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“Mad About You” and what we need to learn about relationships

“Mad About You” and what we need to learn about relationships

How a series from the 90s can serve to build gay self-esteem and teach the secret of relationships for two

By Hélio Filho

I wish I had understood “Mad About You” the first time I watched it, dubbed on Globo and Bandeirantes back in the 90s. So much nonsense would never have existed. The big secret of a healthy relationship was revealed there and I, at 8, 9 years old, couldn’t reach it. It’s life, it’s time and it’s the charm of each age. But it’s never too late and I, out of pure Capricorn nostalgia, watched it again – it’s complete on Globoplay.

I’ve always loved Helen Hunt, ever since “Dancing on TV”, a 1985 film with her and Sarah Jessica Parker that at home we watched a lot (back in the video store days, we watched the same thing over and over because options were limited). When I looked at Globoplay to look for “Amor à Vida”, the soap opera, I came across “Mad About You” and Marjorie Estiano was next in line.

In a very VHS cover summary, you can say that the series is about a couple who live in New York – Paul (Paul Reiser) and Jamie (Helen) – and talks about the delights and not so delights of moving in together. . It is the final frontier of a relationship, as the opening song, “Final Frontier” suggests. Mothers, fathers, dog Murray, friends and sisters complete the cast – which over eight seasons welcomes illustrious guests such as Cyndi Lauper and Helen DeGeneres.

Then we come to an important point. For those who are thinking that they are two of the most LGBT+ names of the 1990s, yes, they are. And not for nothing. Skipping that summary above, which doesn’t say anything, we can move on to what matters: “Mad About You”, being a sitcom, situation comedy, plants several very important seeds that in 2020 are real flowers. Gender equality, fight against homophobia, environmentalism, feminism…

Cyndi Lauper becomes a very rich countess in the series
Suffice it to say that Paul and Jamie are a couple where there is no one stronger, more dominant. In fact, it is her most of the time, bringing the image of a successful woman at work, professionally sought after, well paid, who uses cloth bags to go shopping and help save the planet and still shoots, in a natural way. still embryonic in the 90s, who thinks it’s sad that gays can’t love.

A couple who could live in any part of the city, but live on 12th Street, in the part of the city known for its LGBT presence even today. Right at the beginning of the first season, in 1992, an LGBT+ Pride Parade prevents the two from leaving the house. But at no point is this impediment shown as bad, no one complains. On the contrary, Jamie regrets that someone needs to take to the streets to guarantee the right to say they love someone else. Furthermore, a family member very close to the couple comes out as a lesbian.

There is no such thing as a man leaving home to work and a woman taking care of the home. They both work. There is no such thing as putting the husband’s commitment before the wife’s commitment, both commitments are important. Both professional careers are equally important. Like feelings. They both feel it and they both need to understand the other.

Because we’re talking here about something very serious that happens to some (I’m not going to generalize) of us when we’re still young animals. We are discovering the world of passion, at an age where – some more and others less – everyone is looking for some type of acceptance. And people at this age still don’t know that the main one is SELF-acceptance.

So it could happen around the age of 15, 16 (this varies, obviously) that we meet someone a little older, but smarter enough to take advantage of this difference. Unfortunately, not smart enough to recognize herself as a sexist queer. It’s these guys who make you believe that they are always in first place – only years later do we discover that it can’t be a dispute.

Time passes, the couple continues (in 2019 revival)
These are the guys who have a sense of “actively commands and passively obeys” because they don’t feel their structural machismo – or they do. And when we see a series from 28 years ago showing a balanced heterosexual couple (in this dispute, because they are deliciously crazy), we wonder why we still go through situations of subjection – not fetishistic subjection, I clarify. Pernicious subjection, dangerous domination.

A subjection that can make us artificial. And what “Mad Abou You” can teach you – if you haven’t read Freud, Nietzsche or Nelson Rodrigues – is that everyone has defects, quirks, neuroses, strangeness. When we subject ourselves to being who the other person wants within a relationship, we immediately lose ourselves. Few can maintain satisfaction by playing a role all the time.

Paul and Jamie are normal (“The Normals” also serves as a lesson, just mentioning) and they don’t hide it from each other. That’s why everything happens and they remain certain that they are crazy about each other. Because they know who the other one is. And we need to, once and for all, break some sexist chains that exist in the gay world. Don’t be the perfect queer, be you. Allow the world to know you, not let it shape you.

Be crazy about you. Available on Prime and Claro.
PS: for those who like crossovers, there are “Seinfield” and “Friends”!

By Ezatamentchy

Source: Maxima

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