Based on Neil Simon's successful play of the same name, "The Odd Couple" was a series based on the play that was put into production after the success of the 1968 film, which starred Jack Lemmon as neat, controlling Felix and Walter Matthau as sloppier, looser Oscar. The TV series starred Tony Randall as Felix Unger and Jack Klugman as sportswriter Oscar. Both are divorced and, once again, Oscar is a mess, while Felix remained the fussy neat-freak. Despite their serious differences, the two remained good friends as they encountered different adventures throughout the five seasons of the series.
While the series never caught on quite like it was expected to during its run, the series was loved by fans and the measure of its success really remains the fact that the series is still fresh in the minds of many fans and its writing and performances still remain sharply funny today. Randall and Klugman are also marvelous together, as they remain polar opposites, but depspite the oil and water personalities of the characters, they manage to riff against each other in classic fashion and they make a terrific buddy team.
The third season of the series continued to deliver, with such highlights as: "Gloria, Hallelujah" (Oscar's computer date turns out to be Felix's ex-wife Gloria, and Felix tries to prove he's not jealous), "The Princess" (Felix is shocked when a beautiful client, who happens to be a royal princess, accepts Oscar's invite to go out on a date), "The Odd Monks" (Oscar's ulcer is in high gear and Felix has been working 14-hour days, so they both decide to take a monk's invite for a quiet trip), "Password" (When Oscar is invited to be a celebrity player on a game show, Felix begs to be his partner. But, during the broadcast, Felix gives him rotten clues), "I Gotta Be Me" (Tired of their constant bickering, Oscar and Felix decide to consult Myrna's therapist, who suggests they try role reversal) and "Take My Furniture, Please" (After Felix paints the apartment, he redecorates it with outrageous modern furniture, so Oscar replaces it with junk from a discount store.)
Sadly, the back of the box notes that "some episodes may be edited and music may have been changed." I'm guessing both things go together - some moments here-and-there may be missing due to music rights.
48. 3- 1 052 15 Sep 72 Gloria, Hallelujah
49. 3- 2 051 22 Sep 72 Big Mouth
50. 3- 3 048 29 Sep 72 The Princess
51. 3- 4 056 6 Oct 72 The Pen is Mightier Than the Pencil
52. 3- 5 053 13 Oct 72 The Odd Monks
53. 3- 6 055 20 Oct 72 I'm Dying of Unger
54. 3- 7 058 27 Oct 72 The Odd Couples
55. 3- 8 049 3 Nov 72 Felix's First Commercial
56. 3- 9 061 10 Nov 72 The First Baby
57. 3-10 060 17 Nov 72 Oscar's Birthday
58. 3-11 062 1 Dec 72 Password
59. 3-12 059 8 Dec 72 The Odd Father
60. 3-13 054 22 Dec 72 Don't Believe in Roomers
61. 3-14 057 5 Jan 73 Sometimes a Great Ocean
62. 3-15 063 12 Jan 73 I Gotta Be Me
63. 3-16 064 19 Jan 73 The Ides of April
64. 3-17 065 2 Feb 73 Myrna's Debut
65. 3-18 066 9 Feb 73 The Hustler
66. 3-19 067 16 Feb 73 My Strife in Court
67. 3-20 068 23 Feb 73 Let's Make a Deal
68. 3-21 069 2 Mar 73 The Odyssey Couple
69. 3-22 070 9 Mar 73 Take My Furniture, Please
70. 3-23 050 23 Mar 73 The Murray Who Came to Dinner
VIDEO: "Odd Couple" episodes are presented here in their original 1.33:1 full-frame aspect ratio. The series has managed to hold up rather well over the years, looking to be in fine condition (at least for the most part.) Sharpness and detail are not remarkable, although somewhat better-than-expected, considering the age of the series. The episodes appear mostly clean, aside from some slight grain (which is to be expected) and a few slight instances of wear. Colors remained natural and appeared cleanly presented, with nice saturation and no smearing. Flesh tones appeared accurate and natural.
SOUND: The show's mono soundtrack is crisp and clean, with no distortion or other issues.
EXTRAS: Sadly, nothing.
Final Thoughts: "The Odd Couple" is a deeply funny series, with intelligent writing and great performances. As funny as it was when it first aired, it still gets solid laughs today. These season 3 episodes are quite fun, although the set does have some disappointing aspects (edits, next-to-no extras.) The quality of the series is certainly terrific and I do recommend the set, although I'm hoping that Paramount will consider releasing future sets of this and other shows unedited.