704/There's a Puma in the Kitchen
Paul has found a mixture of Chinese herbs that give him a high level of energy. So much so that he suggests a little "afternoon delight" to Jamie. "Wanna nooner?", he asks. He also tells Jamie that he's gonna enter a charity 10K race with her, just to prove how much energy he has. Before you know it, "Nooners" become a welcome break in the day. Jamie even works her lunch hours around it. But it does wear Paul out completely. These "nooners" are interrupted when Lisa leaves her new "baby" cat over at Paul and Jamies. Lisa has adopted a cat because after spending an afternoon babysitting Mabel she thinks she'd be a good mother. Ira thinks Lisa is crazy for thinking like this and suggests starting with something a little simpler. Her "baby" turns out to be a Puma.
Ok, first off, I really found this episode quite funny. And it was really nice to see Lisa again. But, though I enjoyed this episode, critically it wasn't the best this season.
The good stuff: It's nice to see Lisa again. It seems strange to think of Anne Ramsay as a guest on "Mad About You", but it's good just to have her back on the show in some fashion. And in this episode she's her typical self - thinking that what is really strange or bad, is actually exciting and stimulating. So she thinks the crazy cat that leaps 6 feet into the air and climbs the chain link fence is "cute". Funny stuff!
And also we have the continuation of a light-hearted, more "back to basics", mood for the story and writing. There were many funny one-liners and situations which tended to remind me of the mood of episodes from the first 3 or 4 seasons. And they managed to keep Paul and Jamie from being mean to each other, and even worked Mabel into the mix. This whole episode stayed funny and light and never took itself too seriously.
Now the not-so-good: As enjoyable as this episode was, I found the direction and the pacing of it to be lacking. It seemed to be an episode trying to find its' pace and it just never seemed to. When the end came, it not only seemed to come too soon, but I was thinking, "ok, so what was this episode about?" It was a funny episode, but it tried to do too much without first establishing itself.
Bottom line is that even though this episode was poorly directed, it was still full of funny lines and situations. It will never be ranked among the more memorable of Mad About You episodes, but it certainly isn't among the worst. I was just disappointed by the lackluster direction. I loved seeing Lisa again, and that, plus a script which mostly survived poor direction, has me justifying a 7 for this episode. Not bad, but better luck next week.