Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > TV Situation Comedy > Bosom Buddies – The First Season

Bosom Buddies – The First Season


Picture: C     Sound: C     Extras: D     Episodes: C+



Can a simple change destroy the comedy and context of a good TV show?  Fans have already complained and hit the red alert when edited syndicated copies of Roseanne and Too Close For Comfort arrived in butchered copies, while WKRP In Cincinnati fans wonder what the show will be like missing al the hit records of its time (though we’d say look no further than the awful revival series a decade or so later).  With Tom Hanks one of the biggest movie stars around, Bosom Buddies finally hits DVD in its First Season, but these are not the original shows as broadcast.


So what is missing?  Are the episodes shorter?  Can’t tell.  Is something covered up or edited?  Don’t know.  Is it just not as funny as it used to be?  Well, maybe.  The show was built on the idea that Kip (Hanks) and Henry (Peter Scolari) are life-loving bachelors who want the American Dream and to meet many women, but financial realities are not helping and it becomes so bad that they pretend to be women to get cheap rent at an all-women/ladies only apartment building.  That is the comic premise.


To highlight this, the show featured a cover version of the Billy Joel classic My Life, expressing their freewheeling ways and that they were a bunch of funny, great guys.  We were not expecting the original Joel record (now available in a great 5.1 SACD of 52nd Street, the album it originates from), but in its place is a very 1980s Soul/Pop record trying hard to sound like Denise Williams instead!  WHAT!!!!!!


Yes, you read correctly.  The very silly record that apparently landed up on syndicated versions.  So what does that do to the context of the show?  Does that make them secretly gay?  Is it gay baiting?  Does it say Telma Hopkins was only a token African American character and the show was too white?  Hard to tell.  It does break the show’s necessary connection to the 1970s to make it work and everything lands up playing like a lopsided mess and makes these shows seem like demo copies.


It does not matter whether the idea of the male leads pretending to be women would work this long and the show only lasted so long, but people liked it.  19 half-hours were made for the 1980 – 1981 season and some of the jokes still work, but not as much in the cut copies.  Wendie Jo Sperber is their friend Amy who lives there to begin with and gives them the idea to pull their crazy scheme, Holland Taylor is their work boss, Lucille Benson plays the landlady not in the know and Donna Dixon became the sexy bombshell Kip was especially interested in.


There was some real chemistry here among the cast members and you can see why the show was popular as it was briefly like Mork & Mindy, but you would not necessarily know it from these copies.  Yes, editing and timing are very important, especially in comedy and you may want to take a look at these lesser copies, but most will want to see the originals.  Maybe someday.


The 1.33 X 1 image is all shot on NTSC professional analog tape, except the pilot, which was filmed.  All look second generation and with the music changes and only-fans-know what editing, are as second generation as the sound, here in Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono.  There are no extras, but none should exist until the original cuts are issued.


And if you care and do not believe me, play the original Joel record to the opening credits (no specific syncing needed) and judge for yourself.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com