Perfect Strangers—Season 1

perfect strangers season 1 complete episode guide list
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Classic '80s sitcom

Rather generic situation comedy stories


These guys are perfect…strangers (hey, I get it!)

Larry Appleton (Mark Linn-Baker) is leaving Wisconsin for Chicago where he dreams of becoming a photojournalist.  When his distant cousin Balki Bartokomous (Bronson Pinchot) shows up from his small Greek island of Mypos, Larry finds himself with a new roommate and coworker at Ritz Discount.  As Larry tries to explain America to Balki, he learns he might have discovered a best friend.

Perfect Strangers—Season 1 was a short first season that aired from March 25, 1986 to April 29, 1986 on ABC.  Falling between the popular Who’s the Boss? and Moonlighting, the series became an instant hit.


Just a boy and his sheep

Perfect Strangers was just a fun comedy.  Much like a Laverne & Shirley and The Odd Couple, most of the series’ humor spun off the likable relationship between Larry and Balki.  I was a big fan of the series as a kid and watching it now, though a rather stupid comedy, the series seems to hold up (but I’m a bit bias).

Unlike comedies today, the script isn’t as punchy as a some series.  There are one liners, but the comedy is more situational (putting the sitcom in sitcom).  There is a lot of slapstick and humor and smartly, Balki isn’t always the one who causes the problems.


Balki & Larry still make you do the Dance of Joy!

Regardless if Mark Linn-Baker is a good straight man, Balki is the star of the show.  This became a bit overbearing as the seasons went on but here, there is a nice balance between the characters.  You get the fun of the “Dance of Joy” and Balki’s stuffed sheep Dimitri…it’s very ’80s, but still fun.

Thus far only Perfect Strangers—Season 1 and 2 are available on DVD.  Allegedly, most of the tie-up for the following seasons is the music licensing.  It is too bad that the series isn’t more readily available (especially when its spin-off series Family Matters became an almost bigger hit).  Can you do better than Balki and Larry?  Yes…but “Don’t be ridiculous!”

Perfect Strangers—Season 1 Complete Episode Guide:


“Knock Knock, Who’s There?”

1.1       Knock Knock, Who’s There? Airdate  03/25/86

Balki Bartokomous (Bronson Pinchot) leaves his Mediterranean island home of Mypos to go to America.  When Balki arrives in Chicago, his distant cousin Larry Appleton (Mark Linn-Baker) is forced to take him in.  When Balki accidentally sells a bunch of items of Larry’s job at Ritz Discount, his boss Mr. Twinkacetti (Ernie Sabella) challenges Balki to fix a broken radio to get a job.


“Picture This”

1.2       Picture This Airdate:  04/01/86

Larry gets a tip that Dolly Parton is secretly staying in Chicago with another man and hopes to crack the story to get his foot in the door at the newspapers.  Larry tries to get Balki to realize people are taking advantage of his kindness which might cost him his shot.


“First Date”

1.3       First Date Airdate:  04/08/86

Larry tries to teach Balki how to get a girl.  When Balki lands a date, Larry and Susan (Lise Cutter) go on a double date.


“Baby You Can Drive My Car”

1.4       Baby, You Can Drive My Car Airdate:  04/15/86

Balki admires Larry and Mr. Twinacetti’s driver’s licenses and Larry is tricked into betting Twinacetti that he can teach Balki to drive.


“Check This”

1.5       Check This Airdate:  04/22/86

Larry convinces Balki to open a checking account.  When Larry learns that Balki doesn’t understand the concepts of checks, it might already be too late.


“Happy Birthday, Baby”

1.6       Happy Birthday, Baby Airdate:  04/29/86

It’s Larry’s birthday and with the sale of a picture to a paper possible, Larry is on top of the world.  When Balki plans a surprise party, the plan backfires when Larry’s sale falls through.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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