Perfect Strangers

Perfect StrangersEveryone (almost) loves their childhood. Whenever we want to recall our past some of our best memories are associated with our childhood days. The sounds, the places even the smells take you to back to that sublime land of euphoria where everything was so pure and real. The following show which I am going to recommend you takes me to the same place.

In 80’s and 90’s we only used to have one TV channel PTV (Pakistan Television) which was owned by the state. It had a strict censorship policy (as per propaganda views of that era’s regime) and all the programs were prudently selected.

What the guy who selected the English shows did good was that he had a very good taste. There is a huge list of English language action, comedy and cartoon shows that kids of 80’s and 90’s love courtesy of PTV and NTM (the second channel a private one that came in the start of 90’s). Full House, AirWolf, Seseme Street, Captain Planet, Fresh Prince of Bel Air and the list goes on.

“Perfect Strangers” was launched in 1986 so it’s as old as me. Fast forward to 2017 and to this day I have been unable to find anyone who remembers it. It ran from 1986 till 1993 and had a total of 8 seasons. So the memories of first seven years of my life involve memories of this show. One of the first music I recall hearing is the show’s theme song and the ending harmonica always brings a smile to my face whenever i hear it.

The show revolves around the lives of two young men living in Los Angeles. One is Larry Appleton (Mark Linn-Baker) who is a regular guy in his 20’s coming from a big family with 9 siblings. He has just moved to the big city of Los Angeles and hopes to live alone for the first time in his life. The other is Balki Bartokomous (also in his 20’s) a happy-go-lucky guy who hails from the Mypos which is a fictional Greek island in the mediterranean.

Perfect Strangers

The story starts when balki who is brought up by his mother and has grown up watching American TV shows comes to America to live the American dream. He comes to Larry who happens to be his distant cousin.

And from there starts one of the best comedy sitcoms of 80’s and 90’s. Not only is the acting good but the physical comedy and movements were always up to the mark and you will be delighted to see the comical timing of Mark and Bronson aka Balki and Larry as they go by their daily routines of working in a newspaper office and living in their apartment.

Balki is new to America and struggles with the norms and language of the foreign nation. Larry takes the responsibility teaching him the American ways and becomes his mentor. The cousins are complete opposite of each other so things always get interesting.

The one liners are incredibly funny like Balki’s “Get out of the City” and “Don’t be ridiculous” and Larry’s “O My Lord”. And then there is Balki’s “Dance of joy”, which Larry and Balki do when they are Happy. If the show was aired in this age of internet it would have been a massive hit with a cult following. 

Dance of Joy - PS

But the best thing about the show is that it reminds of the era when there was no internet, people just seemed a little less stressed, more honest and more caring. But its human nature to always see past as good old days and this show is a perfect rendition of that.

Bronson Pincot is perfect as Balki (i named my dog after him) and is so good that you actually want to believe that Meypos is an actual place on world map. He was a heart-throb in th 80’s and 90’s and with those good looks he would have packed some major film roles if the show was aired in the 2000’s. But the icing on the cake is Mark Linn-Baker as Larry who in my opinion steals the show with his hilarious dialogue delivery and perfect timing. I can say so many things but its better that you watch it yourself and I don’t spoil the fun. 

If you are a fan of comedy sitcoms, do check this one out, you will surely love it. 10/10

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6 comments

  1. I’ve never heard of this sitcom before, but it does sound like every bit a 90s comedy – back when life was arguably simpler without too many computers as you mentioned. Captain Planet – I grew up watching that in Australia and loved it so much. You are right. Your TV channel back then really had a good taste 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Can you any recall what year “perfect stranger” was being played ON PTV (NOT in US but ON PTV) as I was a kid back then and that time has significant events associated with my life. So I kind of need to remember the year when perfect stranger was being played on Pakistan tv. I you recall, from what year to what year on PTV. Many thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, nice to see someone from the same era who also remembers the show. Well it is associated with my earliest memories as well which happen to be the in late 80’s and early 90’s. As per i can estimate it started in 87, 88 in Pak and ended in 92, 93.

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  3. wow, you dedicated a page to it. Count me in bud. I am from the same era. Born in 1982 (Peshawar) and still remember the show. Though I couldn’t understand a word of it at that time. hahahaha

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Welcome to the club bro, yes it carried too much nostalgia so i had to share it with the world, i am happy that i am meeting people who also remember the show. 🙂

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