Thursday, December 27, 2007
You're Gettin' Even While I'm Gettin' Odd
I got the second season of "The Odd Couple" on DVD for Christmas this year, and it's been really terrific to watch. As I mentioned earlier, this was when they switched it over from filming it to videotaping it in front of a live audience, and no series has ever been as energized by that decision as this one. In his book Tony and Me, Jack Klugman talks about how, as theater veterans, he and Randall thought they'd both perform better in front of an audience, and he was certainly right.
The first episode of the season -- "Natural Childbirth," a story about Oscar's niece-by-marriage coming to New York to deliver a baby -- still feels tentative, but in the second show, "Felix's Wife's Boyfriend," Tony Randall finds that sweet spot between heartfelt character work and broad, crowd-pleasing farce, and the series has finally found its footing. Even when the writing is less than outstanding, Randall and Klugman, from that moment on, are just ridiculously good.
Plus, I've been watching the DVD on this very computer I use to post to OPC, and I have been astounded by the resolution. I have never before seen so clearly Jack Klugman's toupee.