Sunday, March 05, 2017

MaY Cellphone Watch: "Ovulation Day"

Recently, Lynda and I have been watching Mad About You reruns. This is one of our favorite shows. But . . . looking back on it, you see how the plot of this show (as with many others) would have been utterly destroyed had they only had a cellphone.

[Season 4, Episode 10] "Ovulation Day"

In Season 4, the show shifted a bit and there was more emphasis on the improving careers of Paul and Jamie (she started working for the Mayor, doing public relations with her old partner and always friend Fran; he began working with the Explorer Channel brainstorming film ideas and then directing them for the network)

But, while they are adjusting to the increased pressures and more hectic pace of new job responsibilities, they also have agreed to start trying for a kid . . . because, television.

Thus we get this episode, in which Jamie begins the drama by stopping Paul from sexing her up because it would be a wasted effort, since she is not confirmed to be in ovulation. The comedy train speeds up as they go about their day, growing more and more sexually frustrated. (For instance, Paul is forced to edit documentary footage of horses mid coitus and other footage of pipe drillers literally laying pipe.)

Jamie has promised to give Paul an immediate phone call when she confirms that she is in ovulation and then they will meet back at the apartment for some Afternoon Delight. She gives Paul a beeper and makes him await her alert. During lunch, Jamie meets Paul's sister Debbie, who uses this opportunity to inform Jamie that she is coming out as a lesbian (pretty groundbreaking for 1995). When Debbie describes her first same-sex experience with her new girlfriend Joan, Jamie takes a great deal of delight in the details . . . if you know what I mean.

But . . . after lunch, Jamie confirms ovulation and uses a restaurant pay phone to call Paul at work and tells him to get home quickly. Paul hops on the train and is confronted at every turn by beautiful women in short skirts and low cut blouses . . . because, TELEVISION!

Jamie beat Paul home, find that he nightgown needs washing and rushes to the laundry room. Naturally, she gets trapped there when the doorknob breaks on the inside. But don't worry . . . because the washing machine is working and vibrating . . . if you know what I mean. She escapes the laundry room when the nosy British women opens the door to do her own wash. Jamie rushes back upstairs, she and Paul prepare to get busy . . . and then Joan and Paul's parents arrive. Naturally, this derails all of Paul's sexual mojo and it looks bleak for our two randy heroes.

In the end, after some mid-90s over-reaction to lesbianism on the part of Sylvia Buchman, P & J are alone again and it isn't long before they get their groove back . . . if you know what I mean.
How a cellphone would have helped: This may be the most cell-phone impacted episode of Mad About You ever. First of all . . . beepers are completely out of the picture. P & J would either have called each other directly on their mobiles or used a simple text. (And this would have been when the peach and the zucchini emojis were still in their original design, so that would have helped keep their libidos in gear as well--if you know . . .  yeah, I think you get it.

Also . . . Jamie would not have had to use a restaurant pay phone to tell Paul that she was ovulating. AND, when she got trapped in the laundry room, there would have been no time wasted lamenting the situation or being resourceful with the vibrating laundry machine. Jamie would simply have called/texted Paul to come and rescue her. And . . . most likely, they would have taken advantage of the situation and gotten down to business in the laundry room right then. They could have avoided the interruption with Bert, Sylvia, and Debbie--but they might have run afoul of the British woman.

So, a very significant episode for our cellphone watch purposes.

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