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It can be instructive to return to a long-running series' more humble beginnings. While Cheers got drunk on farce in its later years, it began life as a much more grounded human comedy. In these inaugural episodes, the action does not stray from the Boston bar owned by Sam Malone, a washed-up baseball player three years sober. The straws that stir the drink are the supporting players: Nick Colasanto as addled Coach; Rhea Perlman, the Thelma Ritter of her generation, as surly and fertile waitress Carla; George Wendt as quintessential barfly Norm; and John Ratzenberger as Cliff, the bar know-it-all ready with "little-known facts" (and blessedly far from the pathetic blowhard his character would evolve into).
Spiking this concoction is the palpable chemistry between Ted Danson's Sam and Shelley Long's Diane Chambers, fledgling waitress and self-described "student of life". The battle lines are drawn in the episode "Sam's Women": He's the "dim ex-baseball player" and she, "the post graduate". But, as Carla so indelicately puts it, they can't "put their glands on hold". In the first blush of lust, they were primetime's most potent mismatched couple until Moonlighting's David and Maddie bantered double entendres. Here are little remembered facts: Sam was initially "an astute judge of human character"; guest stars Fred Dryer ("Sam at Eleven") and Julia Duffy ("Any Friend of Diane's") were among those considered for the roles of Sam and Diane; and a pre-"Night Court" Harry Anderson stole his scenes in his recurring role as flim-flam man Harry ("Pick a Con...Any Con"). --Donald Liebenson
Still very funny, the clothes are dated but the jokes are great, and I'd forgotten the level of pathos in this series at times.Published 1 month ago by Shane Howard
I think it would be impossible to have lived in the 80's without having heard of the sitcom Cheers. The characters were used for everything from a Disneyland birthday special to... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Mark Baker - Carstairs Considers
Reasonable although not very funny. Ted Danson and Pearlman are the best in this series.Published 7 months ago by Marianna
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