Watch . . . and
#2, December 1989
One thing that's
really great about Perfect Strangers is the fact that the writers
remember things that happened in the past episodes and refer to them, so we
really feel like we're following Balki and Larry's lives. For instance,
when Larry's Dad recently came to visit, Larry was proud to show off his
baseball and bowling trophies, both of which he'd won on earlier episodes.
But even the best
writers sometimes slip, and those of us who watch our videotaped episodes over
and over know it all too well. For example, when Larry's Dad recently came
to visit, Balki referred to him as Uncle Walter. But in the very first
episode of the show, Balki explained how he came to be on Larry's
doorstep. He was referred there by Larry's Dad, George Appleton.
And speaking of
trophies, Larry was desperate to win his first trophy when he was playing
baseball for the Ritz Discount team. But in the season before, Balki threw
Larry a surprise birthday party late at night and Larry, thinking there was a
robbery going on, entered the dark living room carrying . . . a trophy!
What has probably
been the least consistent aspect of the show is the boys' address. We
discussed the mystery of the third season doors in our last issue. In the
episode where Balki went to get his driver's license, they gave their address as
being 627 Lincoln Blvd. In the second season, still at the same apartment,
Larry read their address off Eddie Harris' notebook as 315 Lincoln Avenue.
Granted, in the
third season they had moved (although some say they are still supposed to be in
the same building sans Mr. Twinkacetti), but in the episode where Balki is
trying to discourage the advances of the worldly Olivia Crawford, he gives their
address as 535 Wilson, Apartment #207. In the fifth season they are still
in the same place, but when they discover poet Lowell Kelly lived at their
address it is 711 Caldwell Avenue, #209.
Oooo . . . kay.
living arrangements, when Balki brings home a stray dog they can't keep it
because there are no pets allowed in the building. If it is true they are
supposed to be in the same building the next season, why does Mary Anne have a
Even stranger is
their re-use of props. When Balki handed in his news story to Larry, who
was teaching a junior college course at Balki's school, the folder was ornately
decorated (so much so it could be used as a tambourine!). That same folder
showed up this season as Balki's Microwave Myposian Cookbook which Larry said
was stolen (but mysteriously ended up behind the refrigerator).
Balki moved Larry
at Christmastime when he gave his cousin a beautiful handmade tapestry which
he'd worked on for one hour every night since he came to stay with his
him. It was a very beautiful and touching moment.
But lo and
behold, that same tapestry showed up the next season when Olivia Crawford came
over to see it (sure) and Balki explained his sister, Yanna, had made it and
showed her how it depicted the history of Mypos (i.e. the discovery by Ferdinand
Mypos as he tried to walk to Italy that Mypos is an island, and the great tomato
famine in which thousands and thousands of tomatoes died). (Editor's
note: after this article was written it was revealed in the series that Balki is
an only child and never had a sister!)
When Balki and
Larry began to work at the Chronicle, Mr. Gorpley was looking for any excuse to
fire Balki. When he found one, Harriette came to Balki's rescue and
threatened Gorpley that she would tell his wife what he was doing with Ms.
Passorelli in her elevator during the Christmas party if Balki wasn't allowed to
work there. Gorpley gave in and let Balki stay.
However, the next
season, Gorpley attended the boys' first annual Christmas party and in a very
moving scene explained his many horrible holidays of the past, particularly one
three years ago when his wife divorced him. But Balki and Larry had only
been at the paper for one year!
When Balki signed
himself and Larry up for a ski trip with Jennifer and Mary Anne, Larry explained
how he hated to ski because his family went every winter and every winter he
would spend a week with his face in the snow as his brothers and sisters used
him as a ski jump. However, when Larry and Balki faced the gun of a
burglar, Larry started pleading pitifully for his life, explaining that he had
never been skiing.
Balki and Larry
were planning a trip to New York but then Jennifer and Mary Anne had to work a
flight to Hawaii, so the plans changed and they went to Hawaii. Balki was
very excited, because this would be his first trip on an airplane. But
didn't Balki and Larry fly to Las Vegas several seasons before?
And the first
time Jennifer and Mary Anne came to the cousins' apartment, they politely
explained they didn't drink. But they had wine in the plumbing episode.
Of course these
points don't really make much difference in the overall episodes, but it does
keep us entertained as we rewatch them!
and Cindy contributed to this article.
on to the next Watch . . . and Learn!