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The Odd Couple Season 1 Episode 1

The Odd Couple started as a hit play by Neil Simon. It then became a movie hit starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. Then in the fall of 1970 it became a t.v. show. The show stars Tony Randall as Felix and Jack Klugman as Oscar. Apparently the assumption is that viewers have seen either the play or the movie, as this first episode doesn't bother to set up the situation at all. If you are completely unfamiliar you can still pick up that Oscar and Felix are two divorced men. Felix moved in with Oscar and they have been living together for 4 years. The night this episode takes place they have a regularly scheduled poker game taking place. Oscar, however, has scored them dates with two hot women who live in the building.

This is where I need to interject. I by no means mean to judge a woman's value by her looks, or demean a woman for her looks, but the Pigeon sisters that Oscar keeps raving about being such ravishing beauties with hot bodies, are not all that hot. They are not unattractive, but they are hardly beauty queens and they are exactly built like brick shit houses either. Granted, it's apparently been 4 years since either guy has gotten laid, so maybe that is coloring their perception. Anyway, instead of coming clean with their poker buddies, they decide to trick them into leaving early so they can enjoy their double date.

This is where my favorite part of the show happened, when Al Molinaro showed up. Sadly he doesn't have much to do here, but it was still fun to see him. The ladies show up while the game is still ongoing, and seem to think that they are expected to "entertain" all 6 men present. They seem to take this in stride. They also make a comment about getting caught in "another raid" when they see Al Molinaro's character in his cop uniform. This made me wonder if these ladies were working girls. By the way, the title of this episode is The Laundry Orgy. The orgy part never actually happens, but the laundry part comes in when Felix and Oscar take the women to the laundry room for their date while the rest of the guys finish playing poker.

Once the game finally breaks up, they move back up the apartment, where the gals end up cleaning the place up. After that they are too pooped for hanky panky, so they head for home. This leads to an argument between our protagonists, but they soon make up. There's more sexual tension between Felix and Oscar than there is between either man and their two prostitu... err dates. Most of the jokes fall a little bit flat, and there are some weird overhead shots that feel like they are trying too hard to make the show look different than other sitcoms. But this is only the first episode and it often takes shows a while to find their footing. It was probably more satisfying for an audience who is already invested in the characters through the movie. It was up against a show called Nancy that I will admit I am not familiar with, the the CBS Thursday Night Movie broadcast of The Dirty Dozen, which is probably what I would choose to watch from those options. If you're interested, the #1 song at the time of broadcast (September 24, 1970) was Ain't No Mountain High Enough by Diana Ross.

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