The Odd Couple: The Second Season – DVD Review

DVD Reviews, Reviews

Available at

Executive Producer:
Garry Marshall

Tony Randall….Felix Unger
Jack Klugman….Oscar Madison
Al Molinaro….Police Office Murray Greshler
Joan Hotchkis….Dr. Nancy Cunningham

Paramount Home Video presents The Odd Couple: The Second Season. Twenty three episodes on 4 DVDs. Episodes aired from Sept. 17, 1971 to Mar. 3, 1972. DVD released August 10, 2007.

The Show

Roommate stories have always been a great source of entertainment. The best tales of frustrated cohabitation always come close to being homicide confessions. The high moment of the tale is always underscored with “and I nearly killed them!” What makes these stories humorous instead of tragic is the passing of time and the fact that you don’t live with them anymore. The Odd Couple nails those tense moments that can lead to carnage. Felix and Oscar live on that homicidal edge. Felix can’t kill Oscar for fear of staining the carpet. Oscar can’t kill Felix cause he can’t find a knife in his messy bedroom.

Season Two marked major changes in the show. The first season was filmed with a single camera on the apartment set from the movie version that starred Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. The show was an extension of the film. For this season, they redesigned the apartment so the show could be filmed in front of a live studio audience with three cameras. The show returned to its Broadway stage roots. This live performance aspect allowed Jack Klugman and Tony Randall to play to the room. No longer were they merely acting for the camera. Their exchanges achieved the comic timing of the Harlem Globetrotters on a fast break.

Another departure from the theatrical version of The Odd Couple would be no more visits from the Pigeon sisters. But these two divorcees wouldn’t be completely single. After a few dates at the end of season one, Dr. Nancy Cunningham became Oscar’s main girlfriend to the point where she almost made the show The Odd Threesome. Perhaps the network wanted a woman to balance Felix’s estrogen moments? The first season had the roommates only talk about their ex-wives. We finally get to meet their former loves of Felix and Oscar. “Felix’s Wife’s Boyfriend” has Nancy’s brother date Gloria, Felix’s ex-wife. Felix knows the brother is a big time stud and is fearful that he’s going to lose his ex-wife. Or the guy will just pump and dump her. Felix tries to “save” his ex-wife by doing something that normally gets you a restraining order. It is interesting that they titled the episode by calling Gloria his wife and not ex-wife. “Being Divorced Is Never Having to Say I Do” has Blanche, Oscar’s ex-wife surprise the boys. Turns out that she’s remarrying which delights Oscar since he’s late a few months on the alimony checks. Felix doesn’t feel the love between Blanche and her new man. He can’t stay quiet during the ceremony even though he knows its going to cost Oscar a bundle. Blanche is played by Match Game goddess Brett Somers. At the time she was married to Klugman, but they split up before the series ended. On the show, they made a really good divorced couple. “A Night to Dismember” has Felix sneakily reunite Oscar and Blanche on the anniversary of their divorce. He attempts to rekindle their romance by having them remember the New Year’s Eve party that led to the break up. In a Rashomon tribute, each of the three explain how Oscar ended up on the bed with Joan Van Ark. Oscar tells Felix, “Why is it every time you wanna help me, you end up hurting me? You’re like a vicious Saint Bernard!” This concisely explains the heart of this series. And why this comedy has heart.

“Sleepwalker” shows the drastic side effect of Oscar attempting to control his temper around Felix. The rage that doesn’t erupt in daylight visits Felix during bedtime. “A Grave for Felix” has Oscar screw up when Felix gives him $100 to put the down payment on the perfect burial site. Oscar risks the cash on a sure thing at the race track. The horse loses the race and Oscar is denied the perpetual real estate. Oscar does his best to hustle down the future occupant of the plot in order to make Felix happy. “Murray the Fink” shows that the friendly cop can’t handle Oscar’s incessant teasing that he’s the lamest cop on the force. Murray proves him wrong by “raiding” their Poker game and throwing Oscar and Felix into the joint. Felix is delighted that Murray is finally getting noticed by the police force. “Oscar’s Promotion” features Jack Soo (beloved as Det. Nick Yemana on Barney Miller) as a Chinese wrestler. Felix causes an international incident when he talks to Soo into retiring.

The box features the warnings that “some episodes may be edited from their original network versions” and “some music has been changed for this home entertainment version.” All the episodes are around 25 minutes and 30 seconds. There are no drastic syndication prints. Felix’s singing moments remain in the three big musical episodes this season. Felix organizes his opera group’s latest production in “Does Your Mother Know You’re Out, Rigoletto?” After scaring off their leading man, Oscar promises to get his baseball teammate Richard Fredricks as a replacement. Fredricks was the Principal Baritone with the Metropolitan Opera. When Fredricks hurts himself while playing baseball, Oscar has to perform the role while Fredricks sings from the curtain. “Felix the Calypso Singer” lets him belt out island melodies including a nasty song about Oscar. “The Odd Couple Meet Their Host” lets the boys become TV sensations when they appear on David Steinberg’s talkshow. Oscar cracks up the audience with his tales about living with a neat freak. When Felix takes Steinberg’s photos, they sing various themes to old radio shows. Nothing appears snipped. The only moment of music replacement that’s obvious is “Speak For Yourself.” Oscar explains how he had to propose to Gloria for Felix since his buddy had come down with nervous laryngitis. During the proposal, Felix has a record playing. On the original version, the song is an instrumental of “Just One More Chance.” It’s been replaced with a nondescript tune. This is not too jolting since the title isn’t mentioned. It is strange that the song is missing since it was featured on the season one box set during “Engrave Trouble.” Couldn’t they land a two for one special? While many feared the worse, this collection hasn’t been butchered and mutilated to the extreme.

It is amazing that the network censors didn’t hack away the dirty joke that happens whenever the show visits Felix’s photography studio. The b-roll exterior shot of has “F.U. Enterprises” on the building.

As a kid, The Odd Couple wasn’t a favorite sitcom. How does an elementary schooler relate to a bunch of guys sitting around a Poker table complaining about alimony payments? How could two roommates cause so many problems for each other? To a child, this show was more frustrating than comic. After surviving various roommates that came so close to accidentally suffocating in their sleep, the saga of Oscar and Felix makes perfect sense. This is a sitcom for adults who have survived the slob or neat freak roommate and have the courage to laugh. Even with all the changes, the second season is packed with great comic moments including a children’s party clown (played by Hal Smith, Otis on The Andy Griffith Show) hijacking the Poker game. The Odd Couple: The Second Season shows a series that didn’t let major changes ruin the hilarity.

The Episodes
“Natural Childbirth,” “Felix’s Wife’s Boyfriend,” “Hospital Mates,” “Sleepwalker,” “A Grave for Felix,” “Murray the Fink,” “Does Your Mother Know You’re Out, Rigoletto?,” “The Fat Farm,” “The Odd Couple Meet Their Host” “Win One for Felix,” “Being Divorced is Never Having to Say I Do,” “Surprise, Surprise!,” “Felix the Calypso Singer,” “And Leave the Greyhound to Us?,” “Security Arms,” “Speak for Yourself,” “You Saved My Life,” “Where’s Grandpa,” “Partner’s Investment,” “Good, Bad Boy,” “A Night to Dismember,” “Oscar’s Promotion,” “Psychic, Shmychic.”


The picture is 1.33:1. The color transfers are as exceptional as the first season. You can tell where Jack Klugman’s toupee meets his hairline.

The soundtrack is Dolby Digital Mono. Even though they went live with three cameras, the sound levels don’t suffer. There is very little of the annoying airport hanger echo. No subtitles, but it is closed captioned.

None. They must have burned the bonus features on The First Season collection.

The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for The Odd Couple: The Second Season
(OUT OF 10)






The Inside Pulse
When discussing the best sitcoms, The Odd Couple rarely comes up in conversation. But when while watching this series, the greatness can not be denied. The stories push these two roommates to the point of homicide. Klugman and Randall made a fantastic comic duo act. Don’t deny yourself the pleasure of watching The Odd Couple.

Joe Corey is the writer and director of "Danger! Health Films" currently streaming on Night Flight and Amazon Prime. He's the author of "The Seven Secrets of Great Walmart People Greeters." This is the last how to get a job book you'll ever need. He was Associate Producer of the documentary "Moving Midway." He's worked as local crew on several reality shows including Candid Camera, American's Most Wanted, Extreme Makeover Home Edition and ESPN's Gaters. He's been featured on The Today Show and CBS's 48 Hours. Dom DeLuise once said, "Joe, you look like an axe murderer." He was in charge of research and programming at the Moving Image Archive.