Perfect Strangers (TV Series 1986–1993) Poster

(1986–1993)

User Reviews

Review this title
64 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
I Can't Believe I'm The Only One Commenting On This Show!
RosalieBustingMyBowls21 August 1999
This is one of the all-time classic t.v. shows that stays with you forever. My whole family used to get together every Friday night to watch this show when it was on T.G.I.F. Try as I might, i can't find reruns of this show anywhere! This is the only show that I actually remember them doing the curtain call at the end of the last show, my whole family was crying! Man, those were the days.
57 out of 62 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
A show like this is a rare find these days.
strange_fruit8 April 2005
Warning: Spoilers
What can I say, except that those were the days! They really don't make it like this anymore-wholesome, scripted comedy, that people of all ages can appreciate.

I have been watching this show since I was around 7 years old, and in my experience, it has only gotten better with age. As a youngster, I think I enjoyed it because of the character of Balki-the naive sheepherder from a small developing island, faced with a massive culture shock when he arrives unexpectedly at the door of his distant cousin, Larry. I laughed along as Balki was dazzled by Western technology, taught Larry his bizarre Myposian rituals, made endless failed attempts at popular American sayings, and had his good nature taken advantage of time and time again. I must admit that at the time, Larry was just a character that was around so Balki could exist, and I really took little notice of him. But now that I am older, it is Balki that has begun to fade into the background. The character of Larry seems kind of straightforward-an average guy in his mid 20s who, despite himself, comes to learn many life lessons from his eccentric cousin. I would have thought they could have gotten any old actor to play someone like that, but now I see that I was wrong. Mark Linn Baker is subtly brilliant as Larry Appleton. He portrays Larry's neurotic, on-edge personality, without becoming tacky and predictable in his mannerisms. And despite being "the normal one", his use of physical comedy is hilarious. The 2 lead actors bounce off each other perfectly, and make this show work.

This show is pure fun, but also made a nice statement about morality, which made you care about the 2 lead characters. At the age of 20, I still shed a tear when Balki moves back to Mypos and he and Larry have to say goodbye. And when Jennifer accepts Larry's unrehearsed marriage proposal, over the proposal her new attractive, wealthy boyfriend. And I still laugh when I see Larry and Balki sneaking into Jennifer and Maryanne's apartment at night to swap Jennifer's engagement ring, fix up a house and accidentally get stuck in a chandelier, or dancing to the reworded limbo rock as they attempt to bake 3,000 "Bippy Bobkas".

As a disclaimer, I must warn that this show isn't exactly high-brow, to say the least. The story lines are often far from believable, the dialogue isn't always as funny as the raucous canned laughter would have you believe, and a "straight guy meets wacky guy" comedy isn't exactly cutting edge. But in all honesty-so what? This show may not be the height of intellectual viewing, but when you're just looking for a show to veg out in front of and forget your troubles for half an hour, then look no further. This show always leaves you with a smile on your face, and is a refreshing change from the myriad of recycled reality shows they beam to us at every opportunity.

Since this show was cancelled, a lot of shows have come and gone that I have loved for various reasons, but I have yet to find another sitcom that can hold the flame to this one. I prey that they will release this series on DVD. And if not, then I hope the reruns I recorded back in the 90s will last long enough for me to show to my children.
54 out of 60 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Now we are so happy, we do the dance of joy!
Monika-510 October 2000
This show was CLASSIC! Mark Linn-Baker and Bronson Pinchot worked brilliantly together, and the writing and direction were both fresh and hysterical. Even though I haven't seen a rerun in so long, I still know how to do the Dance of Joy! Also I remember so many of the great lines, compliments of Balki: "Get out of the city!" "Woooo-wow!" "Well, of course not don't be ridiculous!" "Well, paint me gold and call me Oscar!" "Well, paint me green and call me Gumby!"

GREAT SHOW!!!
31 out of 38 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Oozed originality!!
A typical American guy who's money driven and a simple goat herder from Mipos related?! This show had original sitcom comedy that is rare nowadays. The episode where Larry and Balky try to fit a large sofa in the elevator was hilarious! Sitcoms nowadays are obsolete since stand up comedy and observational humor on life is more desirable these days but there was a time when at least to me, Perfect Strangers was the best TV sitcom out there.
26 out of 33 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
I miss this show!
Xophianic21 March 2000
This show was one of my favorite sitcoms of all time. I have very fond memories of this show and I wish they'd bring it back on reruns somewhere. Bronson Pinchot (Balki) and Mark Linn-Baker (Larry) are the perfect match, each with very different kinds of humor. Larry has a more scheming, intellegent kind of humor. Balki has more of a dumb, physical kind of humor. The two balance it perfectly and make this show one of the funniest of it's time.
12 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
One of the BEST Comedies of All Time!
alidoremi25 September 2005
We've loved this show for almost 20 years now! It's good, clean fun that the whole family can enjoy. The first-year episodes were really funny; all the typical "immigrant-new-to-America" situations like: Balki getting a driver's license, Balki wanting to meet girls, Balki opening a checking account. Just watching Balki discover potato chips was a treat.

Later, some priceless episodes were: when Larry and Balki meet Jennifer and Mariann in the health club, the camping trip, the ski trip, learning karate, the guys 're-doing' the girls' upstairs bathroom plumbing, etc... I started watching when I was newly married and then, as I had kids, I really appreciated the wholesomeness of the show. The comedy was very physical (sort of ala "I Love Lucy"), yet there were no profanities or sexual references that are so prevalent in today's prime time lineup.

I SO wish these were out on DVD!
17 out of 22 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Of Course not Don't be ridiculous
DaBears5430 June 2003
This is one of my favorite shows of the 80s. I used to watch this show while I got ready to go to school in 1987. I was 8 then. I am almost 24 now and I get a kick out of watching this show. It brings back memories of my childhood.
15 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Excellent series.
info2-82 May 2006
Best comedy series ever. Enjoyable by many different perspectives! I hope this will be available on DVD. The facial comedy of the main actors, the plot, the supporting actors are perfect. This series has been translated and watched in many countries across the globe and friends living abroad have also commented on their appreciation for this production. My favourate character is Larry Appleton, I particularly like the way he flips out when things go wrong. He is a crack up. Well done to the team who have made this a success. As mentioned, hope this is out on DVD soon. If the DVD's are available then please post the information on this board so that we are aware of the place to to purchase.
14 out of 20 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
An absolute ABC classic!
Catherine_Grace_Zeh21 January 2006
"PERFECT STRANGERS," in my opinion, is an absolute ABC classic! I'm not sure if I've never seen every episode, but I still enjoyed it. One of my favorite episodes is where Larry (Mark Linn-Baker) and Balki (Bronson Pinchot) get sunburned by some sunbathing beds. If you want to know how and why that happened, you'd have to have seen it for yourself. I also enjoyed the romances between them and their girlfriends (Rebecca Arthur and Melanie Wilson). Everyone always gave a good performance, the production design was spectacular, the costumes were well-designed, and the writing was always very strong. In conclusion, I hope they bring it back on the air for fans of the show to see.
11 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Mark Linn-Baker is brilliant!
jahenke138 July 2018
I watched every episode of the show when it aired. Never saw it again, never saw it in repeats, never available on DVD. Recently I watched all the episodes again on Hulu and while Bronson Pinchot got the majority of the laughs as well as most of the credit for the success of the show for me, Mark Linn-Baker was brilliant as Larry Appleton. A kind-hearted man who was constantly looking for a quick get rich scheme and always had a...plan! I also thought he was so cute and adorable. I do agree that it ran a couple of seasons too long, I enjoyed it tremendously and enjoyed seeing the show again.
4 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Perfect Friday Night Fare!
Syl20 March 2007
I have to admit that Balki and Larry were the male version of Laverne and Shirley. The show had a unique premise and it worked best with Bronson Pinchot as Balki who reminded me of Andy Kaufman on Taxi. Anyway, the show was never controversial or raised any eyebrows. It had it's moments including the relationship between Larry and Balki that emerged from complete strangers who were distant cousins to best of friends. The cast included the under-rated Ernie Sabella, JoMarie Payton France whose family would spin-off to more successful Family Matters. Friday nights on ABC were reserved for light family comedy fare. I just wish that they would bring sitcoms back. Bronson's role and performance was one of the best in a long time.
7 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
OK so it's kind of stupid but also super fun!
johns608715 November 2016
There's nothing really special about this show, it's a typical 1980's to 1990's sitcom with not very well developed characters and a really simple premise, but the actors are so likable and the show is so fun that I just don't care.

In this case the characters are Balki Bartokomous (Bronson Pinchot), a naive and very foreign shepherd boy from Mypos (pretty much but technically not really a Greek island) who immigrates to the land of the free America, in the city of Chicago, to build a new life. This is much to the chagrin of "Cousin Larry", his (distant) American cousin who is a wannabe photographer who had no idea Balki was coming. Apparently it's customary in their family that they should just take each other in for unknown periods of time.

Cousin Larry obviously has reservations until he's moved by Balki's plight and his kindness and opens his doors (and apartment) to the foreigner. The two work in a nick-knack shop, then at the Chicago Tribune newspaper (after Larry makes it as a photographer/news man), and all along the way they go through the weekly ritual of know-it- all Larry announcing "I have a plan!" then forcing Balki, who knows what they should actually do but is too innocent and taken in by Cousin Larry's confidence to object, to get into trouble before clumsily lucking their way out of it. They also have crushes on their two upstairs neighbour girls, beautiful stewardesses, who they pursue (and finally get) during the series' entire run, even buying and fixing up a house. Obviously the plots and situations wear thin by the end (the last season was not very good in my opinion) but even then the characters and simple, fun premise stayed entertaining and just plain fun!

The only really remarkable thing about this show is how enduringly popular it was as it lasted a surprising number of seasons/years (like 10!) and huge numbers of people loved it during its run on ABC's (or was it NBC's?) "TGIF" Friday night lineup.

Definitely a family friendly show too, if that is something that concerns you (kind of why we watched it).
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Great show, but ran too long
OmegaWolf74716 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I'd love to give this show a ten, I really would. The first five seasons are an absolute ten. Larry was hilarious, especially when he'd start a scheme. Larry: "I have..." Balki: "Oh, God." Larry: "...a plan." Larry seemed to be hooked on money and live to make a buck. Larry: "What'll you do with your share of the money?" Balki: "Give it to the poor." Larry: "Well, they'll be taken care of. I'm going to spend my share on myself." Balki was very sweet and very naive. He came to America speaking broken English and knowing nothing of how the nation worked. Many times his naivety landed him and Larry in trouble. Because he was so trusting, Larry would often unfairly take advantage of him and use him in his money-grubbing schemes.

Starting with the sixth season though, things started to go downhill. All of a sudden, Larry goes from being money-grubbing, but still somewhat redeemable, to this pathological greedy liar who would never learn any better. Balki goes from being naive but very intelligent to just flat-out stupid.

Also, I detested their girlfriends, Jennifer and Mary Anne. I liked the red-haired girl Susan from the first two seasons. I thought it was so cute when Balki would throw himself at her and Larry would have to keep him from making a fool of himself. I guess the blondes were added to provide sex appeal, but to me it just seems like a sell-out. Susan was a real, down-to-earth and intelligent woman whereas Mary Anne and Jennifer were just superficial and shallow.

All in all, it was a great show in the beginning, but it just ran way too long and was unrecognizable by the end.
5 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Perfect Strangers episode, The 'King' And I is my All-Time Favorite Episode of all Shows!
63x927is584014 January 2006
Immediate address link is http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0672992. The four leading roles & characters were: 'Bronson Pinchot' (qv)'s double role, as "Balky Bartakokomous" & as 'Elvis Presley' (qv) (when a bell rings), 'Mark-Linn Baker' (qv), as "Larry Appleton", 'Ron Perkins (I)' (qv) portrayed Income Tax agent, Mister Yates & 'Terrence E. Mcnally' (qv) Lamont Cassidy, their friend & hypnotist. This episode originally televised on ABC, on Friday, February 24th, 1989. It is hypnotically & hysterically humorous, from beginning to end! What occurred in this episode, is Balki, was accidentally hypnotized while watching from the kitchen, as he was going to get a glass of water. Shortly after & while Balki is still in the kitchen, a friend of Larry, that was a hypnotist tried to hypnotize Larry. But Larry decided to act as if he were 'Marlin Brando' (qv), instead of 'Elvis Presley' (qv). 'Bronson Pinchot' (qv)'s first line, was immediate, just after the hypnotist and his date left, the telephone rang. He impersonated 'Elvis Presley' (qv), answering with, "How did you get this number, lady?" While Balki was coincidentally and accidentally watching, the hypnosis come onto him! And later in the week, Larry and Balki were to go to their Income Tax agent, named "Mister Yates". And Larry tore a telephone up, to keep a bell from going and hypnotize Balki, while they were in the agent's office! But a clock, with an hourly chime went off and the remainder of this episode was twice as funny, at least! In the last five minutes, Balki was wearing a white suit, looking exactly like if he was 'Elvis Presley' (qv)! I have nicknamed this one episode, "Hypnotically & Hysterically Humorous, From Beginning To End"!
7 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Imperfect Company
hellraiser728 July 2018
This show is another childhood gem of mine, it's also another under the radar gem, it was really popular for it's time but as I said for it's time as time went on its became slightly forgotten. It was one of the first comedies/sitcom shows I've ever watched when I was about 7 or 8; it's also kind of one of the first buddy comedies as well. The Buddy cop/comedy genre back in the 80's was a really big thing from films like "Lethal Weapon", "48 Hours", you name it; so, it's no surprise this show would come along.

Not much to say really, it's just a simple premise like any buddy comedy on two very different people living together and trying to make it together. I really like both characters they have really good back and forth, both actors Bronson Pinchot and Mark Lynn Baker are really solid it's too bad both didn't have much else afterward. Both characters are well rounded and are easy to emphasize with.

Larry (Mark Lynn Baker) he is bit of a workaholic, ambitious but very insecure at the same time. I can emphasize a bit with him because even I'm a bit of a workaholic, and his insecurities at times are something we all feel sometimes, and they really aren't always misplaced some of his insecurities are justified. What I really like about him is how ambitious he is, he's always trying out things or starting up ventures to get more money, get a step up, or whatever else in life. And he does actually win sometimes but what's funny is how he loses sometimes, not just from not having the luck of the draw but just letting his ambition cloud his better judgement or letting things get out of hand.

Balki (Bronson Pinchot) is my favorite character, I can sort of emphasize a little with Balka as he's an outsider, he's has sort of childlike sensibilities but what I love about the guy is he's not afraid to be himself, he really puts his home country sensibilities and whatever he loves in life out there. It may seem strange to anyone else, but he honestly doesn't care what anyone else thinks he just want to do his thing. He really is a good for Corson as he really helps bring fun to his life which he probably never has much of and even helps guide him on the right path likewise for Corson sometimes. I really like the theme song which is an honorable mention if favorite themes songs in my book. It's memorable and perfectly reflects the show.

And these two just get into all kinds of crazy crap, there are a lot of funny memorable episodes like one where they make a crazy amount of pastries called Biba Badkas which is once again another one of Larry's fast business ventures the results well I won't tell you but it's hilarious. Balki dressing up as a ninja and both Larry and him playful fight which is funny but really addressed the ninja craze back in the 80's. Or one where they are invited to a club but overdo it on the tanning and they look like walking oranges, though to me the highlight was seeing them move which was hilarious as even the smallest and simplest movement is painful.

Overall if you're looking for vintage buddy comedies this is a show to check out, it's a perfect good time.

Rating: 3 and a half stars
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Some of the Best Comedy ever - Why isn't it on DVD ... already?
pafilafika1 March 2005
Perfect Strangers was truly a great comedy series. Yes at times they borrowed from the classics of comedy, but Bronson Pinchot and Mark Linn Baker were unmatched in their delivery.

Why keep such talent under wraps? Put out the DVDs for this series already! There is so much DVD product produced that falls so far below the quality of Perfect Strangers.

Who holds the strings to getting this out on DVD anyway? and how can the average individual fan influence the process? Is there any means to influence getting this series to DVD? Who needs to be convinced that they will reap profits from their efforts here?

Some of the best comedy of the current era and it's left to catch dust. How very frustrating.
3 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
one of the best TV shows
burcuhg22 March 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Perfect Strangers is unforgettable part of my childhood. Balki Bartokomous in one of the best characters created ever. Neither stupid nor smart. The show was very successful to make us to see the relationship between 2 different personality living together. It was pure fun. No such innocent stories of fun shown in these days. Larry's anger was making us cry while laughing. He was getting angry very fast and cooling down so fast too. Their relation was as perfect marriage, full of fun,anger,jealous and trust. Even they played games to each other sometimes, they fully trust each other in heart. Most of all, at the end of each episode they understand how precious to be friends forever so make you think about the real friends are forever.The most killing parts were the dance scenes of our perfect couple.
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
finally found it.
gemsbabys5 December 2006
This is fantastic this programme from the 1980s this is my nannas favourite, she has been trying to get this for years, now I've finally found it for her ,its full of humour and thats what she needs its ashame that i cant get it on DVD or video.i really do wish i could get this for my nanna as it would make her happy again she is an old women now bless her with not much to look forward too,please,please put this on DVD or video or on lime wire so i can download all episodes so i can give her them as a Christmas present.its brilliant should watch these episodes if you can ever get them there garrenteed to make you laugh.its makes my nanna laugh so much its unbelievable .
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
An 80's Classic
OctoberFox1 December 2005
I remember when I was a kid, Perfect Strangers was the show I used to look forward too the most. Balki (delightfully played by Bronson Pinchot) was an immigrant looking to move to New York from his home in Mypos. Larry (Mark Linn-Baker played this stiff contrast a little too well) was a panicky, independent single man taking himself way too seriously as he tried to get ahead in the rat race. When Balki shows up on his doorstep one day, Larry is somehow corralled into taking his more innocent cousin into his home and under his wing, hoping to teach Balki how to live life in the 'real world', and learning a lot more about it himself in the process.

Personally, I can't think of a better classic family program than this (well, actually 'I Love Lucy' is the only one I can think of). The concept isn't altogether unfamiliar. A little 'Odd Couple' and a little 'Laurel and Hardy', Perfect Strangers designs it's own unique formula by adding to the mix the concept of culture shock. The characters gradually become more fleshed out in later seasons, while their more endearing qualities established early on endure throughout.

This, by the way, was one of the shows that began the original 'TGIF' lineup that would later spawn such classic TV hits as Step By Step, Full House, and Famlily Matters.

This show is good fun for all ages, and I heartily recommend it!
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
An excellent comedy with an exceptionally talented cast
president24200314 March 2005
"Perfect Strangers" was one of my favorite sitcoms from childhood and remains so until this day.

Bronson Pinchot is truly magnificent in his role as Balki Bartokomous –I would consider his portrayal of this role as perhaps his best performance to date and perhaps one of the best comedy performances of all time. Mark Linn-Baker is also a truly wonderful and talented actor who plays his role to perfection and provides his character with a degree of liveliness and enthusiasm that is truly first class. Together they form one of the best comedic duos in modern comedy. A strong supporting cast further enhances this already wonderful –particularly Melanie Wilson and Rebecca Arthur in their respective roles as Jennifer and Mary Anne. Each and every member of the cast provides their respective characters with a great deal of depth, dimension and realism that only enhances the quality of an already excellent show The humor in this sitcom is truly priceless and would often have me in fits of hysterical laughter. As well as this, the dialogue between the characters flows naturally and the plots of each episode are both easy to follow and hilarious in how they unfold.

"Perfect Strangers" was a highly enjoyable, entertaining and wonderful comedy. I wish there were more like it in this day and age.
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Great Show!
duchesjulia25 August 2003
I like this show and I get to enjoy it now that the reruns come on cable. I didnt realize that there were 150 episodes. I too cannot believe that no one else has commented on this show. And I love his accent! Great family show! And I would like to know what Bronson is doing now???
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Best Show Ever
learyb21 June 2003
There is and has not been a show that is worth watching over and over again. I never tire of watching Perfect Strangers. Balki (Bronson Pinchot) and Cousin Larry (Mark Linn-Baker) was magical together. I have been around for 40 years and have not to this day seen a comedy show on television that can touch Perfect Strangers. I have quite a few tapes of the show and watch them everyday faithfully. Whenever I feel a little down and need a little cheering up, I just pop in my Perfect Strangers tape and forget about my worries for at least a little while. Perfect Strangers was and still is the Perfect Show of all times.
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
"I HAVE a plan!" "Oh God."
Jasoco22 May 2003
When I first discovered this show years ago. It was so long ago to remember I would watch it all the time every Friday on ABC's TGIF. I absolutely loved the show. I didn't watch from the start, only when they moved it to TGIF. I still remember a few key things that happened in the series. Like when they got the new house. Or Balki painted that painting in his room. Or when Balki's mother came to America. The show always had me laughing.

I would watch TGIF religiously from its start to its end. I watched this show 'til the series finale in 1993. After that, TGIF had some great shows come and go, but this was one of the finest.

It is now on TGIF at 4 AM Eastern. I am watching it right now. It is the episode where they quit the Second Hand shop and get a job at a Diner. The episode is hilarious. As are all of them. I am cracking up.

Despite what some say, it DOES pass the test of time. It's timeless.

"We so happy! Now we do the dance of joy!"

When Balki would speak Meposian or sing an American song, pure comedy gold.

Balki: "I love this machine.. it does Shrimp too.." Larry: "Balki, we don't serve Shrimp." Balki: "I know, but if we did, this baby would fry their little tails off."

Balki: "They're pulling the parking meters out of the ground!" Larry: "Oh my Lord. It must have been a Hockey Game."

Perfect Strangers. Perfect Ten.
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
If you are having a crummy day, this show will always make you laugh:)
goodfrnk16 March 2003
This is one show that my whole family watches. Last night, my 13, 10, and 8 year old children, plus their 9 year old cousin were watching some reruns that I had taped. Everyone, even my husband, were just cracking up. We watched 5 of the shows in a row. I have been trying to tape them at 6:30 in the morning while getting ready for school with 3 kids. I wish we could purchase the tapes if they make them. Does anyone have information on whether Perfect Strangers is on video or DVD? Please let me know. The first time we taped them was throughout the summer several years ago, but those tapes have worn out. Now we are taping again. Not fun, the tapes don't last long. HILARIOUS show--worth watching over and over again!!!!!!!
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed