Kip and Henry work at an advertising agency as an artist and writer respectively. When the apartment that they were living in was condemned, they had no place to live. So Amy their co-worker, who has a crush on Henry, suggests that they stay with her but the only the problem is that it's for girls only. So they get into drag and assume the personas of Buffy and Hildegarde. When Kip meets Sonny, Amy's attractive roommate, he is smitten and when they learn that there's a vacancy in the building, Kip convinces Henry to take it so he can be close to Sonny, and so that this experience might be good material for a book that Henry can write.
Some like it Hanks in this cross-dressing sitcom that launched one of Hollywood's most accomplished careers. It doesn't get any "Before They Were Stars" than this. The future Oscar-winner hadn't even made Bachelor Party
yet! Hanks (in riffing, wiseass mode that lives on in Vince Vaughan), and Peter Scolari star as struggling ad-agency artist and writer Kip and Henry, best friends whose apartment building is demolished. Desperate for a place to live, they transform themselves into Buffy and Hildegarde so they can live in the for-women-only Susan B. Anthony Hotel. Kip and Henry pass themselves off as the "girls': brothers, allowing Kip to romance nurse and aspiring dancer Sunny (Donna Dixon), and Henry to write a book about the experience. "This is nuts, stupid, crazy," Kip rants, and so it is, but Bosom Buddies
is never a drag, thanks to Hanks and Scolari's spontaneous chemistry. They are a comedy team without, pardon the expression, a straight man. The late Wendie Jo Sperber is a force of nature as Amy, the ad-agency receptionist with an unrequited crush on Henry, leading to one of this season's less jokey, more character-driven episodes, "Beauty and the Beasts." Holland Taylor is at her imperious best as Kip and Henry's credit-grabbing boss. Lucille Benson replaces the pilot's Edie Adams as the Susan B. Anthony's formidable new manager.
Bosom Buddies fitfully finds its voice in its inaugural season. Hanks and Scolari are able to elevate the clunkiest of jokes with seemingly ad-libbed asides or physical bits of business. Greeting the morning in wigs and shaving cream while singing "Macho Man" is a signature giddy moment. A Hanks-Scolari reunion for the DVD release would have been nice, but if Bosom Buddies requires any kind of makeover, it is to restore the show's original theme song, Billy Joel's "My Life," which has been replaced by some generic tripe that ages the series at least 25 years. --Donald Liebenson