How The “Mad About You” Revival Could Change The Legacy Of “Friends” Forever

“Mad About You” is the latest ’90s sitcom to get a modern-day revival — but it could totally change everything we thought we knew about “Friends.”

Nick Riccardo
Jan 11, 2018 · 5 min read

If you haven’t heard, the latest object of your nostalgia to be making a comeback might be Mad About You.

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The hit NBC “Must See TV” sitcom starring Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt ran from 1992 to 1999 — And now, as TVLine first reported, Sony Pictures Television is in early talks to bring the show back for an eighth season, with Reiser and Hunt potentially reprising their roles as married couple Paul and Jamie Buchman.

Update: On March 6, 2019, Charter Communications announced it has picked up Mad About You to return as a limited series on its Spectrum Originals platform later in 2019.

Naturally, it generated some buzz.

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But there’s something BIGGER being lost in all this: what it means for the future — and past — of FRIENDS.

In fact, this Mad About You news could change — even breakFriends as we know it forever.

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See, Mad About You featured a waitress named Ursula, a recurring character played by Lisa Kudrow who was later written into Friends as Phoebe Buffay’s twin sister.

It began in Mad About You’s third season, and Friends’ first — originally part of a programming stunt that saw various NBC characters making crossovers into each other’s shows… and also a way to poke fun at the fact that Lisa Kudrow now had roles on two different shows in NBC’s Thursday-night lineup.

So how does this affect the world of Friends?

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Well, the series finale of Mad About You flashes forward to reveal that (spoiler alert!) Ursula becomes Governor of New York City by roughly 2021.

Though the episode (titled “The Final Frontier”) aired in 1999, it jumps ahead approximately 22 years into the future. As the credits roll, Paul and Jamie’s now-grown daughter Mabel (Janeane Garofalo) reveals to viewers, “Ursula Buffay, as you know, became Governor of New York.”

This is the most up-to-date information we have on any of the Friends characters.

…even Joey Tribbiani, whose storylines (should you choose to accept them) continued for another two years after Friends ended, with his much-maligned 2004–2006 spinoff, Joey.

But a lot of other, bigger stuff happened in the Mad About You finale, too — like an unfortunate (but ultimately temporary) separation between Paul and Jamie.

If Mad About You does indeed come back to TV, that finale suddenly wouldn’t make much sense.

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The new season would be set in the present, so unless the writers want all the characters’ futures to be spoiled, they’ll have to pretend the finale never existed.

Will & Grace actually did the same thing when it unexpectedly returned for a ninth season this year, poking fun at the fact that their futures didn’t turn out like we were told they would in 2006, when the show’s then-series finale similarly jumped ahead 20 years into the future.

It would all be LIES.

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So Phoebe’s sister may not have become Governor after all!

But then what? Would we be given new information about Ursula?

Or… Woah. Wait a minute…

Might Lisa Kudrow even RETURN as Ursula?!

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Unfortunately, we don’t know the answer to that just yet.

Don’t care then? Just wait. THERE’S MORE.

Even if you DGAF about Ursula — obviously the lesser of the Buffay sisters — consider this:

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Sure, given the Friends’ gang’s fairly consistent reluctance to do a reunion, it’s hard to imagine that Phoebe would ever make an appearance on a Mad About You revival, either. But…

What if Ursula talks about her?!

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What if Ursula makes a passing reference to being an AUNT?!

Or mentions that her sister is now part of a famous husband-and-wife guitar/piano duo who have become locally known as the “Sonny & Cher of Bushwick”? (No WAY they’re still affording a Village apartment with Manhattan’s rent prices these days.)

Or even hints at an unnamed sister who’s — yikes — recently divorced? (Sorry, Mike. We don’t want it to happen either. But you never know.)

You’d probably be all like…

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So cross your fingers, folks…

Anything could happen.

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