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601/Coming Home


Show Outline

Welcome home little girl Buchman, who doesn't yet have a name. Paul and Jamie are tickled pink to have a baby (though Murray, not so much), but they quickly find out how little they know about taking care of one. Jamie doesn't know how to change a diaper, Paul doesn't know how to get rid of one, and unfortunately the baby can't help. So, desperate for help, Jamie asks her mother (Teresa,still being played by Carol Burnett) to stay and help. Begs is more like it. But Teresa is reluctant to help because of memories of her own mother butting in continuously. She finally does and also has Paul writing down her instructions on index cards using acronyms. Paul struggles with some of them, until Teresa tells him that not everything she says is supposed to be written down. The most important acronym is Mothers Always Bring Extra Love, as this one results in the baby's name, Mabel. Sylvia, Paul's mother is left out of things, staying in the lobby, because she's coming down with a cold she doesn't want to pass on to the baby. Jamie makes a nice jesture by taking the baby down so Sylvia can see her, even if it's only through the door.


Commentary

This episode is a sweet introduction to Paul and Jamie with child. The desperation and incompetence they display in not knowing how to take care of a baby is done with a humorous angle which comes across as quite funny. I also like the use of the acronyms Jamies mother uses to teach them how to do various things. And, believe it or not, I really do like the name Mabel for the baby. Sure it could have been anything, but Mabel was not only nice and original, but it was also a pleasant tie in to the use of the acronyms. What I didn't much like about this episode is the continued use of Carol Burnett for the role of Teresa Stemple. I, personally, love Carol Burnett, but unfortunately she tends to practically dominate every scene she's in. It's simply the power of her on screen performance, and not any problems with the script. Mad About You is more laid back than the shows Burnett has done in the past and you can tell she struggles to tone it down. She still makes me laugh, but I don't feel her in this role is the best casting move. My personal favorite in the role of Teresa Stemple has been Penny Fuller. My criticism of the casting of Carol Burnett not withstanding, this episode gets a 7.5. A nice intro to Mabel.