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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 28 December 2014
I absolutely hate this series. Ted Danson and Pearl Rehman are the best, but it's so unfunny, it's unbelievable and Shelly Long is the worst one of all. How she ever got to be an actress is beyond me.
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on 3 October 2005
Unlike most shows, Cheers hit the ground running. Most television shows take a couple of seasons to find the characters and discover what the show should be about. Seinfeld, Married with Children & Everybody Loves Raymond are all classic shows which had an average first season. For Cheers however the first season is one of the best.
For those unfamiliar with the show here is a summary of what it is about Sam Malone is a former baseball player for the Boston Redsox, He ruined his playing career due to his love of alcohol. He has since stopped drinking which is ironic seeing as how he owns a bar called Cheers (he bought it when he was an alcoholic) Diane Chambers is a snobby, witty and big-headed student who recently started work there as a waitress (she gets the job in the pilot). Diane and Sam both seem to dislike each other and have a relationship involving bickering and making fun of each others flaws, but is there a passion beneath the surface?
Then we have the other two people who work there, Coach and Carla. Two characters who are entire opposites. Coach is a charming, forgetful and somewhat dumb character while Carla is feisty and at times downright nasty. The brilliance of these two characters is that they both have flaws which could make you really dislike them but somehow you like them even more for it (I can not imagine anybody else playing Carla's character and still being likeable)
For this season there are only two regulars, Norm and Cliff. Cliff is a boring man who is obsessed with his job as a mailman. Norm is your typical barfly, always in the bar. These two characters are best friends and they provide much of the comic relief with their strange conversations.
For those of you who want to know about the other characters who arrive later here is the series that they debut.
Frasier Crane (He appears in seasons 3 & 4 but it isn't until season 5 that he really become one of the regulars.)
Woody Boyd/Woody Harrelson (Season 4)
Rebecca Howe/Kirtie Alley (Season 6)
Lilith Sternin/Bebe Neuwirth (Appears in one episode in season 4 for a few seconds, is a bit character in season 5 and fully arrives in season 6)
I will give a small episode guide here and will give you my rating (I will simply rate it as 'memorable' or 'forgettable'. If I rate it as forgettable it doesn't mean that it's bad or unfunny it just means that it has nothing that will make it stick out in your mind)
Pilot - Diane Chambers visits a small Boston bar with he fiance (Memorable)
Sam's Women - Diane mocks Sam's choice of woman (Forgettable)
The Tortelli Tort - Carla attacks a customer in the bar (Memorable)
Sam at Eleven - A newscaster wants to interview Sam (Forgettable)
Coach's Daughter - Coach's daughter visits with her obnoxious fiance (Forgettable)
Any Friend of Diane's - Sam hits on Diane's depressed friend. (Forgettable)
Friends, Romans, Accountants - Norm plans his boss's party which is hosted in Cheers (Memorable)
Truce or Consequences - Carla and Diana share drinks in an attempt to become better friends (Memorable)
Coach Returns to Action - Coach has a crush on his new neighbour. (Forgettable)
Endless Slumper - Sam has a terrible run of bad luck (Memorable)
One for the Book - Diane begins to compile a book based on her experiences as a waitress. (Forgettable)
The Spy Who Came in for a Cold One - A man visits the bar claiming he is a spy (Memorable)
Now Pitching, Sam Malone - Sam is tempted into returning to the media spotlight. (Forgettable)
Let Me Count the Ways - Diane's cat dies but nobody in the bar seems to care.(Forgettable)
Father Knows Last - Carla has a suprise for somebody (Memorable)
The Boys in the Bar - The regulars threaten to leave the bar over a certain fear they have (Memorable)
Diane's Perfect Date - Diane and Sam agree to set each other up, but Sam misunderstands (Memorable)
No Contest - Diane is entered into a barmaid contest by Sam.(Forgettable)
Pick a Con ... Any Con - Sam comes up with a scheme to win Coach's money back from a card shark. (Memorable)
Someone Single, Someone Blue - Diane's mother turns up with some alarming news (Memorable)
Showdown - Sam's brother shows up and sweeps Diane of her feet.(Forgettable)
Even though I found the last episode forgettable the last scene of the season if maybe the most memorable in Cheers history.
I love this season, if you have seen the later seasons then I can assure you that this is as good if not better. If you have never seen Cheers before I think you should buy this because I am almost certain you will like it.
This only gets 4 stars from me because the special features are poor, I think that they are nothing more than filler. The only decent extra is the Ted Dansen interview. The rest is clips of the show arranged in some sort of order. For example a highlight reel of Norman's snappy sayings from the season. There is nothing new.
Excellent show, decent dvd, fairly poor special features.
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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 introducing the Superbowl. Even now, it is a well-known classic of the genre beloved by many people. While I have seen maybe a third of the episodes, I have always enjoyed the show, so I recently decided to start from the beginning with the season 1 DVD set.

The show is set in Cheers, a popular bar in Boston, Massachusetts. It's owned by Sam (Ted Danson), a former relief pitchers and former alcoholic. The staff includes Carla (Rhea Perlman), a short tempered waitress and Ernie "Coach" Pantusso (Nicholas Colasanto), Sam's former coach who helps tend the bar and has taken one too many hits with a baseball over the years. The pilot brings a new waitress to the bar in the form of Diana (Shelley Long), a professional student who is dumped by her professor boyfriend at the bar. Her cultural touchstones are very different from her new co-workers and the patrons. Round out the cast are bar regulars, accountant Norm (George Wendt) and mailman Cliff (John Ratzenberger). What's interesting to note is that John Ratzenberger isn't in the main credits this season. He guests stars in every episode, however, and is promoted to regular status in the second season.

There are lots of laughs over the course of the 22 half hour episodes of the first season. Carla's attack on an obnoxious Yankees fan almost costs her the job, Diane takes a stand against female exploitation in the Miss Boston Barmaid contest, until she wins. Coach is upset by his daughter's obnoxious fiancée. On Christmas Eve, a stranger wanders into the bar and claims to be a spy. Norm uses Cheers to host his annual office party - a party with a toga theme. And a buddy from Sam's professional baseball days comes out of the closet at Cheers, causing the regulars to wonder if the clientele of the bar will change.

But the heart of the show, especially during the first year, was Sam and Diane's relationship. Their relationship is nothing new on TV - two people who are complete opposites trying to deny their feelings while impressing each other at the same time. It's familiar ground, but the chemistry between Shelley Long and Ted Danson is amazing. A simple exchange between them leaves you wondering just when they'll realize their attraction. This is the biggest constant, popping up in just about every episode, although it does become the focus of some of them, like the one where they agree to set each other up on blind dates, or the two part finale where Sam's brother comes to town and appears to be sweeping Diane off her feet.

With much of the focus this year being on Sam and Diane, it might be easy for the rest of the cast to get lost in the background, but that never happens. True, the characters are still being defined this year, but that's true with just about any show in its first season. The acting by all the regulars is great. They are making these characters their own right from the start, and it's this group of characters that were the core of the show for its eleven year run. Even so, it takes a little while to fall into the rhythm of the show and truly come to love them.

Some of the staples of the show were in place right from the start, like everyone yelling out "Norm" as he walks in the door or his lines as he goes to his normal stool at the bar. Carla's already complaining about her kids even as she becomes pregnant with another one (since Rhea Perlman was really pregnant with her first kid).

The show famously struggle in its first year. (It's often used as an example of a show being given time to grow since by today's standards it wouldn't have lasted all season.) I noticed while watching this season that the jokes were a bit slower in coming. Maybe that has something to do with it. I'm certainly not saying this season isn't funny; I laughed plenty of times. What I mean is that sometimes the jokes required a bit more set up than just one straight line. I actually like this. It makes the humor seem more real when every other line isn't a joke. In some ways, this is a very intelligent sitcom, which is ironic since it is set in a bar.

Speaking of setting, I'm trying to think of they left the bar once all season. If so, it was very brief. Almost every episode takes place completely in the main bar, the back room, and Sam's office.

Having watched the show randomly in reruns over the years, I was not too familiar with Coach. He's your typical not quite all there sitcom character, but he's very lovable. He gets some of the best lines of the season as his nearly constant confusion is always fresh and funny. You know it's coming, but you never quite know when or how. And underneath it all is a sweetness that makes you truly love this guy.

The 22 episodes from this season are all here on four discs. They are in stereo and full frame. The picture and sound aren't super outstanding, but for a show that is almost 30 years old, they work. I don't remember anything about the quality that really bothered me. Disc four does have a few extras, although most of them are compilations of greatest moments centering on certain characters. We get three of them, one for Sam and Diane and their insults, one for Coach, and one for Norm. Rounding out the extras are a very brief interview with Ted Danson and a trivia game. All of these are filled with clips from the season you've just watched, so there isn't much point to them.

The disappointing extras aside, season 1 of Cheers still brings the laughs. The show is still building this year, but it's already enjoyable.
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on 15 August 2012
I was afraid that Cheers would appear dated now, 30 years after it was made. Not so! This is classic comedy theatre, so well made, scripted and acted, and with a great feel-good factor. Highly recommended.
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VINE VOICEon 31 December 2013
Set in a bar in Boston run by former baseball player Sam Malone, the start of this long running comedy series sees Sam hire new waitress Diane Chambers, a highly educated woman who is also a bit of a snob and seemingly doesn't fit in with the rest of the crowd at Cheers but the sparks soon fly between Sam and Diane. A shaky start and the show is a little dated now but this is still a fine, funny comedy series with great performances from a shockingly young looking Ted Danson and Shelley Long and the rest of the cast. The rest of the characters are Coach, Sam's bartender and former baseball coach who is nearly always confused, Carla, Sam's other waitress who seemingly hates Diane's and everyone else's for that matter's guts, and regular customers Cliff, a know it all or thinks he does mailman and accountant Norm. Though spin off series Frasier i felt was the better series this is still well worth a watch though Frasier himself is yet to appear.
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on 7 October 2010
I've just started buying these Cheers DVD's and I'm so pleased I did! I watched every episode when it aired originally back in the 80's on my small portable TV. Now watching them on DVD on my large 40inch LCD I am amazed at how good the picture quality is. I can see all the sweat on Ted Dansons forehead. I loved it then and love it just as much now! When will we get seasons 8, 9, 10 and 11 (region 2 UK version) here in the UK? Would love to complete the whole set!
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on 28 March 2009
This is one of the best american tv series ever, great cast, brilliant writing and good story telling. it nearly did not make it to 11 years. It nearly got cancleed after the first episode, but the executives at NBC kept faith with it. You will notice improvments as the shows goes along. Great show. Can i also give credit for Alan patterson who i bought it from i wasnt able to give him credit due to some minor errors on my computer
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on 6 May 2010
I never watched cheers as i am 23 to young for it when it was first broadcast, i was a huge fan of frasier while watching my collection of that i decided to see where it all started so i bought the first season of cheers so far i am up to season 5 with 6 to watch all i can say is buy this it is a timeless piece of comedy i intend to buy the all.
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on 30 October 2010
One of the best sitcoms of all time and this was maybe the best season.
Strange to think that it took awhile for it to get popular in the states.
Picture quality is ok but could have been a bit better and it would have been nice to see some more extras
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on 22 May 2012
Way back in the early 90's Cheers was one of my all time favourite sit coms - now it's showing again from the start on a Satellite channel & it's a timely reminder of how enjoyable a series it was - I've watched the first 15 episodes so far & time hasn't diminished it's charm - it's difficult to compare the top British comedies to their US counterparts because American series such as Mash, Frasier and Cheers had to maintain their high quality over 250+ episodes - how would the brilliant Fawlty Towers have fared in it's 11th or 12th Season?
The producers and writers for Cheers wanted to create an environment where the viewer would want to sit down & have a pint with the "locals" & that was aided by the colourful collection of characters that they assembled.
Early dynamics were centred around the Chalk & Cheese attraction between Sam & Diane - the inane bar-room banter of Norm & Cliff - the Coach's daily struggle to make sense of anything around him (of course Woody Harrelson became a younger, equally confused replacement in later series) & Carla's obnoxious antics aimed at customers & colleagues alike.
I have to concede that somehow Frasier managed to edge out Cheers in terms of sharper dialogue, storylines and maybe even casting/acting but the gentle humour & sheer warm glow that Cheers generated keeps it pretty close to top spot when it comes to US shows down the years - even my support for the NY Yankees (the Boston bar always pulled for the rival Red Sox with Mayday Malone being a former Pitcher) doesn't affect my high opinion in the slightest.
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