TITLE: THE ODD COUPLE - THE FINAL (FIFTH) SEASON
DVD Release Date: November 18, 2008 (CBS DVD)
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 22
Running Time: 562 minutes
Runtime of Special Features: N/A
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English, Closed-Captioned
Special Features: None
What do you get when you put two divorced men whom are nothing alike in the same apartment? You get The Odd Couple, the 1970s sitcom starring Tony Randall as neat freak Felix Unger and Jack Klugman as total slob Oscar Madison. The series was never a major hit in the five seasons that it aired on ABC, but has become more well-known and appreciated as a classic sitcom as the years passed by. The Final Season of The Odd Couple contains all 22 episodes from the fifth and final season of the series on a three disc DVD set.
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
Rob Reiner plays Myrna’s ex-boyfriend in “The Rain in Spain Falls Mainly in Vain,” where Felix gives her a makeover to win him back. Will it work? Felix becomes Oscar’s agent in Hollywood in “The Hollywood Story.” Bob Hope guest stars. Felix kidnaps a dog in “The Dog Story,” but who may just end up in the “dog pound” so to speak? Could Oscar just be odd enough to run for city councilman? Felix thinks so in “The Odd Candidate.”
Felix is out to prove to Oscar that New Yorkers are great people, and tries to do that in a broken down subway car in “The Subway Show.” Felix refuses to let his daughter go to a concert in “The Paul Williams Show,” and it may just backfire on Felix. Oscar has to take over for a vacationing movie critic in “Two on the Aisle,” and has Felix write the articles for him--but takes all of the credit when the articles are a hit. Howard Cosell guest stars in “Your Mother Wears Army Boots,” where Oscar gets to be part of ABC’s Monday Night Football.
Felix leads a strike against the landlord in “The Rent Strike,” but his followers will jump ship when the landlord agrees to their demands under one condition--Felix must leave the building! Dick Cavett guest stars in “Two on a Hoarse,” where neither Oscar nor Felix can talk (for different reasons). Oscar gets to play a fat guy in a commercial “The Bigger They Are...” Richard Dawson guest stars in “Laugh, Clown, Laugh!,” where Felix has an ax to grind with Dawson. The series ends with “Felix Remarries,” where we find out whether or not two divorced men will share an apartment forever.
The packaging is very similar the other seasons--a standard DVD case with an extra tray inserted inside to hold two of the discs. The outside artwork contains pictures of both Felix and Oscar and is presented in a red color scheme (which is actually very close to the dark pink used for the previous season). Inside, you’ll find the discs, but there are only three discs this time instead of four. So, in the middle panel, you’ll find Disc 1 and Disc 2, and on the back panel you’ll find Disc 3. Also, on the inside of the plastic case, you’ll find episode descriptions and original airdates, but of course, you’ll have to remove Disc 3 to read some of these. It is a minor annoyance, really. There is no disc artwork aside from the series logo that is presented on the packaging (which is not even the actual logo used on the series...) printed on a frosted silver background, much like every other CBS DVD product. Discs 1 and 2 contain seven episodes each, while Disc 3 contains eight episodes.
Menu Design and Navigation:
You have to applaud CBS DVD for consistency, as the menus have been exactly the same for EVERY season of the series on DVD. EXACTLY the same. On the main menu, you’ll see video clips with the theme song playing in the background. You are presented with a list of episodes as well as a Play All option. Once you have selected what you want, you will get what you selected. While there is no scene selection menu, chapters are placed at all of the appropriate places.
Video and Audio Quality:
The video quality on the set could be more impressive, but then again, it also appears that some effort was definitely made to clean up the episodes. There is some grain, but other than that, the episodes really don’t look all that bad. The audio is mostly fine, but it does sometimes seem a little muffled. It is presented in mono. For those that require closed-captioning, it can be found on the episodes.
Of course, this is a CBS DVD product, and as one would expect, there is the infamous disclaimer on the set. You know the wording by now. “Some episodes may be edited from their original network versions. Music has been changed for this home entertainment version.” Those words have a very ambiguous meaning. Sometimes, it means that there is a LOT of material missing, while other times it may mean ten seconds cut from one episode. In any event, we as DVD fans don’t like even one second being missing from an episode, and it is unacceptable for this to be a standard disclaimer on EVERY DVD set that a company releases. With that being said, there are some trouble spots to be found on the set. While most episodes run at over 26 minutes, a few come in shorter, with one running at just under 24 minutes. Runtimes for each episode are as follows:
1. The Rain in Spain Falls Mainly in Vain (26:07)
2. To Bowl or Not to Bowl (26:06)
3. The Frog (25:56)
4. The Hollywood Story (26:08)
5. The Dog Story (26:06)
6. Strike Up the Band or Else... (24:30)
7. The Odd Candidate (26:05)
8. The Subway Show (25:46)
9. The Paul Williams Show (25:38)
10. Our Fathers (24:59)
11. The Big Broadcast (26:07)
12. Oscar in Love (25:35)
13. Two on the Aisle (25:31)
14. Your Mother Wears Army Boots (23:40)
15. Felix the Horseplayer (26:05)
16. The Roy Clark Show (25:38)
17. The Rent Strike (25:27)
18. Two Men on a Hoarse (25:06)
19. The Bigger They Are... (25:39)
20. Old Flames Never Die (26:08)
21. Laugh, Clown, Laugh (25:36)
22. Felix Remarries (25:27)
One disappointing thing about this set (as well as every season since the second season) is that there are no special features, at all. The REALLY disappointing thing is that, at least for seasons two and three, special features were actually produced, but never made it to the DVD sets. I don’t understand why they couldn’t have thrown in something, even if it may seem “minor.” The Garry Marshall introductions would have been particularly nice if they had continued those.
We have yet another series that is wrapped up on DVD, although it is disappointing that this series went from a DVD set that could be described as “award-winning” for the first season all the way down to a mere collection of episodes with edits in the final season. Still, you can’t let that dissuade you from wanting to own this set. The edits aren’t atrocious, or even on that many episodes for that matter. The episodes are still funny and great to see, as this show didn’t last long enough to even reach a peak. And of course, the series itself is a classic, and worthy of watching over and over again.
It would be nice to see, although I doubt it will happen, a complete series collection of the series with every episode, unedited, and complete with all of the bonus features that were intended to be included on the episodes. We can always dream, but if there is a complete series collection on the horizon, it’ll probably be very similar to what we’ve seen already. But in any event, you can own this season (as well as every other season) of the series on DVD today.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4.5/5
-- Reviewed by skees53 on 11/27/08
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