Bosom Buddies is more awesome than I remember.
I went shopping last weekend with my asbestos friend. We went to Target. While looking at the DVDs, in a chance encounter she read off the title of Bosom Buddies. I was like “What! I have never seen that one in a store! I must own it!”
If you don’t remember (But, how could you not!), Bosom Buddies was a sitcom starring Tom Hanks (as Kip) and Peter Scolari (as Henry) that debuted in 1980, and ran for two seasons. It was about two young guys who worked at an ad agency. They find a cheap place to live, but it is a women’s only hotel. So, they do the logical thing. They dress up like women to live there.
I started watching my season one dvd box set right when I got home. I was instantly disappointed for two reasons.
1. They changed the theme song. Originally, it was Billy Joel’s “My Life”.
And it does say on the box “Some music has been changed for this home entertainment version.” And if I had seen that before purchase, I would have instantly known that, of course, Billy Joel doesn’t want them using one of his songs if he can’t make mucho money off of it. I am surprised that Billy Joel allowed them to use it as the theme song on televison in 1980. And I am sure he never dreamed they would be asking permission to use it on a DVD 34 years later.
Who in their right mind would still want to watch a show about cross-dressing guys in the 80’s 34 years later? (Not me. I want to watch it, but I am not in my right mind ;P )
But it made me sad. The theme is such an ESSENTIAL PART of the show! I may not have bought it if I had seen the warning first. And the song they replaced it with is heinous.
So, how did I cope? I muted the TV for the first 90 seconds of every episode and sang the Billy Joel song myself. (If he had heard this, Billy Joel might have taken pity and let them use the song…)
2. The first couple episodes dragged.
Or maybe it just took that long for me to get back into it again. The first episode sets up that they are moving into the hotel and dressing like women, “Buffy & Hildy”. The second episode introduces them to the women who live in the building as Buffy & Hildy’s brothers.
But by episode 3, the hot neighbor across the hall that Kip has a crush on comes to stay in their apartment, and wacky high-jinks ensue.
I watched all 19 episodes of season one within about 36 hours. I love binge watching.
I watched Bosom Buddies at the time it originally aired, and a little bit when it was in syndication. This was still probably 30 years ago. I forgot how utterly annoying Tom Hanks was when he first started out. So goofy and lanky and loud. He seems to have figured out how to harness that over the years to make boring, Oscar-winning roles. I still believe he has all that energy and goofiness trapped inside him somewhere. Maybe he only lets it out when he voices toy cowboys.
Peter Scolari, 1980
I forgot how CUTE Peter Scolari was. He was always my favorite. As Henry, he was the one with all the heart, while Kip was a jerk a lot of the time. And I have liked Peter in everything he has done through the years. Except maybe Newhart, because that was a really dull show to watch, especially in my teens. I liked Dweebs, another short-lived show that you might remember for Corey Feldman being a part of the cast.
Bosom Buddies also starred the great Wendie Jo Sperber (Back To The Future, Babes), the super Telma Hopkins (Gimme A Break, Family Matters) and the wonderful Holland Taylor (The Practice, 2 And A Half Men). This show had a great, talented cast with great comedy and timing chops. It is too bad that the writers seem to only be able to give Telma stereotypical black girl punch lines to spout. Her part on Gimme A Break several years later with Nell Carter would be much more well-rounded. Holland comes off as the old chick on that show, playing their boss. But when my husband and I thought about, she was probably only in her late 30’s at that time–and I am that age now!
In one episode, they are at a club that has a comedian. It is Bob Saget. Bosom Buddies was produced by Miller-Milkis-Boyett Productions. Seven years later, Full House would premiere starring Saget, produced by Miller/Boyett Productions. Could it be that is how he got on the radar to play Danny Tanner? While Danny Tanner was a giant dork, no one else could have played him as lovingly as Bob Saget.
The clothes are not yet over-the-top 80’s fashions, but you can tell they are approaching. Fast. I liked how they would have to come up with more and more inventive places to change their clothes on the way to work or back home again. It is bothersome that as I got further into my season one episodes, they seemed to show them dressed up as women less and less often. I wonder if that was a change that the network may have asked for. It is missed, especially since that is the whole premise of the show! Kip and Henry hang out with these girls from the building more and more as just Kip and Henry. Now, wouldn’t it be weird if you suddenly started hanging out with the “brothers” of the women who lived across the hall from you, but they themselves were never around? Some episodes make up excuses for it, like that Buffy and Hildy are sick in bed. But usually, it is just not brought up at all.
I noticed there are two rainbows that hung on the wall in the office behind them at their work. Could that have been some sort of support for the gay community? Or just leftover groovy 70’s style?
Apparently, in the second season they leave the ad agency and buy a commercial production house. I don’t really remember that. And that makes me torn as to whether I should purchase season two or not.
But it is a great TV show. Be sure to play the theme song video above. If you already did, please play it again. Then, the next time you hear “My Life” playing in the grocery store, you will think of Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari in drag. And that brings a smile to everyone’s face… 🙂