As both a writer and star of “Mad About You,” Paul Reiser explains to GQ that he understood the unique dynamic between actors and writers that “Reboot” depicts:
“On ‘Mad About You,’ I was in the writers’ room and I was on stage, and also I created the show, so there was a little bit of a difference, but I know damn well when I walked out, there was a lot of rolling their eyes, like, ‘Fricking actors.’ The politics, the behind-the-scenes, the actors rolling their eyes at the writers, the writers rolling their eyes at the actors, the old people making fun of the young people: all that stuff is true.”
There was also a generational divide behind the scenes of “Mad About You” when the series returned for a reboot. According to Reiser, he and his co-star Helen Hunt wanted a small writer’s room with a younger staff: “Helen and I were very clear: ‘Okay, we will be the old guard, we know what the show was and we know how to do it, but we need you guys to be the younger guard.” These fresh-faced writers would bring contemporary ideas to the table.
You can mainly see their influence in the depiction of Paul and Jamie’s daughter Mabel, a freshman at New York University. In one episode, Paul guest speaks at one of Mabel’s film classes, and her peers chastise him for not including any women in his latest documentary. When Paul accidentally calls Mabel “honey,” during his lecture (afraid of seeming privileged, she doesn’t want her peers to know that he is her father), the class accuses him of being a misogynist. This storyline has the kind of modern twist that “Reboot” spoofs.