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There's no such thing as "better" when you tinker with nostalgia.
on December 5, 2008
These words were used in the opening credits of every Odd Couple episode ...
"On November 13, Felix Unger was asked to remove himself from his place of residence. That request came from his wife. Deep down he knew she was right. But he also knew that someday he would return to her. With nowhere else to go, he appeared at the home of his childhood friend, Oscar Madison. Some time earlier, Madison's wife had thrown him out, requesting that he never return.
"Can two divorced men share an apartment without driving each other crazy?"
... but you won't hear them on this set of DVDs! I've waited until the release of the final season to see if perhaps they only appeared in that one year. Not so - they've been completely edited out of the entire series. Surely that was part of the charm of the show - the expectation of hearing those words in the opening titles. In those few seconds the entire premise of the show is set up. Many other little things have been cut, clipped and altered in this DVD set and the other reviewers (on this listing and on the individual season listings) have touched on many of them. The one that bothers me is the complete removal of Pernell Robert's singing of "In Some Secluded Rendezvous" which is the whole punchline of the "Strike Up The Band or Else" episode during which, in the final seconds of the episode, he steals the theme song of Felix' band, The Sophisticados. It simply fades to black just as he's about to sing and that's the new ending of the show. That's all, folks. It just trails away to nothingness leaving us with a hopelessly lame ending never imagined by the original writers.
This original series gets my 5-stars but this DVD release gets only 4. I'm totally baffled and frustrated as to why anyone would want to edit these episodes. Don't they realize that customers are buying them to see exactly what they saw when these great shows first aired on TV? When you watch a comedy more than once you know what you're about to see and hear so there's an expectation on the part of the audience that the producers of the DVD have completely failed to realize. There's no such thing as "better" when you tinker with nostalgia.