Ira and Paul find out that Marvin (Ira's employee at Buchman's Sporting Goods) is wrestling semi-pro on weekends. Of course Ira offers his advice and guidance. This not only has Marvin getting matches with professionals (WCW's Randy "Macho Man" Savage, who plays himself), but also changing his persona to "Gorilla Boy", with Ira as his handler, "Dr. Ira Livingston". Unfortunately, Ira nearly has difficulty handling Marvin who, in spite of his being scheduled to lose the match, doesn't want to throw the fight. Also, Paul and Jamie discover that they sleep better apart - Paul on the couch, Jamie in the main bed. They claim they aren't having any trouble, but after everyone expresses concern, they re-think sleeping apart.
Finally Marvin has a part in Mad About You that doesn't have me wondering what the heck he's doing there. In fact, I actually kind of enjoyed this episode with his playing the main part. Admittedly I rolled my eyes when he first appeared, and then again when he said he was into wrestling - I don't care for wrastling at all - but by the time it was over, I found myself feeling good about this one.
I thought the thing with Paul and Jamie sleeping apart was handled very well. I expected it to degenerate into another nitpicking, finger-pointing set of arguments. To my surprise, they were very friendly about it and the last scene, where they were huddled up together on the couch, showed that they really weren't having trouble. Nice touch.
I was shocked, shocked to see that Paul and Jamie had a baby. It was rumored they'd had a kid, but for most of this season, you wouldn't have known it - he says sarcastically. It was nice to see, not only the baby, but also Paul's parents and sister. Do you think that maybe someone from the show read my complaints and decided to write a script with the baby as actually being there? Never mind where the baby was while everyone was at the wrestling match, it was just nice to see Mabel again.
Now for the things I noticed about the episode. First, what was it with NBC and pro "wrestling" tonight? "Hollywood" Hogan was in the episode of "Suddenly Susan" which preceeded tonight's Mad About You. Then most of this episode revolved around Marvin's being a wrestler. I mean, what's with the "sudden" network interest in wrestling?
Second, I was amazed (and pleased) with the number of references to M*A*S*H*. First the show has two of its former stars, and now Paul is watching a M*A*S*H* marathon on t.v and then talking to Jamie about several of its stars (including Jamie Farr who was on last week's show). I have this funny feeling that we can expect to see a guest star or two from "Cheers" before the end of the show. Think about it. M.A.Y. has had stars from some of the most memorable shows in t.v. history on it. Stars from "The Dick Van Dyke Show", "All In The Family", "The Carol Burnett Show" , "Laugh-In" and "M*A*S*H*", to name just a few. So I'm thinking, when you think of what other show could you possibly include in a "greatest in t.v. comedy history" list which still has someone alive from it - because unfortunately the four main stars from "I Love Lucy" are all dead - then "Cheers" immediately comes to my mind. So I sort of expect someone from that show, or even "Seinfeld", to show up in the next month.
This episode didn't produce much in the way of laughter from me, but it was still fun to watch. I didn't think I'd like it with all the wrestling stuff, but I did. I was glad to see Mabel, and Debbie, and Paul's parents all back. I also enjoy the reference to Lisa, and really loved the part of the conversation in bed where Paul tells Jamie, "It's the last season" in spoken reference to the M*A*S*H* shows he's been watching, and indirectly to Mad About You. That was another nice touch.
Overall, the lack of big laughs doesn't take away from the rating I give this episode - at least not too much. I give it a respectful 7.