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.
' high-concept premise (two displaced friends don dresses so they can live in a "dirt cheap" hotel for women) was ridiculous. Listening to costars Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari narrate the opening credits ("
but they also know us as Kip and Henry, Buffy and Hildy's brothers"), you got the feeling that they thought so, too. The immensely appealing and likeable duo had emerged as a crack comedy team worthy of better, and the second eason accommodates them with an unprecedented premise-wrecking about-face. In the season opener, Kip (Hanks) reveals his secret to Sonny (Donna Dixon), the girl of his dreams. ("Ain't this a shocker, huh?"), and Henry (Scolari) follows suit. No problem. Aspiring singer Isabelle (Telma Hopkins), promoted to hotel manager (farewell, Lucille Benson), allows them to stay. Further, Kip and Henry leave their ad agency and set up their own commercial production house. In short, there is much less cross-dressing this season and a lot more Airplane
-style scattershot pop culture cross-references ranging from Noel Coward and Philip Roth to Slim Whitman and the Ozzie Nelson family. The ensemble's (including Holland Taylor and the late, great Wendie Jo Sperber) infectiously silly improvisational byplay recalls Robin Williams' mad riffs on Mork and Mindy
, and freshen up such sitcom staples as the flashback episode, the imagine-us-when-we're-old episode, and the inevitable variety-show episode (with special guest Penny "Laverne" Marshall, who would direct Hanks to his first Oscar nomination in Big
Bosom Buddies is mostly madcap, but some genuinely moving moments took the series to another level. In "The Reunion," one of the series' best episodes, a guilt-stricken Henry apologizes to the deaf girl he stood up at their high school prom, and "Kip off the Old Block" fades out on Kip's admission that he is afraid of growing up. Enjoyable in its own right, Bosom Buddies is best remembered today as the career launching pad for Hanks. Revisiting it is like paging through an old high school yearbook and marveling at the phenomenal success of the former class clown. Hanks for the memories. --Donald Liebenson