There is a kind of bad show that might be the saddest kind of bad show. It’s the show that strands talented actors known for being funny on a sitcom that isn’t funny at all. The Odd Couple has Matthew Perry (Friends), Thomas Lennon (Reno 911!), Yvette Nicole Brown (Community), Dave Foley (NewsRadio), and more. You’d never know that they’re perfectly capable of making you laugh if you hadn’t seen their previous work, because their current show is, again, not funny.
The latest reformulation of Neil Simon’s classic 1965 play, The Odd Couple is two unnecessary things at once: another reboot and another attempt to replicate (and now replace) the soon-to-end Two and a Half Men with another sitcom about newly single miserable white men rebooting their lives. (Poor miserable white men!) Perry is Oscar, the slovenly, carnal one, a sports-radio jock who works out of his penthouse bachelor pad and can’t admit he misses the wife who divorced him. It’s the actor’s latest endearingly dejected, sarcastic prick, an act now as stale as the half-eaten sandwich stashed in Oscar’s couch. Lennon is slightly more clever as Felix, the healthy-living neat freak, just dumped by his exasperated wife. The writing, at least as displayed in the pilot, has nothing new to say about either archetype, only dumb, “just kidding” retrograde jokes. Oscar’s agent (Wendell Pierce) and pal Roy (Foley) are balland-chained hubbies who harrumph about married life and view Felix as “incredibly gay” because the dude is so damn anal. Did you laugh? Then take this Odd Couple, please! And far away from me. D+