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Paul Reiser Talks His New Show Reboot And How It Compares To Mad About You's Recent Reboot - Exclusive

Paul Reiser doesn't like reboots. "To me, things that are great should be left alone," he noted. In fact, Reiser admits that he and Helen Hunt, his co-star of the iconic '90s sitcom "Mad About You," "used to joke about how we would never come back and there's no ... reunions."

Reiser's not alone in his thinking. There's been a glut of revivals and reunions of both beloved and not-so-beloved shows in the past several years, and while some have been well-received, in many cases, critics and audiences were left wondering why the masterminds behind the shows didn't leave well enough alone.

Ironically for Reiser, there are two things in his recent filmography that will keep him strongly associated with reboots for years to come. First, in 2019, "Mad About You" came back for a limited revival 20 years after the original show ended; second, he's currently starring in a Hulu comedy called, ahem, "Reboot." In an exclusive interview with Looper, Reiser explained his reasoning behind tackling both projects and shared why his experience on the reboot of "Mad About You" was not at all like the backstage antics depicted on "Reboot."

Two reboots, one big difference

Paul Reiser revealed that when he got the script for "Reboot," he found the premise so appealing, he didn't "know how to say no to" it. In fact, Reiser found that "Reboot" reflected his own perception of the perils of reboots.

"Here was a show talking about why rebooting a silly sitcom is not a great idea, but it's not about the sitcom," he described. "It's about the making of it and the people and how they've changed in 25 years ... I play the guy who created the original show and wants to recreate it as it was, and they brought in a new, younger writer who wants to make it more socially relevant and up to date, and I'm fighting that. It becomes, 'What's that tension? Shouldn't you leave something [the way it was]?' Not necessarily."

That's a perspective Reiser and Helen Hunt applied when deciding whether to appear in the "Mad About You" reboot. "We had to come up with, 'But why? Why would we [reboot 'Mad About You']?'" Reiser observed. "We didn't want to tamper with what we had completed. Then we realized, in our case, they would be in a different point of life now. We weren't trying to pretend we were still 30 and newlyweds. That would be sad. Let's jump into the fact that, well, our kid ... is now leaving the nest, and we're back again as the two idiots," he explained. "There's a lot of life to talk about. We thought, 'That'll be fun.' We all had a great time doing it and fell right into place."

Reiser's time on the "Mad About You" revival stands in stark contrast to the experience of the characters on "Reboot." "'Mad About You' was a sweet experience," Reiser said, but that bliss would have made for poor comedy. As a result, although Reiser enjoyed filming "Reboot," the behind-the-scenes scenario presented on the show is intentionally fraught with issues and clashes between characters intended to make viewers laugh out loud — and question whether rebooting classic shows is a good idea.

The first three episodes of Reboot are available on Hulu with new episodes available on Tuesdays, and Reiser is performing stand-up comedy in cities in the United States and Canada through mid-2023.