After a couple of shows, Matthew Perry as Oscar doesn’t feel so Odd

OK, I'll admit that the chemistry works.

OK, I’ll admit that the chemistry works.

After a reboot of the DVR to recapture full utility of my Time Warner Cable On Demand, I sat down to the first two episodes of “The Odd Couple,” the pilot last night and this week’s follow-up this morning.

So now I must admit it.

My teeth-gnashing regarding Matthew Perry filling the shoes of my beloved Oscar Madison was unneeded fret and wail. This CBS remake of the Neil Simon classic is OK with me. Perry, the most neurotic of “Friends” Chandler Bing himself, pulls off the sloppy sportswriter played so well by Walter Matthau and Jack Klugman in my youth quite well. And his angst taken from the fastidiousness of roommate Felix Ungar, works quite well with the arch of Thomas Lennon. The chemistry is there.

I like how they’ve brought the story into 2015, in fact. Oscar is a sports radio host that works out of his living room. Their apartment is in a big city building that allows plenty of quirky friends and neighbors to drop by, and Oscar to wander to the nearby pub and flirt with women and do Oscarly things and Felix to take photographs and straighten Oscar’s ways and do Felixy things. They crack jokes about social media and even stray to the sligthly risque about singleness.

The supporting cast seems strong, with Yvette Nicole Brown from “Community” as Oscar’s assistant, Wendell Pierce from HBO’s “The Wire” and “Treme” as Oscar’s agent, and Lindsay Sloane from “Horrible Bosses” as a neighbor familiar and funny.

Now that my reboot worked, I’ll watch this reboot again.

Have you watched the remaked of “The Odd Couple” yet, and if so, what do you think? Do you want them to bring back more old shows and bring them into today’s age, and if so, which shows? Which actors would you like to play classic roles?

62 thoughts on “After a couple of shows, Matthew Perry as Oscar doesn’t feel so Odd

  1. I didn’t even know it was on last night. Our cable channels go from 700 to near 800, and CBS is 705, and we never bother to even channel down that low, so I don’t think I’ve watched a regular CBS show in a decade. I did see Tom Lennon on “The Soup” this morning; he is a true-life OCD little person, and I watched him balance on his head while Matthew set a mug on his special places, so perhaps it will prove entertaining.

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    • That was one of the scenes from Thursday night’s show. See, chemistry!

      Our cable runs the old-style networks on the old-style single digits as well as in the 1000s with their single-digit number, too. Maybe they pay more for this valet treatment. I watch the networks on the single-digits. Easier for me to remember and punch into the remote while changing during commercial breaks, Kerbey.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I liked it a little bit, it seems to ‘grow’ on me. I find the friendship to be closer than I expected and the way they get through things really helps. The woman in the bar is so far, more annoying than Felix’s trait of being Mr. Clean. Smiles!

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  3. You know, there have now been two separate nights in which the new Odd Couple sitcom played in my household, all the way through, mind you, and I have yet to know what was going on in either episode whatsoever. Oh, the life of a mother!

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    • It’s worth a look. Garry Marshall, the producer of the original TV show, is listed in the credits as a consultant. And I could see his touch, Hook, mixed in with the modern. And yes, Perry does need a show. Might as well have a premise we know we like. Thanks for stopping by, my friend, at talking TV today.

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  4. I loved Walter Matthau as Oscar Madison and Jack Lemmon as Felix Unger in the 1968 movie. I also loved Jack Klugman and Tony Randall in the same roles on the TV show. I haven’t seen the updated version yet with Matthew Perry, but I hope it holds up for the viewers. πŸ˜‰

    I’m not a big fan of remakes of movies or TV shows because the remake is often a pale version of the original.

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  5. I had no idea there was a reboot of this show. Hmmm, I don’t know. I’m not crazy about remaking shows. Jack Klugman and Tony Randall will always be Oscar and Felix for me. Then again they were a remake of the movie and I liked the TV show better. Okay, I’ll watch an episode. But really, is there such a lack of original ideas that this needs to happen?

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  6. Glad it was a winner for you. As a Matthew Perry fan, I would watch him in anything. Sounds like a great role for him. As you said in your earlier post, it’s a classic story and what fun to see it updated and see that it still works.

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  7. OK, finally getting around to replying here. Like I mentioned in an earlier post, I was skeptical going in (The Klugman-Randall OC is my favorite TV series of all time), but I like the new version.

    A few quick thoughts

    – The chemistry of the leads is essential, and like you said, it’s there.
    – Perry is not trying to re-do Klugman or Matthau, and that’s good. His Oscar is more of a grown-up-frat-boy, and I think that works well.
    – Lennon is just great as Felix (and yes, the supporting cast, especially Brown, is really good).
    – So far, they really have been able to keep the feel of the original series while modernizing it.
    – And I loved that they snuck this joke in the pilot, from Oscar about a message that Felix had left: ” ‘Pick up your socks, F.U.’ It took me two days to figure out that F.U. meant Felix Unger!” I saw that as a bit of an homage to past “Odd Couple” versions, because a version of that joke, I’m pretty sure, was used in Simon’s play, in the Matthau-Lemon movie AND in the Klugman-Randall series.

    So far, so good. I’ll keep watching.

    I hope you are well, my friend, and hopefully I’ll see you on the golf course in the not-too-distant future.

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    • I like your take on this version, George, and I agree. I still like it. It is paying homage to the past versions, in small, knowing ways. (F.U. included.)

      This past week gave me hope that we will be playing gold in Syracuse this summer after all, my friend. April for us, maybe? markbialczak@gmail.com is where you can get me.

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