Thursday, January 09, 2014

Odd Man Out

Looks like Matthew Perry will be starring in a new sitcom version of The Odd Couple.  He'll also help write and produce it.

Perry is a charming actor but since Friends he's starred in a number of flops.  Still, do we need to revive The Odd Couple?  I think it's Neil Simon's greatest work, but do we need it updated yet again?  The play was a huge hit, as was the movie, and the TV series lasted five years and is still fondly remembered.  But that probably should have been the end.

Since then, Neil Simon himself has gone to this well a few times and come up dry.  He wrote, for the theatre, a female version as well as an update of the original, and neither were hits.  He also wrote a film version that reunited the original actors from the movie--Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon--which did nothing to burnish the brand.  This isn't even the first revival for TV--there was an African-American version that lasted a year in the early 1980s.  Forget it?  Thought so.

So why try it again?  It's not like people are demanding it.  The only thing I like about this project is it'll be done before a live audience--might as well go for it.  By the way, Perry will be playing slob Oscar Madison. I had him pegged as a Felix.


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