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The Third Season
Running Time: 596 minutes
Starring: Jack Klugman, Tony Randall
Retail Price: $29.99
Specs: 1.33:1 Full Screen, English Mono, English Closed Captions, Episode Selection, Chapter Stops (5 chapters per episode), Four-Disc Set
Released: January 22nd, 2008
The 23 episodes of this third season of "The Odd Couple" actually look quite good. I was pretty impressed by the overall video quality of this season, given Paramount's hit-and-miss track record of older TV shows on DVD. (Truthfully, for a show from the early 1970s, I was expecting much worse.) The episodes are slightly grainy, and there is some high contrast going on, resulting in a bit of noise. But otherwise, the prints of the episodes only have specks here and there, and the overall image is rather sharp. Detail is fine, and color saturation is pretty good - there is no smearing, and sometimes colors stand out (be it the clothes of Oscar and Felix, items in their apartment or the city streets). Fleshtones are accurate too. No one will mistake these for a recent TV transfer, but I'm glad that these transfers greatly exceeded my expectations.
The English Mono tracks are very straightforward, and work just as good as they did in 1972 as they do now. Given that this is a dialogue-driven sitcom, it's important to hear the characters - and the banter between Klugman and Randall is very crisp and always easy to hear. Sound effects are meshed in, as is a laugh track, but the dialogue is loudest of all and certainly the star of these tracks. The show's catchy theme song, however, sounds clean too and also very audiable. Fidelity is high with these tracks, and I didn't hear any distortion and hiss. Again, I am impressed: these tracks are rather pristine and are presented in great shape.
English closed captions - through your TV - are also included.
"The Odd Couple" is one of the all time great sitcoms. It's unfortunate this set doesn't have any special features (and that many of the episodes have glaring omissions from their original broadcasts), but the presentation is pretty impressive for a series that's 35 years old with its bright transfers and clean mono mixes. If you need an Oscar and Felix fix, or need an enjoyable TV show to add to your collection, then look no further.