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Bosom Buddies - The Second Season


TITLE: BOSOM BUDDIES - THE SECOND SEASON


Info:

DVD Release Date: September 4, 2007 (CBS DVD/Paramount Home Video)
Color / 1981-82
MSRP: $31.99
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 18
Running time: Approx. 7 Hours, 31 Minutes
Audio Tracks: Dolby Digital Mono
Video: Full Frame 1.33:1
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; No Subtitles; Closed Captioned
Special Features: Sales Presentation


Introduction:

How far would you go to be near the woman of your dreams? The hit series Bosom Buddies stars Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari as ad execs Kip Wilson and Henry Desmond, who dress as "Buffy" and "Hildegarde" in order to live in the all-female Susan B. Anthony Hotel. This season, their lives get further complicated when they start a commercial production house with former boss Ruth Dunbar (Holland Taylor), along with their best friend Amy (Wendie Jo Sperber), who still has a crush on Henry. And although Kip has finally won over his beloved Sonny (Donna Dixon), he and Henry are still forced by new hotel manager Isabelle (Telma Hopkins) to change gender at moment's notice. Includes all 18 classic episodes from the show's second season, on DVD for the first time ever!


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

Bosom Buddies' second season premiered on October 8, 1981. It started off on Thursdays at 9:00-9:30PM. From November 1981-January 1982, it aired on Fridays at 8:30-9:00PM, following Benson. It moved back to Thursdays at 8:30-9:00PM from February-March 1982. The series starred Tom Hanks as Kip Wilson/Buffy, Peter Scolari as Henry Desmond/Hildegarde, Wendie Jo Sperber as Amy Cassidy, Donna Dixon as Sonny Lumet, Telma Hopkins as Isabelle, Lucille Benson as Lilly Sinclair (only the first season) and Holland Taylor as Ruth Dunbar. The show's original theme song was a covered version of Billy Joel's "My Life". The show finished in 73rd place in the ratings for the second season. Despite 35,000 letters of protest, it was canceled. A total of 37 episodes were produced over the two seasons. Following the success of the Tom Hanks' movies "Bachelor Party" and "Splash," NBC aired 8 episodes as reruns in the summer of 1984.

Memorable episodes included "The Truth and Other Lies," in which as his relationship with Sonny heats up, Kip feels he needs to tell her he's been in disguise as a woman, and chooses a fancy embassy party to come clean. At their high school reunion, Henry feels guilty when he sees a deaf girl he once stood up, and Sonny is irriteated that Kip uses her to impress his old classmates in "The Reunion." After Sonny catches Kip out on a date with another woman, he gets drunk and decides to get a tattoo to prove his devotion to her in "The Slightly Illustrated Man." While Kip and Henry are stuck in a winter cabin with no food or water, the girls are stuck back at studio, doing a commercial with a large tiger in "Who's on Thirst?" Kip's worried about his visiting sister, so he places her in Henry's care in "Not With My Sister, You Pig." In order to land an important client, Kip and Henry broadcast their own variety show on television, with help from Amy, Ruth, and all their friends in "Cablevision."

Notable guest stars included Joe Regalbuto as Victor in "There's No Business." Dana Kimmell appeared as Susan in "The Reunion. Joe Mantengna guest starred as The Sheik in "The Roat to Monte Carlo." Stefanie Kramer was Jennifer and Rita Wilson (the future "Mrs. Tom Hanks") played Cindy in "All You Need Is Love." Ernie Hudson guest starred as Rochelle in "One For You, One For Me." Penny Marshall appeared as herself in "Cablevision."


Packaging:

This 3-disc set contains all 18 episodes from the second (1981-82) season. The packaging is the same as the first season release, with the only differences being the show synopsis, episode listings and photos used. It comes in an Amaray movie-style case with clear outer edges. The cover art has headshots of Peter Scolari and Tom Hanks (with less of a perm look) and smaller photos of them as Buffy and Hildegarde. The Bosom Buddies logo is below that with "The Second Season" printed on some lipstick. The slogan "A guy's gotta do what a girl's gotta do" is used at the bottom. On the back of the case, there is another photo of Scolari and Hanks as Hildegarde and Buffy and four small screenshots of Hanks and Scolari at the bottom. There is a synopsis of the show and the DVD specs listed. Scolari and Hanks are on the spine of the case. Where is the rest of the cast on the packaging? This just wasn't the Scolari and Hanks show. There is a plastic holder in the middle of the case that holds the first and second discs. The third disc is held on a holder on the right side of the inside case. Episode titles, original airdates and short summaries are listed by disc in the backgrounds. With the plastic holders and a black sticker bar thing in the way, it is hard to read the information. Slim cases for each individual disc would have been much nicer and easier to read the episode information. The discs have a silver background and list the episodes. The Bosom Buddies logo on them gives a hologram-type effect when you turn them into the light. Photos of the cast on the discs would have been much nicer. Disc 1 has episodes 20-25, Disc 2 has episodes 26-31 and Disc rounds out the set with episodes 32-37.


Menu Design and Navigation:

Once again, the menus are very basic looking. There is just a single menu on each disc, so the navigation is easy. It would have been great to hear "My Life" or "Shake Me Loose" looped in the background of them. Each menu features a different photo of Scolari and Hanks with a different background. Disc 1 has them in drag with a city park background. Disc 2 has them in suits with the front door of the hotel in the background. Disc 3 has them in drag with the hotel lobby in the background. The rest of the cast isn't represented anywhere on the packaging or the menus. The Bosom Buddies logo is at the top of the screen. They have "The Second Season" and the disc number listed on some lipstick. Episode titles are listed vertically in white text. The episode you highlight is in light blue, and it turns darker blue upon your selection. A "Play All" button is available. When you first insert disc 1, there are optional previews you can play for the second seasons of Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, and Mork & Mindy. There are additional promos for some other CBS DVD/Paramount TV DVD releases. Chapter stops are available within the episodes, but no separate scene selection menus are offered.


Video and Audio Quality:

The video and audio quality seems to be similar to the season 1 release. I've had the opportunity to watch Bosom Buddies many times over the years in syndication. Paramount also released 8 episodes on VHS in SLP mode in the 1990's. The episodes on this DVD set look the best I've seen them. These episodes are form 1981-82, so they look similar to other ABC sitcoms of the era like Three's Company and Barney Miller that were shot on video tape. The picture is a little grainy in some episodes, but the overall color is fine and these look as good as can be expected. The episodes are evenly spread out with 6 episodes per disc. For the closing logo enthusiasts, there is a blue and white logo for Miller/Milkis/Boyett Productions. The original Paramount "Blue Mountain" logo has been replaced by an updated CBS Paramount Television logo.

On the back of the case, it says in very small text: "Some music has been changed for this home entertainment version. Some episodes may be edited from their original network versions." This same disclaimer was found on the season 1 set. You can view a list of the season 1 music changes and edits, here. The most obvious change is that these episodes use the "Shake Me Loose" theme version that was performed by Stephanie Mills. The Paramount released VHS tapes in the 1990's also used the "Shake Me Loose" opening theme version. "My Life" (written by Billy Joel) was the original theme song on ABC. It was a cover version reportedly sung by the cast of the show (some say Hanks sang the main vocals - can anyone verify that?). When the show first went into syndication and for most of the 1990's, the "Shake Me Loose" version was used. TV Land and TBS, however, have in recent years aired episodes with the original "My Life" intro. According to what I've read on our message board, "Shake Me Loose" was originally intended to be used as the theme song, but ABC detested it and rejected it. The lyrics to "Shake Me Loose" were written by one of the show's creators, Chris Thompson. An instrumental version of "Shake Me Loose" was originally used as the closing theme. All of the season 2 episodes have a short introduction narrated by Hanks and Scolari, explaining the show's premise. All of the episodes, with the exception of five, run over 25 minutes in length. It seems like the scenes most likely to be cut involve the cast singing a song. If you notice any music changes or edited scenes, please post them in this thread.

The audio is your standard early 80's English Mono track. I didn't notice any major problems, and the audio is at a good level and the dialogue is easy to understand. It's too bad they couldn't use the "My Life" theme, as that is the one most people identify with the show. Remember the good old days of a minute and half opening themes? That's like half a show these days. Closed captioning is available on all of the episodes. The special feature isn't closed captioned.

The episodes are presented in their original broadcast order. You'll notice that the episode guides at TV.com and epguides.com list 38 total episodes. There were 37 episodes produced - 19 in season 1 and 18 in season 2. The online episode guides list one season two episode twice. I would assume that the original airdates listed in this set are correct, so somebody will probably make the corrections to the episode guides. Here is the episode breakdown by disc, including the running times:

Disc 1
---------
20. The Truth and Other Lies (10/08/81) (25:14)
21. There's No Business... (10/15/81) (25:11)
22. The Reunion (10/22/81) (25:11)
23. The Road to Monte Carlo (12/04/81) (25:03)
24. WaterBalloonGate (12/11/81) (25:11)
25. All You Need Is Love (12/18/81) (24:46)

Disc 2
---------
26. Other That That, She's A Wonderful Person (12/25/81) (25:12)
27. The Slighly Illustrated Man (01/08/82) (25:05)
28. Two Percent Solution (01/15/82) (25:12)
29. The Grandfather (02/04/82) (24:52)
30. Kip Off the Old Block (02/11/82) (25:05)
31. Hildy's Dirt Map (02/18/82) (24:32)

Disc 3
---------
32. The Way Kip and Henry Were (03/04/82) (25:05)
33. Who's On Thirst? (03/11/82) (25:02)
34. Not With My Sister, You Pig (03/18/82) (24:47)
35. One For You, One For Me (03/25/82) (24:12)
36. Not The Last Picture Show (03/25/82) (25:08)
37. Cablevision (05/27/82) (25:07)


Special Features:

After no special features were included on the first season set, there is just a single extra here. The "Sales Presentation" runs 6 minutes, 49 seconds. This was used to sell the show into local syndication. It is just basically a series of clips from the episodes. It is narrated by the ABC voice-over guy from the 1980's who did their network promos. He gives the basic premise of the show and talks a little bit about the cast and the characters. He mentions Tom Hanks being in "Splash" and "Bachelor Party," so this was probably made around the mid-to-late 1980's. There is a Paramount Domestic Television and Video Programming logo.

It would have been great to have some audio commentaries, bloopers, show retrospective with new cast interviews and a Wendie Jo Sperber tribute on here. They would have added to my enjoyment of the set. Unfortunately, we probably won't be seeing a "Special Edition" of Bosom Buddies anytime soon.


Final Comments:

All 37 episodes of Bosom Buddies are now available on DVD! It was nice that there was only a 6 month wait between the releases. I enjoyed the first season a little bit more because of the corniness of Buffy/Hildegarde, but I know other fans preferred the humor more in season two when the scenes in drag were toned down. I'm not sure why the show slipped all the way to 73rd place in the second season. It seemed like it didn't have a compatible lead-in and moving it to Fridays for a while hurt the momentum. It frequently was #1 in its time period when it was regularly scheduled and earned 30+ shares in 1981, but then it just lost a lot of viewers. CBS DVD/Paramount has done a pretty decent job with these releases. It was disappointing that that "My Life" was replaced with "Shake Me Loose" and there was some music changed and a few scenes edited out entirely, but these episodes still have 2-3 more minutes of footage than is shown in syndication. This show was definitely one of the most underrated gems of the 1980's. It wasn't just the Hanks and Scolari show. There is a great ensemble cast and the show just has a lot of universal appeal.


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)

Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 1/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 08/29/07

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000QUEQ5O/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20

Questions or comments about this set? Post on our message board:

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=208139

For much more information on the show, visit out fan site: Sitcoms Online - Bosom Buddies


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