715/Murray at the Dog Show
After nearly 3 years of marriage therapy, Sheila finally tells Paul and Jamie they are finished; that they are "cured". This shocks both Paul and Jamie who think they are far from "cured". And not only are they not cured, but Murray is in need of some kind of dog therapy to help him get over the fear of cats the Puma gave him. To help him with that is Nat who is grooming Murray for a dog show Jamie is sure will cure Murray. Paul disagrees and during this discussion Jamie tells Paul that she'd like him to have a vasectomy.
Well, with that revelation Paul tracks down Sheila (whom we learn is someone who likes to dig through the trash to find things) and tries to get her to take them back as patients. Sheila simply tells him that this is a time for growth and that he should just go along with Jamie. She also relays similar advice to Jamie who bursts in on Sheila while she's having a session with someone who is suicidal.
As Paul and Jamie try to follow Sheila's advice, they decide to confront each other during the middle of the dog show. They don't really get anything settled and when they both go back to Sheila and relate what happened, she states that they are nuts. "This is what we're saying".
It was sure nice to see Mad About You back on the air. This was an episode which was relatively simple, silly, and empty. And that's why it was so much fun to watch! In the past I've rarely liked seeing Sheila in the show. I don't know why, but for some reason she's always bothered me.
Anyway, in this episode she finally won me over as a character who not only belongs as part of the show - at times, considering what Paul and Jamie are going through - but also that she can be funny. I thought the thing with Sheila digging through the trash was funny. Kind of yucky to think she'd actually eat a head of lettuce found in the trash, but funny. It was also funny to hear Sheila's voice in Paul and Jamie's head, even in Murray's head.
Another thing that was really funny, as he always is, was Nat, the Buchman's dog walker who was in charge of preparing Murray for the big show. The training seems to be futile because Murray doesn't move when it's his turn. He doesn't move until he hears Sheila's voice urging him to get over the Puma.
It really was a simple, silly, and relatively empty episode, but it was a lot of fun. In the overall scheme of things, it won't be a very memorable episode, but if you happen to catch it on re-runs, it'll provide plenty of easy laughs and fun scenes. The performances won't win any awards, in fact, at times they were rather stilted and predictable. But they worked well with the material they had. The only thing I'm still a bit mystified by is the cameo by Billy Joel (the pop singer). His appearance made no sense.
Oh, another thing that was particularly funny (maybe even the funniest thing) was Ira heckling the other dogs in the show. According to his logic, "It's a sporting event. I'd say the same thing to Jack Nicholson" (A big L.A. Lakers fan). Hmmm. A nod to Helen Hunt co-starring with Nicholson in "As Good As It Gets"? That got my biggest laugh.
I give this episode a solid 7. That rating is based more on how much fun this episode was, and how much I like this show, and not because I'll be remembering this one six months from now. But it was nice to see the show back.