Frequently Asked Questions list (1/9) for "Mad About You" and the Usenet newsgroup alt.tv.mad-about-you


Archive-name: tv/mad-about-you/faq/part1
Posting-frequency: quarterly
Last-modified: 97-01-30
Version: 5.1


This Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) list for the TV Comedy show "Mad About You" is, as a collection of information,
Copyright (c) 1994-1997 by Ramaswamy [ramax@ultranet.com].
All Rights Reserved.

This document may be freely distributed in electronic form for personal use only, provided it is distributed in its entirety and with all original author and copyright information intact. Distribution by any other means must be by permission of the copyright holder. This material is for non-commercial use only and any sale for profit is expressly forbidden. It may not be included in any commercial documents, archives or CD-ROMs, nor uploaded to any BBS or online service without the permission of the copyright holder. The removal of this copyright notice is prohibited.


Sections with updates will be flagged with asterisks (*) in the Main Table Of Contents below. Almost all sections have updates in this re-organized document, hence none is flagged.


Please send in corrections/comments to: [ramax@ultranet.com]


Main Table of Contents

Credits

Introduction

1.0 What is MAY?

2.0 Who are all those characters on MAY?

3.0 What do we not know about Paul and Jamie Buchman?

4.0 Surely there are a few questions about the other characters?

5.0 What about MAYlanguage and MAYsongs?

6.0 Can we pursue some MAY trivia?


7.0 What are some of the oddities and inconsistencies in MAY?


8.0 Where can I find some MAY production related information?

9.0 Where can I find some Newsgroup related information?


Credits

To quote William Safire from the opening section of "Quoth the Maven" (published by Random House, ISBN 0-679-42324-9): "Acknowledgements is a word that, to me, connotes grudging admission of the need to say thanks, or a sneaky way to avert charges of plagiarism..." (Oops! My 25 words are up!)

Which may explain why this section has been renamed and relocated.

What follows would have been credits to the people who have helped edit this document or have contributed new information and corrections to this FAQ and the accompanying Episode Guides, whether knowingly or unknowingly; unfortunately I can only list their names, in alphabetical order:

Brandon Acker, R. G. Arens, Stacey Armstrong, David Banks, Gareth Beale, Charles Blair, Jonathan Bnayahu, Jennifer Bowers, Jackie Brady, Paige A. Brand, Stan Brown, J. A. Burdett, Barry Burriesci, Dottie Bybee, Catherine Chan, Dave Chapman, Philip Chien, Wendy J. Cholbi, Mikhail Choo W. M., Kim Clark, Jeffrey Connelly, Jon Alan Conrad, Sharon Crichton, Luiz Fernando da Silva, David DeAngelo, Brian Dearie, Nicole Devin, Mike Dickison, Renee Drellishak, Kelly Flores, Elisa Ghisalberti, Blake Girardot, Byron C. Go, Shachar Golansky, Emma Grant, Pam Greene, Paul Grosso, Dolf Grunbauer, Rick Haan, Adam Hennings, Frank van der Heijde, Jeff Heilner, Ping Huang, Philip Johnson, Wei-Te Kao, William Kelley, Kimmo Ketolainen, John M. Klassa, Torsten Kracke, Daphne Kremen, Janel le Belle, Dave LeCompte, Felix Lee, Beh Hong Leong, Stephan Lerchegger, Ali Lemer, Liron Lightwood, Lars Lindstrom, Jeffrey Mann, Jane Mellett, Alphonse Merino, Matt Messina, Chris Mulvihill, Lisa Murphy, Waltz Ng, Johan van Noordwyk, Bob O'shaughnessy, Margie O'shaughnessy, Andrew Palidwor, Alex Paschkes, George Pechtol, Henk Penning, Fernando Rodriguez Pereira, Brian Peterson, Michael W. Phelps, David Gregory Platt, Mark Plumb, Alexander Poropatich, Gregg Primm, Mick Quinn, Jean Reese, Scott Richardson, Douglas B. Robertson, Warren Rudman, Tina Santos, Jose Saumell, Gretchen E. Schmidt, Vikas Sinha, Judi Sohn, Sondra Rachel Solovay, Chris Sonnack, Petra Souisa, Michael Straszniczky, Carly Taylor, David Tharp, Justin Ting, Steven Treger, Tom Tullio, Jukka Vainio, Cindy Yan, Daryl Sng Tek Yean, Bryce Utting, Andy Wild, Ann Winner, Tom Witelski, Rickey Wright, Kenneth Yeast, Ken Yi, Carol Zaleta, R. David Zobel and Lisa Eyler Zorrilla.


Introduction

This document includes information from episodes of all five seasons of "Mad About You" that have aired or are currently airing in North America. The reader is therefore warned that considerable "spoiler" information, not identified as such, may exist in these pages.

The information is presented in 9 parts, containing:

Guarantees cannot be made about the accuracy of any information in this document. If you wish to correct a point, or contribute information on new topics, please contact me by e-mail at [ramax@ultranet.com].

Abbreviations used in this document:

Included throughout the text are references to episodes where facts mentioned in this document were revealed; these episode numbers are from the Mad About You Episode Guides (section 9.4). The numbers are listed in square brackets [ ] after a reference. Consult these guides for titles, synopses and guest characters. A list of all episode titles is included below (section 1.3) as a quick reference.

Please do not send individual requests to me for copies of this FAQ. This document, as well as the associated Episode Guides, can be retrieved with a request to a Mail Server site (section 9.5). A reminder notice on how to access this FAQ via anonymous FTP or on the Web is posted periodically to the alt.tv.mad-about-you newsgroup.

Newcomers to the alt.tv.mad-about-you newsgroup may wish to read section 9 of this document first for more information about the newsgroup and associated online resources.

Newcomers to Usenet in general are advised to visit the news.announce.newusers newsgroup first and read references posted every few days by Mark Moraes in his "Welcome to Usenet!" post. If nothing else, the exercise will familiarize one with the workings of the mail server.

The date of the last update and the current version number is shown at the top of this document. Updated sections are flagged by an asterisk (*) in the Main Table Of Contents (to be found in part1, with references from all other parts) and the Local TOC, as relevant; updates are not marked by change-bars ( | ) at the left margin. All the deletions are indicated by, well, deletions.


1.0 What is MAY?

MAY is a half-hour television comedy show currently airing in its fifth season in North America on the NBC Television network at 8:00pm (7:00pm in some time-zones) on Tuesdays. The telecast is rated PG.

It premiered on Wednesday September 23, 1992 at 9:30pm, and was telecast first on Wednesdays and then Saturdays in its first season, before settling into the Thursday 8:00pm time-slot during reruns in late summer of 1993. Episodes of seasons #2 and #3 were telecast on Thursdays at 8:00pm. For season #4 MAY was moved to Sundays at 8:00pm and now in season #5 it is airing on Tuesdays. Individual episodes are half-hour long with 3 commercial interruptions, and about 22 and a half minutes otherwise (double that for 2-parters airing together).

MAY is the story of a newly-wed couple, Paul and Jamie Buchman, adjusting to their daily life together in Lower Manhattan, in New York City. Other characters in their lives are Jamie's sister Lisa and best friend Fran (and Fran's ex-husband Mark), Paul's cousin Ira and college buddy Selby (season #1), and both sets of parents. Paul's dog Murray is also featured prominently.

MAY was created by Paul Reiser and Danny Jacobson and is produced jointly by their production companies (Nuance Productions and InFront Productions) and distributed by TriStar Television (section 8.1), a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

As Executive Producer, Danny Jacobson was in-charge of the day-to-day running and production of the show during the first 4 seasons. Among his earlier TV credits are "My Sister Sam," "Davis Rules" and the first two seasons of "Roseanne." As of season #5, Larry Charles and Paul Reiser share the Executive Producer duties, though Danny Jacobson continues to be listed as such in the opening credits.

MAY was originally pitched to NBC by Paul Reiser as "Thirtysomething, only shorter and funnier." After co-starring with Greg Evigan in "My Two Dads" for three years, he decided to do an intelligent comedy for adults by considering what it should NOT be. He did not want the show to be an odd-couple mixing, with interplay between wacky characters, or one of those "are they going to get together or not?" gimmicks. By stripping away all the things it could not be, he got it down to its bare essence, a very low concept show about a marriage. Thus MAY is "scenes from a marriage" that has nothing to do with Ingmar Bergman.

The early episodes of MAY were put together by the group of people responsible for the Off-Broadway production (in New York City) of "Grease." Danny Jacobson switched then from acting to writing and teamed up with Paul Reiser, Jeffrey Lane (first 3 seasons), Steve Paymer (first 2 seasons), Billy Grundfest (first 4 seasons) and a host of other writers on MAY. The writing is always a collaborative effort, and the 'written by' credit for an episode goes to the person(s) doing the first draft; the rest of the team hides behind exotic titles such as Co-Executive Producer, Supervising Producer, Producer, Story Editor and such. As of season #5, Helen Hunt is credited as Producer, although her off-camera contribution has been known to be significant all along.

Richard Hissong in seasons #1 and #2, Mikel Neiers in season #3 and Bobby Byrne since season #4 have supervised the filming, while Craig Knizek (Associate Producer, then Co-Producer) and Sheila Amos (Editor) have been responsible for post-production. Peter Damski and his team has handled sound processing all along with impressive results, including 2 Emmy awards.

1.1 How many seasons of MAY are there?

MAY is currently in its fifth season of production. The production season typically runs from August to April. In the US, first-run telecasts on the NBC Television Network run from September to May.

The five seasons, as telecast in North America, are:

The original contract for the show was for 5 seasons, extended to a sixth season during season #4. Some confusion arose at the end of that season because the last 3 episodes were entitled "Finale Parts I, II and III," but MAY is continuing with season #5 now.


1.2 How do I find the title of a MAY episode?

Unfortunately the MAY telecasts themselves do not show the episode title anywhere (with 2 exceptions so far), nor the 3-digit production number in the closing credits. On occasion TV Guide will list the title, as will the weekly TV schedule inserts of local Sunday papers. Satellite feeds for episodes always feature an opening slate that includes the episode production number and its title. The SONY and NBC WWW sites also list titles and synopses of upcoming episodes.

If the print or online sources fail you, your best bet is to post an inquiry to the alt.tv.mad-about-you newsgroup. To identify older episodes, you may want to check the synopses and keys sections of entries in the MAY Episode Guides.

The episode numbering scheme used in this FAQ and the guides is mine, and assigns the number in the order of telecast in North America, season by season. It also assigns a single number to 2-part shows that have 2 production numbers.

1.3 Where can I find all the episode titles and numbers?

The following is a list of all MAY episodes that have aired so far (and those about to air, flagged by an asterisk), along with the production numbers in parentheses and the first-telecast dates in North America. This list is provided primarily to help identify the episodes referred to in the rest of this FAQ, but production numbers sometimes also determine the order of telecast in some countries (Austria, Finland and Malaysia, for example):
  1.1  (101)   92-09-23   Romantic Improvisations [Premiere]
  1.2  (104)   92-09-30   Sofa's Choice
  1.3  (103)   92-10-07   Sunday Times
  1.4  (102)   92-10-14   Out of the Past
  1.5  (106)   92-10-21   Paul in the Family
  1.6  (105)   92-10-28   I'm Just So Happy For You
  1.7  (107)   92-11-04   Token Friend
  1.8  (109)   92-11-11   The Apartment
  1.9  (111)   92-11-18   Riding Backwards
  1.10 (110)   92-11-25   Neighbors from Hell
  1.11 (113)   92-12-16   Met Someone
  1.12 (108)   93-01-06   Maid About You
  1.13 (112)   93-01-13   Togetherness
  1.14 (116)   93-01-27   Weekend Getaway
  1.15 (115)   93-02-06   The Wedding Affair
  1.16 (114)   93-02-13   Love Among the Tiles
  1.17 (118)   93-02-20   The Billionaire
  1.18 (119)   93-02-27   The Man Who Said Hello
  1.19 (117)   93-04-30   Swept Away
  1.20 (120)   93-05-08   The Spy Who Loved Me
  1.21 (122)   93-05-15   The Painter
  1.22 (121)   93-05-22   Happy Anniversary [Season Finale]

  2.1  (202)   93-09-16   Murray's Tale [Season Opener]
  2.2  (201)   93-09-23   Bing Bang Boom
  2.3  (203)   93-09-30   Bedfellows
  2.4  (205)   93-10-07   Married to the Job
  2.5  (204)   93-10-14   So I Married a Hair Murderer
  2.6  (207)   93-10-28   The Unplanned Child
  2.7  (206)   93-11-04   Natural History
  2.8  (209)   93-11-11   Surprise
  2.9  (210)   93-11-18   A Pair Of Hearts
  2.10 (208)   93-12-02   It's a Wrap
  2.11 (211)   93-12-09   Edna Returns
  2.12 (212)   94-01-06   Paul is Dead
  2.13 (213)   94-01-13   Same Time Next Week
  2.14 (214)   94-01-27   The Late Show
  2.15 (216)   94-02-03   Virtual Reality
  2.16 (218)   94-02-10   Cold Feet
  2.17 (215)   94-02-14   Instant Karma
  2.18 (217)   94-02-24   The Tape
  2.19 (219)   94-03-10   Love Letters
  2.20 (220)   94-04-07   The Last Scampi
  2.21 (222)   94-04-28   Disorientation
  2.22 (221)   94-05-05   Storms We Cannot Weather
  2.23 (225)   94-05-12   Up All Night
  2.24 (223/4) 94-05-19   With This Ring [Season Finale]

  3.1  (301)   94-09-22   Escape from New York [Season Opener]
  3.2  (302)   94-09-29   Home
  3.3  (303)   94-10-06   Till Death Do Us Part
  3.4  (304)   94-10-13   When I'm Sixty-Four
  3.5  (305)   94-10-20   Legacy
  3.6  (306)   94-11-03   Pandora's Box
  3.7  (307)   94-11-10   The Ride Home
  3.8  (308)   94-11-17   Giblets For Murray
  3.9  (309)   94-12-08   Once More With Feeling
  3.10 (310)   94-12-15   The City
  3.11 (311)   95-01-05   Our Fifteen Minutes
  3.12 (313)   95-01-19   How To Fall In Love
  3.13 (314/5) 95-02-02   Mad About You
  3.14 (312)   95-02-09   Just My Dog
  3.15 (316)   95-02-16   The Alan Brady Show
  3.16 (317)   95-02-23   Mad Without You
  3.17 (318)   95-03-09   Purseona
  3.18 (319)   95-03-30   Two Tickets To Paradise
  3.19 (323)   95-04-27   Money Changes Everything
  3.20 (321)   95-05-04   Cake Fear
  3.21 (320)   95-05-11   My Boyfriend's Back!
  3.22 (322/4) 95-05-18   Up In Smoke [Season Finale]
  3.23 (325)   95-10-08   The Test [A Montage]

  4.1  (401)   95-09-24   New Sleep-walking PLUS [Season Opener]
  4.2  (402)   95-10-01   The Parking Space
  4.3  (403)   95-10-29   The Good, the Bad and the Not-So-Appealing
  4.4  (404)   95-11-05   I Don't See It
  4.5  (405)   95-11-12   Yoko Said
  4.6  (406)   95-11-19   An Angel For Murray
  4.7  (407)   95-11-26   The Couple
  4.8  (408)   95-12-17   New Year's Eve
  4.9  (409)   96-01-07   Ovulation Day
  4.10 (410)   96-01-14   Get Back
  4.11 (411)   96-02-04   Dream Weaver
  4.12 (413)   96-02-18   Hot and Cold
  4.13 (414)   96-02-25   Fertility
  4.14 (412)   96-03-10   Everybody Hates Me
  4.15 (415)   96-03-17   Do Me A Favor
  4.16 (416)   96-03-24   The Glue People
  4.17 (417)   96-03-31   The Sample
  4.18 (418)   96-04-14   The Procedure
  4.19 (419)   96-04-21   The Weed
  4.20 (420)   96-04-28   The Award
  4.21 (421)   96-05-05   The Finale (Part I)
  4.22 (422/3) 96-05-19   The Finale (Parts II & III) [Season Finale]

  5.1  (501)   96-09-17   Dr. Wonderful [Season Opener]
  5.2  (502)   96-09-24   The Grant
  5.3  (503)   96-10-15   Therapy
  5.4  (506)   96-10-22   The Clip Show
  5.5  (507)   96-10-29   Burt's Building
  5.6  (504)   96-11-12   Jamie's Parents [100th episode]
  5.7  (508)   96-11-19   Outbreak
  5.8  (510)   96-11-26   Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge
  5.9  (505)   96-12-17   The Gym
  5.10 (509)   97-01-07   Chicken Man
  5.11 (511)   97-01-14   The Recital
  5.12 (512)   97-01-21   The Handyman
  5.13 (515)  *97-02-04   Astrology
  5.14 (514)  *97-02-11   The Penis
  5.15 (513)  *97-02-18   Citizen Buchman
  5.16 (516)  *97-02-25   On The Road

  (*) - Dates and order of telecasts subject to change without notice.

1.4 Where can I find the plot summary of a MAY episode?

Only a 3-4 line synopsis and a few keys are noted for each episode in the MAY episode guides. No detailed summaries are available online, as far as can be determined. If you come across an online archive, please let me know the URL by e-mail at [ramax@ultranet.com].


Please send in corrections/comments to: [ramax@ultranet.com]