Five Things I Like About The Odd Couple

Oscar, Felix, Teddy, Dani, Emily, Murph - The Odd Couple

We seem to be living in an age of re-imagined and re-booted TV programs. Over the last 15 years or more, programs that I remember from my youth have been brought back in a new form. Mind you, I am not complaining. Many of these programs have been of high quality. Although they don’t all achieve ratings success, I enjoyed watching several of them.

For instance, V was brought back and I loved the new updated version, but the ratings could not sustain it and it was canceled after two years. On the other hand, Battlestar Galactica and Hawaii Five-0 have both seen/are seeing critical acclaim and successful broadcast runs of their newer versions.

Can we attribute this trend to nostalgia, or is it just laziness or lack of ideas in the TV industry (and movie industry for that matter)? Frankly, I don’t know. What I do know is that I will continue to sample the re-imagined and re-booted fare on my TV screen!

Currently I am watching The Odd Couple on CBS, which airs on Thursdays at 8:30 pm Eastern time. It is the fourth TV program based on the play by Neil Simon, which includes a Saturday morning animated series! I really like this show. Let me explain why.

Laugh Out Loud Funny
 

Oscar, Felix and Teddy - The Odd Couple

I watch a lot of dramas and police procedurals. Some of the program I watch have a decidedly heavy tone – Arrow, I’m looking at you! To offset this darker viewing, programs that make me laugh out loud are most welcome.

But, I have found that not all situation comedies reach me in this way. While I have tried other comedies, I am always looking for the ones that genuinely bring on the giggles, and The Odd Couple does that for me!

Spot-On Portrayal of Main Characters
 

Oscar and Felix  - The Odd Couple

Having been privileged to watch the likes of Tony Randall and Jack Klugman playing Felix and Oscar, when I first started watching this new version I was unsure that it would be able to hold a candle to the original. And, yes I am aware this was originally a stage production, followed by a movie, but I am talking about TV programs here, so please bear with me!

However, my concerns were unnecessary since the current version with Matthew Perry as Oscar and Thomas Lennon as Felix has a feel of familiarity with freshness. Felix has all of the expected fussiness, and Oscar, well Oscar is just as messy and gruff as ever.

Supporting Cast
 

Murph and Emily - The Odd Couple

I will admit that I did not know who Yvette Nicole Brown was before watching this show, but I did recognize her from The Talking Dead. Yes, she is a super fan who takes notes during The Walking Dead and keeps track of what happens in each episode. A neek (nerd+geek) after my own heart! She plays Dani, Oscar’s assistant who is not afraid to tell it like it is.

Then there is Teddy, Oscar’s agent, who knows Oscar better than he knows himself, or so it seems. Emily, their upstairs neighbor, is attracted to Felix, but he is so focused on his ex-wife and his desire to get back together that he does not notice her interest. She works as a waitress at a local bar and is very bad at her job. She also makes jewelry on the side but is not well suited to running a business.

Snark-fest!
 

Teddy and Dani - The Odd Couple

I have said it many times before, but I just adore snark. On The Odd Couple, Felix is the perfect straight man, taking things that are said literally. This sets up Oscar for the slam dunk with his snarky comments.

But, not to be left out, some of the supporting characters also get in their share of snark lines. In particular Dani and Teddy are well used by the writers to offer some hysterical side commentary.

Outrageous But Mostly Realistic Situations
 

Oscar - The Odd Couple

Situation comedies usually take a real occurrence and then exaggerate it to make it funny or funnier. Sometimes the situations seem to be a real stretch to believability, i.e., “do people really do that?” will run through my mind. I am finding that to not be the case most of the time with The Odd Couple. While certainly the situations are exaggerated, they also come across as plausible, which add to the humor in my opinion.

For instance, Oscar is a radio sports talk show host. When he gets an opportunity to appear on a TV sports talk show, Felix convinces him to try it, not knowing the disastrous history from a previous appearance. When the expected meltdown occurs, it is hysterical to watch!

 

Have you watched The Odd Couple? What do you think of it? Is it a worthy addition to the other incarnations of the show? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below!