Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Sonny, Sonny, Sonny, Sonny

Ah, that's more like it: Bosom Buddies, the complete first season, on DVD.

I have said my say about why I love Bosom Buddies in an earlier post. Shorter version:

a) Chris Thompson, the creator, was one of the most original and interesting sitcom writers to come out of the Paramount factory in that period; he came up with very strange and funny stories and off-kilter lines. He's never had a successful show -- his most recent creation was the memorably nasty cult series Action -- but his stuff is always worth seeing.

b) Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari were brilliant, improvising and ad-libbing like crazy and playing off each other impeccably; you don't often see great comedy teams on sitcoms -- usually everybody just kind of does their own thing -- but they were a true team.

c) The late Wendie Jo Sperber, as I wrote earlier, was successful in "turning what could have been a degrading, stereotypical role (the young overweight woman with an unrequited crush on the Peter Scolari character) into a very human and attractive character."

d) Holland Taylor is never less than great.

I actually think the second season was better than the first, because the dressing in women's clothes was de-emphasized. The original idea may have been to do a sitcom version of Some Like It Hot, but it quickly became apparent that Hanks and Scolari were funnier just doing their own thing in regular clothes; the drag gimmick actually detracted from what made them funny. But there's a lot of good stuff in the first season too.

One other thing about the show is that the pilot was shot on film, like all the other Paramount sitcoms of the era, but the series was shot on videotape. I don't know if they were trying to save money or if they decided that tape suited the series better -- but it did, in fact, suit the series better; tape made the show look looser, rougher and less cute than the other sitcoms from the Miller/Milkis/Boyett factory, making it a little more apparent that this wasn't Laverne and Shirley with guys.

No word on whether the DVD will use the original theme song, a cover version of "My Life" by Billy Joel, or the alternate theme song (with lyrics by Thompson) that was used in some syndication versions. Here's the original song, with the season 2 title sequence.

Update: I might as well re-post some of the Bosom Buddies quotes that someone else assembled on a message board. Few shows have had so many lines that make no sense out of context but are completely hilarious when you're watching:

"I was quite the bohemian at Vassar."

"It was a perfectly normal day at the Susan B. Anthony Hotel, except everyone had become the undead."

A bird with a hat - a very powerful aphrodisiac."

"I'll cherish this gift long as it lasts. Does anyone have 15 'D' batteries?"

"But we were gonna live on Cheetos and develop respiratory infections!"

"What do you think of this piece here?'s the flag of Japan!!!"

"I ate my albino snake."

"Sven, you crazy Viking!"

"Mint donut?"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Why don't you squat over a cobra?. They hate that