"Another great show," says Matthew Perry's Oscar Madison. "Yep, another show," deadpans his assistant Dani (Yvette Nicole Brown).
Yes, it's another show -- this one a remake of the classic play turned movie turned television show -- for the former "Friends" star, his fourth series since "Friends" ended in 2004. He's done some great work, in the Aaron Sorkin drama "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" (22 episodes from 2006-07), and some not so great work in two sitcoms, "Mr. Sunshine" (13 episode in 2011) and "Go On" (22 episodes from 2012-13).
Based on "The Odd Couple's" tepid pilot episode, I'd say that there's a good chance that Perry will be busy during pilot season come the fall.
In case anyone here is unfamiliar with "The Odd Couple," it's a Neil Simon story about two opposites living together under one roof. Oscar Madison is the messy slob and Felix Unger (Thomas Lennon, "Reno 911") is the anal neat-freak. These were roles once played by Walter Matthau and Art Carney, Matthau and Jack Lemmon and Jack Klugman and Tony Randall, to name a few.
Perry and Lennon just can't hold a candle to those folks.
Perry's Oscar is a gross guy, divorced and living in an expensive-looking NYC apartment that looks like it has bedbugs. He's a sports talk radio star working from home with a wall of televisions and a sports ticker.
Lennon's high-strung Felix is thrown out of the home by his wife and moves in with Oscar. Cultures clash, hilarity ensues, etc.
"The Odd Couple" is based on an old property, and this sitcom feels dated, from the laugh track to the reused jokes. Throw in some familiar character actors -- Wendell Pierce, Dave Foley, Lindsay Sloane -- and you have a show that's perfectly geared for viewers looking for the same old thing.
And with CBS sending its hit "Two and a Half Men" to rerun heaven, "The Odd Couple" could be the next lackluster comedy to enigmatically catch on with viewers. Or get canned after a handful of episodes.
"The Odd Couple" premieres Thursday at 8:30 p.m. on CBS/2.