DVD Review HTF DVD REVIEW: The Odd Couple: The Fourth Season

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Matt Hough, May 28, 2008.

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  1. FanCollector

    FanCollector Producer

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    It's a loose take on "Cuanto Le Gusta".

    I never realized until seeing all these edits what a musical show this was. Also, I miss the musical stuff because it added a character dimension to the guys. It reflected their tastes, their generation and their approaches to the world.

    In better news, I did notice that Murray's riff from "Ya Got Trouble" was intact in "The Odd Decathlon".
     
  2. FanCollector

    FanCollector Producer

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    "A Different Drummer" has sooo much music in it, and a lot of it made it past the editors, but "My Blue Heaven" is cut right at the beginning, and Felix's "I've Got Rhythm" moment is cut later on, costing us his impressively high kick. But the weirdest cut is when Felix asks Monty who wants to hear jokes when they can listen to music. At that point, Murray leans in and starts to say that he would, and Felix pushes his face away. No music, no song, but they cut the Murray part, too. I guess the editor was simply drunk with power.
     
  3. Mike*SC

    Mike*SC Second Unit

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    It doesn't benefit Paramount at all to make the cuts. They know fans don't like it, and spending time cutting a show is more expensive than simply putting it on the DVD.

    That said, I imagine their margins are small on these sets, so they probably don't have a lot to spend on music. Since "The Odd Couple" had a lot of quick song references, the price goes up quickly, and many cuts are needed. (Though other shows had many more "needledrop" songs laid on top, which are easier to replace, the characters performed them on "Odd Couple," so they just had to be lopped out).
     
  4. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    Found another missing bit of business, and it's too bad, because it's a good one. It's in "The Insomniacs", where Felix is unable to get any sleep. There's a scene cut out where Oscar and Murray are softly singing in a gentle whisper to Felix, who is finally starting to fall asleep:

    "Dream....when you're feeling blue...dream...it's the thing to do.... things are never as bad as they seem...so dream...."

    And then, just as Felix is finally asleep, Murray yells out: "ONE MORE TIME!!!", and Felix gets startled awake all over again.
     
  5. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    Well, that can't be right. Because if it cost them LESS money to pay the music fees and just put it out, then they'd do that instead of going through all the editing.
     
  6. Anthony Hom

    Anthony Hom Supporting Actor

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    I will differ an opinion about Marilyn Horne's singing. She does the aria from Carmen solo, when it is usually done with a backing chorus, what an amazing talent!
     
  7. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    If you like Opera! [​IMG]
     
  8. Corey3rd

    Corey3rd Screenwriter

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    maybe when it gets time to upgrade these sets to BluRay, the various music publishers will be a little bit more willing to negotiate to give their songs real exposure.
     
  9. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for these on Blu-Ray! It won't happen until maybe 2020 --- if ever!
     
  10. Mike*SC

    Mike*SC Second Unit

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    No, you misunderstand me. You asked if they made the cuts in anticipation of possibly having music clearance issues, without actually making any effort to see what it would cost them. That's what I was referencing.
     
  11. jdee28

    jdee28 Screenwriter

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    If Time-Life had been able to release the complete series, would there have been less music cuts?
     
  12. Michael Rogers

    Michael Rogers Supporting Actor

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    Depends... Time Life charges more per season and perhaps that would give them more flexibility in having funds to clear music.

    But...

    It might mean less overall sales

    But...

    the sets being sold direct would mean more of a profit margin.

    In other words, with all the factors, it means maybe, maybe not.
     
  13. Steve Meskell

    Steve Meskell Second Unit

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    Of all the edits I think this one pisses me off the most.
     
  14. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    Same here, Steve. I think that's because a pretty good funny bit is completely gone as a result. Here it's not just a matter of replacing a music moment with new music and retaining the scene (like with the salvaged end of "This is the Army, Mrs. Madison").. but instead, a whole little scene is missing, and a good comic gag (re: "The Insominacs").

    Even other snips aren't too costly. For instance: Not having Myrna singing "I'm Myrna, Fly me..." and Felix's response of "That's not a stewardess, that's a slow-talking secretary" is not a big deal. At least we now have the scene with Myrna standing there and Felix saying "-- that's a slow-talking secretary".
     
  15. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    I can't believe I'm saying this, but after the Fugitive debacle, some of these edits now seem trivial in comparison (but only in comparison).
     
  16. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    I think they are rather trivial, when you consider how chopped up the TV broadcast versions are.
     
  17. Brian Himes

    Brian Himes Screenwriter

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    All of these music edits once again makes me wonder if the cost to clear the music might have something to do with the perceived quality of the property. In other words, shows like Saturday Night Live and The Muppet Show (except season 1) have managed to get all of the music cleared but other shows can't seem to get the music cleared. I'm wondering if the music owners when approached to get music clearance look at the show and if they feel that the show is what they percieve to be a quality show, then they charge an reasonable amount and the music is cleared. However, for shows they feel are of lesser quality, they charge an outrageous price knowing full well it won't get paid and have to be cut from the show.

    To me it is beginning to look more and more like these music costs are arbitrary and changes from property to property. If the rights holder likes the show and feels it's a quality show, the more likely it is for the music to get cleared. And sitcoms seem to be the shows that tend to get the biggest shaft when it comes to getting a break. Especially when a show like The Odd Couple uses more old 'standard' music versus shows that uses more contemporary music (meaning stuff before 1990 or so).

    There seems to be no consistancy. The Muppet Show can get clearance to show a certain song in it's entirety (The Banana Boat song for example) but The Odd Couple can't seem to get a less than 30 second segment of the song cleared.

    Now either the studio isn't even trying to get the song cleared or the music rights holder is jacking up the price for a 30 second snipet of a song purposely so it doesn't get cleared.

    Either way, there is something really odd going on with this whole music licensing issue.

    Also, may be that the price for the song is the same if you need the whole song or just a piece of it. If that is the case, then there needs to be some kind of serious revamping of the process. It's just plain greedy to be charging the same price for one or two lines of a song (be they spoken or sung) as you would charge for the use of the entire song.

    Again, no matter how you look at it, there is something seriously wrong with this whole process.
     
  18. FanCollector

    FanCollector Producer

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    Or...Paramount versus Disney.
     
  19. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    Disney, while flawed in some respects, tries to get the music. They cleared everything on The Golden Girls and seasons 2 and 3 of The Muppet Show.

    Paramount does not appear to even try to get a deal.
     
  20. Mike*SC

    Mike*SC Second Unit

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    I can tell you that this is an absolute fact. Rights-holders can ask for whatever they want, for whatever reason they want. So yes, anything can be a factor, including whether they like the show, the context the music is used in, and what side of the bed they woke up on that morning

    The difficulty in comparing sets against each other is that there can be so many factors we have no idea about, first and foremost being how the music rights were negotiated when the show was originally produced.

    And yes, as you suggest, it's very, very possible that a snippet of "Banana Boat Song" costs as much (or nearly) as the full song, and if that was (say) $10,000, it's worth it for a whole segment on "The Muppet Show" but not six seconds of "The Odd Couple."

    A very music heavy show (a variety show, for instance) may have had a very different initial deal for the use of music than a sitcom like "The Odd Couple," and of course a rights holder might give the studio a break if the studio is buying eight songs from them for one season set, but not if they're buying them a la carte.

    I have dealt with music clearance a lot in my career (I work in television), and the only thing I can tell you with certainty is that there is no consistent way to anticipate what somebody will ask for the rights for a song. I have no insight into how Paramount has worked on these "Odd Couple" sets, and for all I know they've barely tried. But I can't damn them, because I know how impossible this task so often is.
     

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