Why Matthew Perry's Doing 'The Odd Couple'

The entire cast of Friends was kind of in a pickle towards the end of their decade-long run on the hit sitcom. Oh sure, they were fabulously wealthy ($1 million an episode, jfc) and had hit a career point most actors don't even come close to — but they were also always going to be those characters the world had fallen in love with. It's a hard life. It was also pretty much guaranteed that not all of them were going to become major movie stars once Friends wrapped — which Matthew Perry says is why he's doing The Odd Couple .

"I'm doing The Odd Couple because my attempt at being a movie star failed," Perry cracked at the Television Critics Association's annual winter press tour Monday, reportedly directly after Community star Yvette Nicole Brown explained her enthusiasm for the show quit earnestly.

I wouldn't write off Perry's enthusiasm for his upcoming CBS sitcom quite yet — Chandler Bing was known for his jokez, but Perry's always been more on the dry side of that humor. So what do we know about The Odd Couple at this juncture? Here's a bit of what the TCA panel revealed, and a bit of what we already knew:

  • Garry Marshall (executive producer of the original '70-'75 show) is serving as an executive consultant and noted that when they were doing the original they "weren’t allowed to have women writers!"
  • The show premieres Feb. 19 on CBS.
  • The "odd couple" in question will be played by Perry and Thomas Lennon (Sean Saves the World, Hell Baby).
  • The big difference in the old version and this one is apparently sex. “We actually get to see the pains of sharing an apartment while someone is having sex.”
  • Brown will be a series regular, playing Oscar's assistant.
  • Perry wanted to play Oscar (the grouchy one) because, as he put it, "that’s who I’m like in real life" and Felix was too close to Chandler.
  • Parenthood and Gilmore Girls star Lauren Graham will be a guest star on the show, playing the ex-wife of Oscar's Perry.

Another interesting tid-bit, though this one comes from Marshall's recollection of the original show:

The network was concerned that we were being too gay. They kept saying ‘put more girls in it.’ I would make the guys gush and kiss just to make them crazy. Ours is a more modern show.

No "no homo" is fine by me. Let's see if they can walk the walk and make it really modern.