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Re-tread Lightly

2/18/2015

“The Odd Couple”TV

Thursday, Feb. 19 (CBS)

Like CBS’ recently canceled “The Millers,” “The Odd Couple” (a remake of a ’70s sitcom, kids) is a case of a killer comedic cast (Matthew Perry, Thomas Lennon, Lindsay Sloane, Wendell Pearce and Yvette Nicole Brown) saddled with an annoyingly laugh-tracked, numbingly beige network sitcom. The song remains the same: Oscar (Perry) and Felix (Lennon) are old friends who move in together after their respective marriages fall apart; Oscar’s a slob of a sports-radio host (updated from sports columnist because, as you know, print is dead), while Felix is a borderline-OCD clean freak. Wackiness, etc. Despite his many post-“Friends” flops, Perry can still bring the funny, and Lennon (who will always be “Reno 911” Lt. Jim Dangle) is an underrated master of cuttingly subtle humor. Even if they don’t eventually overcome the show’s lazy writing, “The Odd Couple” will still be CBS’ least-terrible comedy. So that’s… something.

 

“Two & a Half Men”TWO AND A HALF MEN

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Thursday, Feb. 19 (CBS)

The question isn’t so much “Will Charlie Sheen return for the finale?” as it is “Who cares anymore?” The end of “Two & a Half Men” should have been Season 8, Sheen’s last, when show creator/hack Chuck Lorre and Warner Bros. Television had 177 episodes in the can so the sitcom could easily live on in syndication perpetuity. But no, here we are in Season 12(!), still printing money with Ashton Kutcher, the Ghost of Jon Cryer and no Half Man. So tease Charlie “Harper” Sheen’s possible comeback all you want, CBS — just get this over with.

 

“Vikings”Vikings_S02P12,_cast

Thursday, Feb. 19 (History)

In Season 3 of “Vikings” — aka “Game of Thrones Lite,” “Sons of Anarchy With Swords” or “The Last Somewhat Historical Show on the History Channel” — Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) is now the King of Denmark, having dispatched Horik to a better place. His first move? Attack Paris! Sounds accurate — didn’t a Dark Ages baguette turn up on “Pawn Stars” recently?

 

“The Jack & Triumph Show”jack and triumph

Friday, Feb. 20 (Adult Swim)

Jack McBrayer (“30 Rock”) and Triumph (the Insult Comic Doc with Robert Smigel’s hand up his ass) star as Jack and Triumph, the former child stars of a “Lassie”-esque TV series from the ’80s; nice-guy Jack wants nothing to do with show business anymore, whereas decadent Triumph will do anything to get back in — even pander to “the adolescent stoners watching Adult Swim.” Hey, we’re not all adolescents, Triumph.

 

The 87th Annual Academy Awards87th-academy-awards-2015-award-picture

Sunday, Feb. 22 (ABC)

What’s on tonight besides the fashion show that calls itself the Oscars: New episodes of “The Walking Dead,” “Talking Dead” and “Comic Book Men” on AMC; “Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst, ” “Girls, “Togetherness, ” “Looking” and “Last Week With John Oliver” on HBO; “Downton Abbey” and “Grantchester” on PBS; “Bar Rescue” on Spike; “Total Divas” on E!; and, if you must, “Sister Wives” on TLC. I’d also recommend the recent stand-up comedy specials of Iliza Shlesinger (“Freezing Hot”), Bill Burr (“I’m Sorry You Feel That Way”) and Chelsea Peretti (“One of the Greats”) on Netflix. We good?

 

“Parks & Recreation”Parks and Recreation

Tuesday, Feb. 24 (NBC)

So never mind what I said in January about the seventh season of “Parks & Recreation” being unnecessary; as series finales go, it’s been a wonderfully weird trip for NBC’s Last Great Comedy. (Trust me, there’s nothing funny coming in the pipeline from the Peacock anytime soon.) So long, Leslie, Ron, Ben, April, Andy, Donna, Jerry/Garry, Ann, Chris — hell, maybe even Tom. CV

 

Bill Frost writes about television for Salt Lake City Weekly, talks about it on the TV Tan Podcast (Tuesdays on iTunes and Stitcher), and tweets about it at @Bill_Frost.

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