videotapes that I made of the show when it was on NBC -- commercials and all. I'm sorry I paid 30 bucks for this.
I won't review the first season itself, because you probably already know whether or not you're a fan of the show. If you are, what you should ask yourself is are you going to be able to endure seeing it so shoddily rendered.
The first season is much more about Paul than it is about Paul and Jamie. The series started out as the story of a man who falls in love and is struggling to give up being a bachelor in favor of the romantic relationship. It was not until the third season that the show began to take shape into what it is best known as: one of the greatest romantic comedy series TV has ever seen.
The first season features Selby, Paul's bachelor friend who constantly tempts Paul's wild side. His character does nothing for the series and was dropped after this first season. I remember seeing first-season episodes only when the show was first syndicated, and it seems they've since been taken out of rotation.
Buy this if you love the show and want to see subsequent seasons on DVD. But be prepared: this is not the show as you came to love it during its last 5 seasons.
on June 11, 2004
The early years of Mad About You were some of the finest half-hour comedies around in the 1990's. It was refreshing to see a series about a young couple who were going through the early stages of a marriage, as opposed to so many series about well-established marriages. Paul (Paul Reiser) and Jamie (Helen Hunt) were two very well fleshed out characters that you could believe in, and more so when they went through all the little ups and downs a real life couple goes through. (i.e. buying a couch as a couple as opposed to as single people) And while not everything about the show was their realistic (the size of their apartment), you believed these really could be two real-life people.
The fact you were watching a show about newlyweds though was reinforced even more by the other married couple on the show, Mark (Richard Kind) and Fran (Leila Kenzle). This was your established couple. The couple who had gotten over the initial romance of the first few years of marriage, had had a child, and were now dealing with how to keep their marriage still interesting. Without giving away to much about the first season though, their characters probably had the most significant character arc of the first season as they end up in a much different place in their lives at the end of the season.
A contrast was also added for Jamie's seeming perfection in the form of her older sister, Lisa (Anne Elizabeth Ramsay). A serial dater with more perceived psychological problems than you could shake a stick at, she was almost like the Anti-Jamie. She was a great character, and luckily used in moderation. If used much more then she was, she could have quite quickly irritated the viewers.
The first season was not all smooth waters though. The character of Paul's best friend, Selby (played by Tommy Hinkley) never seemed to mix correctly with the rest of the cast, or really fulfill any purpose. For some reason though, when they reinvented the "trouble making" character as Cousin Ira (John Pankow), it worked like a charm. I hate to blame Mr. Hinkley, but you have to wonder why it didn't work.
While the show is top notch, the DVD presentation leaves something to desire. Non-existent extras is a notable flaw. At least some commentary tracks would have been nice. The most notable flaw though is the order of the episodes. While episode 2 being shown as episode 4 is somewhat forgivable, the reversal of episodes 21 and 22 is not. If you buy this set, make sure to flip the last two episodes, because as presented, the fake 21 references the fake 22 heavily. So again, make sure to watch 22 and THEN 21.
While I give the show itself 5 stars, I can only give the DVD set three.
on August 10, 2002
This is the Release Date for the popular show "Mad About You"
Studio: Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment
Release Type: Season Boxed Set
Release Date: 10/29/2002
Number of Discs: 2
Number of Episodes: 22
Running Time: 490 mins
Retail Price: [price] (US$)
Video: Full Frame (1.33:1)
Audio: English: Dolby Stereo French: Mono Spanish: Mono
Subtitles: English, Close-Captioned
The first season consisted of 22 episodes: "Romantic Improvisations", "Sofa's Choice", "Sunday Times", "Out of the Past", "Paul in the Family", "I'm Just So Happy for You", "Token Friend", "The Apartment", "Riding Backwards", "Neighbors from Hell", "Met Someone", "Maid About You", "Togetherness", "Weekend Getaway", "The Wedding Affair", "Love Among the Tiles", "The Billionaire", "The Man Who Said Hello", "Swept Away", "The Spy Who Loved Me", "The Painter", and "Happy Anniversary".
This information is not complete and will be completed when the information or time becomes available
on October 21, 2002
I received this DVD on Oct 18th which I was really surprised about considering it isn't supposed to be released for another 11 days. Anyway I excitedly tore open the wrapping and started watching. WOW how cool is this show, it's weird seeing the first series again, how much everybody has changed compared to the latest series which is about half way though here in England even though it was made in 1999!!!
The series starts off with Paul and Jamie only being married for a few months, and so the fun starts especially for the kitchen table!! The series introduces all of the main characters and you start to see some of the quirks in them that make latter series even funnier. This is truely the greatest show ever created, it's the type of show that makes you feel good and you can watch it over and over without the jokes getting old.
I can't really single out my favourite episode there all amazing, but the episode that takes us back to when Paul and Jamie first met is certainly one of the best.
What I have to say about the DVD is it's nice to have the entire series sold together for an exceptible price, unlike other series like Friends that are sold for 2 or 3 times as much. One of the only dissappointing things about the DVD is that there are no special features, the other is that I think the episode order is wrong because the last episode on the DVD is "The Painter", where as I thought the series finale was "Wedding Anniversary". Please if anybody finds this on their DVD or I am wrong about the series finale email me and tell me, because it is annoying me.
This is an amazing first series to a sitcom that shows how life should be, and hopefully we won't have to wait long for the other series.