The Mind of the Married Man

Last updated
The Mind of the Married Man
Created by Mike Binder
Starring Mike Binder
Sonya Walger
Jake Weber
Ivana Miličević
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes20 (list of episodes)
Production
Running time30 minutes
Production companiesComedy Arts Studios
3 Arts Entertainment
Sunlight Productions
Release
Original network HBO
Original releaseSeptember 23, 2001 (2001-09-23) 
November 17, 2002 (2002-11-17)

The Mind of the Married Man was a television series that ran on the HBO network for two seasons consisting of twenty episodes between September 2001 and November 2002. [1] The story focused on the challenges of modern-day married life from a male perspective. [2]

Contents

The theme song was the title song of the musical I Love My Wife (1977), written by Cy Coleman and Michael Stewart.

Cast

Reception

The Mind Of The Married Man received mixed-to-negative reviews. Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly rated it the worst show on television in 2002, calling it "Mike Binder's rancid little barf-com" and described it as more offensive than similar shows on other non-subscription networks "because it could be more explicit in its moronic sexism". [3] Phil Gallo in Variety described it as an "overblown take on the sexual predilections and peccadilloes of a trio of ribald Chicago newspaper columnists" and that while it aspired to be "a male Sex and the City , it does not have any of that show’s strengths — character, plot, reality." [4] In a marginally more positive review, Julie Salamon of The New York Times said Married Man wants to copy Sex and the City, but it isn't nearly as deft or surprising and "adheres to many sitcom clichés", yet is "cleverly produced and compelling in part because its characters are so annoying (and so close to certain truths). Women especially will enjoy feeling superior to these sad souls with their pathetic dreams." [2]

HBO cancelled the show after 20 episodes over two seasons. According to Carolyn Strauss, who was the executive vice president of program development for HBO at the time, "Mind turned out to be a divisive show within households [...] Women wouldn't watch it, so husbands didn't watch it with their wives, and boyfriends didn't with their girlfriends." [5]

In a 2011 retrospective review, Metro called it "outdated" and that it "looked as though it could have been straight out of the early 1990s. Everything from the boxy jackets to the less-than-perfect visual quality of the filming looked oddly old-fashioned." The review added, "Although it had its funny moments, the writing wasn’t snappy enough to compensate for all of this." [6]

Episodes

Season 1 (2001)

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUS viewers
(millions)
1"The Mind of the Married Man" Mike Binder Mike Binder [7] September 23, 2001 (2001-09-23)3.05 [8]
Micky, Doug, and Jake are three married co-workers who work at a Chicago newspaper. The three discuss Micky's options as to how he should confront his wife, who had browsed his laptop computer and discovered pornographic pictures of college women. Jake suggests that Micky call Monica (a hooker who poses as Jake's computer consultant) and schedule a visit. Meanwhile, Micky needs a personal assistant, and after interviewing the candidates, he hires a woman whom he finds to be irresistibly attractive.
2"The Secret of the Universe" Roger Nygard Mike Binder [9] September 29, 2001 (2001-09-29)2.62 [10]
Admonished by Micky for being "cold" to Missy, Donna arrives at his office to ask her out to lunch - a decision that does not sit well with her husband. Single co-worker Kevin boasts about the plethora of "crazy" women around town; Jake gets up-close-and-personal with the paper's new entertainment reporter Ilene; and Doug shares his "secret of the universe" with Micky, offering to loan Micky and Donna some self-help "marriage tapes" that he and his wife Carol watch to keep their relationship strong.
3"The God of Marriage" Danny Leiner Mike Binder [11] October 7, 2001 (2001-10-07)N/A
Micky seems peeved when Donna doesn't "get" a joke he heard at the bar about oral sex and The Three Stooges - but is it just a cover for what is really upsetting him? Jake ends his office affair with Ilene, and Doug seeks to curtail his wife Carol's excessive spending. With Micky continuing to fantasize about Missy, Jake decides the best thing for his friend is a visit to the Tokyo massage parlor for a full-body rubdown - complete with an optional "happy ending."
4"Time on the Lake"Danny LeinerMike Binder [12] October 14, 2001 (2001-10-14)N/A
While Micky and Donna search for a hobby, the guys enlist Jake to find out whether a man is tired of his beautiful wife.
5"Anywhere, Anytime" Nancy Savoca Gay Walch [13] October 21, 2001 (2001-10-21)1.96 [14]
Donna gives Micky an "electronic tether" in the form of a pager. Meanwhile, Jake's jilted girlfriend Ilene threatens to tell his wife about his extramarital indiscretion.
6"Wonderful News" Bruce Paltrow Ritch Shydner [15] October 28, 2001 (2001-10-28)N/A
Could Donna be pregnant? Faced with the possibility, Micky struggles to come to grips with his feelings. Doug's visiting mother-in-law affects his sex life.
7"Just Thinking of You" Bob Saget Mike Binder [16] November 4, 2001 (2001-11-04)N/A
Micky and Donna embark on a kitchen/marriage remodel. Jake's call girl retires, and work forces Doug to skip Carol's birthday celebration.
8"When We Were Nice"Danny LeinerKatayoun A. Marciano [17] November 11, 2001 (2001-11-11)N/A
Micky accuses Donna of having an affair with their contractor. Jake suggests an exotic cure for Doug's back problem.
9"Lay Down Dancing"Danny LeinerMike Binder [18] November 18, 2001 (2001-11-18)N/A
Micky crosses the line with his masseuse. Jake crosses a line with Missy.
10"Cold Splash of Truth"Mike BinderMike Binder [19] November 25, 2001 (2001-11-25)N/A
Micky considers telling Donna about his extramarital excursion. Despite Doug's wishes, Carol returns to her career.

Season 2 (2002)

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUS viewers
(millions)
11"Peter Pan" Roger Nygard Mike Binder [20] September 15, 2002 (2002-09-15)3.92 [21]
Micky, racked with guilt over his extramarital excursion, is dead set on making things right as the "New Micky." Meanwhile, Donna is gung-ho about Bobby attending a posh pre-school, in the process scheduling a play-date for a less-than-enthused Micky.
12"The Cream of the Crop" Bruce Paltrow Mike Binder [22] September 22, 2002 (2002-09-22)N/A
Micky has a problem programming his TiVo, and wonders if it's a metaphor for his relationship with his mind. Meanwhile, Donna considers her role as a parent, and Jake leads Micky to a startling discovery about pre-school.
13"The Plan" Danny Leiner Mike Binder [23] September 29, 2002 (2002-09-29)2.82 [24]
During a night out at the movies, Donna is inspired to rethink her career, causing her and Micky to discuss her shift from "full-time writer" to "full-time mother." Meanwhile, Jake continues his dogged pursuit of Missy, and Randall teaches the youngsters a thing or two about cards.
14"Full-Time Mom"Roger NygardMike Binder [25] October 6, 2002 (2002-10-06)3.00 [26]
Donna decides the family needs to start attending church; Jake is nearly caught with Missy; and Micky reacquaints himself with a face from the past.
15"20/20" Neal Israel Bruce Kirschbaum [27] October 13, 2002 (2002-10-13)2.98 [28]
The anniversary party of Doug's parents causes everyone to evaluate their relationships with their own parents; Doug buys Carol a mysterious brand of coffee; and Micky has an eye exam with a beautiful optometrist.
16"The Perfect Babysitter"Danny Leiner Tom Leopold [29] October 20, 2002 (2002-10-20)3.09 [30]
Micky reluctantly agrees to begin therapy; the Nelsons debate whether to buy a new car or remodel their kitchen; and Jake continues his pursuit of Missy.
17"The Corvette"Neal Israel Ritch Shydner and Leah Krinsky Atkins [31] October 27, 2002 (2002-10-27)2.90 [32]
Micky thinks a new baby will remedy their marital problems, but Donna has her own solution; against Carol's wishes, Doug buys a Corvette; and Bianca (Brigitte Bako) suspects something between Jake and Missy.
18"The Pony Ride" Stephen Herek Mike Binder [33] November 3, 2002 (2002-11-03)N/A
Micky plans a surprise party for Randall to get back in his good graces, but finds himself distracted by a new dilemma at home.
19"A Hard Pill to Swallow"Roger NygardMike Binder [34] November 10, 2002 (2002-11-10)3.17 [35]
Micky starts to see progress in therapy, but finds his relationship with Donna tested; Jake finally runs out of alibis with Bianca; and Carol decides to trade in Doug's Corvette.
20"Never Stop"Mike BinderKevin Garnett & Lee Eisenberg [36] November 17, 2002 (2002-11-17)3.64 [37]
Micky suggests couple's therapy in order to draw Donna back into the relationship; after a few nights on Slayton's couch, Jake tries to talk his way back into Bianca's life.

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