Welcome to a new Sitcom Tuesday and more of our second annual RERUN series, designed to give yours truly a chance to get further ahead in coverage of our last few ’90s comedies. Regular programming will resume soon, but in the meantime, I’m excited to resurrect and re-examine some of my favorite Sitcom posts from this blog’s nearly six year run!
As with last year’s series (begun here), my intention is to provide a link to each original piece and then offer a tiny bit of updated commentary, either on episode picks I’d call differently now (like in my famous “Regrets” post) or on something broader, like evolving thoughts on the year/series as a whole. I’ve picked a few goodies, so I hope you’re as excited as I am about revisiting our favorites… But please be gentle! Many of the posts you’ll see were written a while ago. The standards here have changed as I’ve changed. (There are plenty of typos, juvenile “hot takes,” and places where more information would now be appreciated.)
This week, I’m rerunning… The Ten Best THE ODD COUPLE Episodes of Season Three. Check it out here: http://jacksonupperco.com/2014/09/09/the-ten-best-the-odd-couple-episodes-of-season-three/
I have a major regret about my 2014 coverage of The Odd Couple: I was way too tough. You see, back in this blog’s second year, I was more picky about the shows that we featured — most were absolute classics that remain at the top of my favorites list, like The Mary Tyler Moore Show and All In The Family, while others were campy time-fillers, “guilty pleasures” if you will, like The Mothers-In-Law and Here’s Lucy, which are often terribly written, despite being fun to watch. The Odd Couple resides somewhere in between those two classifications and I didn’t know then how to handle it. I theoretically hope to judge each series primarily by the standards for which it alone asks to be held, but I was still a little black-and-white then in my view of what was excellent, and what was below excellent. Additionally, given that the series was flanked on either side by the aforementioned flagship gems in both the MTM and Lear stables — the two most important sitcom aesthetics of the ’70s — I found it impossible to not associate The Odd Couple with its stylistic company: the Garry Marshall oeuvre, which, as you know, is not something I love. Although I’ve always considered The Odd Couple to be the best of his lot, my feelings about this particular brand are simple: his shows are never as character-driven as I’d like. Those sentiments haven’t changed, and indeed, I still wish The Odd Couple wasn’t so enamored of its Victories In Premise (like “Password”)… However, if I got the chance to re-examine the series now, I’d try to be more attentive to the structural low-conceptness and the great material-elevation by Klugman and Randall, and I know I’d do a better job of celebrating moments of in-house brilliance. Accordingly, I decided here to rerun Season Three, the year with the deservedly classic “Password” offering, just to make this point, and while I might call some episodic picks differently today — I’d be more consistent in separating the premise-driven shows from the character-rooted ones — I just want to reiterate: I was way too tough on The Odd Couple. Please forgive me… So, with that said, check out the post above again, and feel free to share your thoughts on the series and its trajectory in the comments below!
Come back next week for another Sitcom Tuesday rerun! And stay tuned tomorrow for a new Wildcard Wednesday!