Bosom Buddies - Season 2 review by Jackass Tom

The only thing I can recall from the television sit-com Bosom Buddies was that it occurred in the 80s, there were re-runs on some channel and my grandma didn’t want me to watch them, and one of the two main actors was Tom Hanks. The last note sticks out the most because these days Tom Hanks and Sit-Com are on two different levels. Since Philadelphia, Tom Hanks has positioned himself as the dramatic Jimmy Stewert-esque actor that every director wants if they want to hit a critical home run with their movie. Sometime in the early 90s he made a dramatic shift from comic actor, often seen on Saturday Night Live to serious dramatic actor.

Bosom Buddies was definitely the start of the funnier, lighter, goofier Tom Hanks. It even predates Bachelor Party on the Hanks timeline and actually his character Kip Wilson in Bosom Buddies is in someways a logical lead in to the wild Bachelor Party. The story behind Bosom Buddies goes something like this… two guys Kip and Henry (Peter Scolari) in their efforts to find a good cheap apartment in New York City, stumble upon the perfect place, but its ladies only. So in order to seal the deal, they dress up as women, Buffy (Tom Hanks) and Hildegarde (Peter Scolari) and enter the building dressed in drag.

On that note, I might add that this background information is repeated at the beginning of every episode followed by one of the most painful TV theme songs you have ever heard. The whole intro clocks in at an enormous 1 minute and 56 seconds. It’s a harsh reminder of what people had to go through in the 80s for evening entertainment.

I’m starting my journey halfway through the Bosom saga with the 2nd and final season of Bosom Buddies. In the 2nd season, they open by blowing their dual personality cover to nearly half of the apartment complex as Buffy/Kip proclaims his love to Sonny (Donna “Mrs. Ackroyd” Dixon, a terrible bombshell actress) while tearing off a dress. So already by the 2nd episode a lot cards are laid out on the table and a lot of teaser rules have been broken. So whats left if they no longer have the whole “we gotta hide our manhood from everybody”? Well there is ever rocky romance, the trying to hook up Henry with someone other than Wendy Jo Sperber, and a business venture where the two shoot commercials (which is merely a collection of skit comedy a notch or two below SNL at the time).

I can see now, how back in the day my grandma wouldn’t want me to watch it. There are a lot of sexual jokes thrown around by the swinging bachelors and their loose counterparts, but by today’s standards it’s lower on the promiscuity level than say Friends. Its definitely like a really bad Friends precursor; the TV show for the single 20-somethings living in the city, looking for a good time.

The big question is how did this lead to the Tom Hanks we see today? Well something about his acting and character I think propelled him to do a few funny movies. His character is definitely the center of the show. Like I mentioned above, it would a seamless transition to put Kip as the lead character in Bachelor Party so that’s a no brainer. Hanks does have a certain presence even on this little show but it also helps that he was given the part of the party character. Poor Peter Scolari got stuck with the stick and the mud and no future Spielberg lead parts.

But despite the Hanks tag, Bosom Buddies was pretty bad. After watching the first four episodes I found myself in review hell. Maybe it was the theme music. Maybe it was the succession of awful stories. But it was pretty bad… then something happened. I actually found myself being somewhat “entertained.” It’s a loose definition, yes but after a while I found myself enjoying the series more and more. My best comparison would be to hearing some cheeseball 80s throwback on the radio or at a local club. You know the song is bad but you can’t help nodding your head and tapping your foot. I’m not going to go out on a limb and say that its great or recommendable, but it grew on me in all of its badness.

One more final note, this latest DVD release comes with NO extras. Very disappointing. The episodes would be 10x more entertaining if we had Tom Hanks doing some commentary saying things like “Wow, I can’t believe I did this. Man I was young and needed the work.” Granted that’s asking a lot. I’m sure Tom Hanks time on something like 18 episodes of commentary doesn’t come cheap, but really there are no extras to give fans of the shows or actors any insight or snippets of trivia.

3 out of 10 Jackasses
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