Saturday, July 22, 2006

Mad About This

Earlier this year I found myself sadly confined to a hotel room in CNY. Various unfortunate proceedings converged to make the situation even less comfortable, but one of the few highlights was a very small handful of “Mad About You” episodes. They were funny, and I don‘t find television so very often. One of them was no less than brilliant.

This was not my first exposure to the show. In Nederland, where the show is given phenomenon status on par with “The Bold and the Beautiful,” I saw an episode or two and was far from impressed. But it (they? I honestly don’t remember how many I saw) was(/were) from late in the series run. The ones I saw in New York were from the second season. Clearly, as almost invariably happens in TV, the show had ‘jumped the shark’ in the interval.

So, being the chronological archival nut that I am, I was quick to buy The Complete First Season when it came out on two DVDs recently. I just finished it.

Ooh… How shall I do this? Episode by episode to prolong the pain, twisting the knife? Short centuries ago, the soon-to-be-executed was expected to pay the executioner as a bribe for a relatively painless exit. If the prisoner decided he’d rather his heirs get the gold coins hidden at home… well, his head might not come of in the first ten or so blows of the axe. Should it make a difference to me now, then, that not only had I not received money, but had given money for the ‘privilege’ of seeing Season One of “Mad…”? Ah, I’ll be merciful despite it.

It stinks. Not a single episode of the twenty-three could elicit a chuckle, and twenty of them could never even qualify as good. Some of them can be well-labeled mediocre, but the rest… deserve nothing approximating so much praise.

I want it off my hands. The local used bookstore may be in for a donation… assuming I decide that isn’t too honorable a death for such muck. Maybe Season Two is better overall, but I’m reluctant to even look knowing that I’ve probably already seen the best of it.

Far from recommended.