Review of "The Odd Copule" on CBS From The TV MegaSite

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"The Odd Couple" review by Suzanne 2/20/15
It airs Thursdays 8:30/7:30 on

Before watching the pilot episode, I'd read some bad reviews of the show, so I expected it to be awful. It's not bad. Then again, I don't think most of those other shows that critics like are very funny. Humor is so hard to judge. We all have different senses of humor. I kind of have lowbrow tastes. I like smart humor, but it has to be really funny. I don't think "subtle" is good unless it's really well done. Too often in sitcoms, "subtle comedy" just means it's not very good. Maybe it makes you smile, but not laugh. I don't like "Modern Family" or "2 Broke Girls" or "Mom" or "Community" or "New Girl". They're just not very funny.

I do like "Big Bang Theory" and "Two and a Half Men" when they're funny, but they could both be better (now the latter has left the air). Same with the other comedies. Most of them are not funny ALL of the time, but as long as they're not too disappointing, I'll keep watching.

There were a lot of great sitcoms in the 70's, and "The Odd Couple" was one of them. I'm sure if I watched it now, I wouldn't think it was all that good because I was young back then, so my standards were even lower. Heck, I liked "Gilligan's Island" and "The Brady Bunch". Just try watching those now! They're awful. It's the same jokes over and over again. But there were some shows back then that are still funny today, like "The Bob Newhart Show" and "Barney Miller". I think the new Odd Couple is probably funnier than the original but not as funny as those very good shows. It's really hard to tell from one episode, though.

The premise of the show is that Felix (Thomas Lennon), who's very prissy and a bit of a neat freak, moves in with Oscar (Matthew Perry). Oscar is divorced and Felix is heading that way. Oscar is a slob, so they have a hard time getting along. Oscar is what we might call a regular guy, but Felix is a little strange. In the original series, Oscar was a newspaper sports writer, so he was kind of a loud mouth and always getting annoyed if his team lost (he also bet a lot on sports). In the new series, Oscar has a radio show (similar to what Perry played on his previous show "Go On").

The show is updated for the modern era, which is fine. It works really well because divorce back then was still a novelty, but now it's common place. It doesn't really affect the comedy, though, that these two very different guys would share an apartment (rent is very expensive, especially in New York City). In some ways, having the show take place now makes it funnier because they can make jokes about how Felix seems very gay, whereas back in the 70's they couldn't really do that.  I liked the joke they made about how Felix's initials are "F.U."!

Lennon does a fabulous job. He sounds a lot like Tony Randall, in fact (the original Felix).  I always love Matthew Perry, and he makes me laugh, but he seems a bit miscast as Oscar Madison. The character in the original TV show, as well as in the movie was what some people call a "schlub". That is, he was an ugly, kinda-fat middle-aged guy. Perry is just a bit too pretty and thin to be Oscar.

I wouldn't say it's the funniest sitcom on TV, but it definitely made me laugh quite a bit. It was a bit uneven. It'll be interesting to see whether it gets even better as it goes along. Check it out!

A note: My husband watched part of it and thought it was awful. He's a lot pickier than I am, though, and only watches a few TV shows.

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