Air date: 5/24/1999
"One of the more complicated end-of-the-television-season rituals is saying goodbye to one-time hit series that have overstayed their welcome." Apparently, these words, courtesy of the Baltimore Sun's David Zurawik, were the kindest thing you could say about the finale of Mad About You. Industry insiders nicknamed the show "NBC's Titanic" during its final years, as millions of dollars were tied up in Helen Hunt and Paul Reiser's salaries even though the show wasn't even winning its time slot.
The sitcom ended in about as strange a way as could be, with the protagonists' child, Mabel (Janeane Garofalo), all grown up and narrating the sendoff. A fractured combination of a clip show and choppy glimpses into the family's future punctuated a show that spent its final two seasons unraveling as it isolated itself from the audience that once made it a hit. That's some sad shit.