Thursday, December 28, 2017

Thursday Movie Picks #181: Friendship (TV edition)

This being Thursday, it's time for another edition of "Thursday Movie Picks", the blogathon run by Wandering Through the Shelves. This being the last week of the month, it's time for another TV edition. This time, the theme is friendship. Once again, I've gone with a couple of older TV shows since I don't watch much episodic TV these days. Two have a pair of best friends, the other one has a few more:

Bosom Buddies (1980-1982). Tom Hanks (before stardom) and Peter Scolari play two men who have to move out of their apartment building when it's going to be demolished, and find a great rate on a new apartment. There's only one catch: the new apartment is in a women-only apartment builing. You can guess what happens next. The opening credits, with Billy Joel's song "My Life", make all this clear anyhow. Hanks and Scolari have nothing on Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon.

Laverne & Shirley (1976-1983). Penny Marshall (when she was an actress and not a director) and Cindy Williams play roommates in Milwaukee working at the Shotz brewery. At least until ratings started flagging, when they along with their platonic boy pals Lenny and Squiggy moved out to Los Angeles.

What's Happening!! (1976-1979). Sitcom about the adventures of a bunch of high-school aged friends in Watts, Los Angeles. That iconic theme song was composed by Henry Mancini, who surprisingly enough wrote a lot of TV themes.


joel65913 said...

I LOVED Bosom Buddies!! Great pick. Hanks and Scolari had a great give and take chemistry. What's Happening is another one I watched weekly. Loved Dee. We match on Laverne & Shirley which was plain old goofy fun despite the apparent war between Marshall and Williams behind the scenes.

I don't watch much episodic TV anymore either so all mine are at least a few years old and woman centered.

Desperate Housewives (2004-2012)-On a quiet day on the quiet suburban street of Wisteria Lane housewife Mary Alice Young picks up a gun and blows her brains out. After that less than lovely introduction Mary Alice becomes our guide and narrator through the wacky often chaotic lives of her group of women friends Susan, Lynette, Gabrielle, Bree and for a while their fremeny Edie (Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman, Eva Longoria, Marcia Cross and Nicolette Sheridan) who all reside on the same street. Through the eight years the series ran the women at times were at odds but when push came to shove their friendship remained strong.

The Golden Girls (1985-1992)-Four mature women (three widows & a divorcee), man hungry Southerner Blanche Deveraux (Rue McClanahan), na├»ve Midwesterner Rose Nyland (Betty White), New Yorker Dorothy Zbornak (Beatrice Arthur) and her mother Sophia Petrillo (Estelle Getty) share Blanche’s home and each other’s lives in the Miami suburbs. Over many cheesecakes the quartet talk about everything under the sun including aging, sex, artificial insemination and a myriad of other things interlaced with Rose’s often idiotic hometown Saint Olaf stories. They bicker, argue and fight but consistently support each other when it really matters. What makes this so special and constantly rewatchable is that four of the best comedic actresses that ever lived interact in every episode like a well-oiled machine.

Laverne & Shirley (1976-1983)-Slapstick shenanigans of two Milwaukee brewery workers and best friends Laverne DeFazio (Penny Marshall) and Shirley Feeney (Cindy Williams). A succession of predicaments happen weekly which require the girls to extricate themselves from in some outlandish fashion as their strange upstairs neighbors Lenny & Squiggy (Michael McKean & David Lander) pop in and out along with Shirley’s sometimes boyfriend Carmine “The Big Ragoo” Ragusa (Eddie Mekka).

Dell said...

We have a match with What's Happening!! I'm so happy to see some love for that show. I also loved your other two picks. Both were hilarious. Glad that Bosom Buddies hasn't been forgotten.

Birgit said...

I used to watch Bosom Buddies even though I didn’t laugh much. I watched Laverne & Shirley all the time and enjoyed it especially Lenny & Squiggy. I never watched What’s Happening as I never felt the want..if that makes sense.

Ted S. (Just a Cineast) said...

I was a kid when all of these movies were first on.

A few years back, one of the cable channels targeting black audiences (I forget whether it was Centric or TVOne) ran What's Happening!!, and it was inoffensive but not particularly good. Kind of like 227 in that regard, but with a lot fewer insults.

Come to think of it, a lot of vintage sitcoms aren't as good as we remember them.