tek's rating:

Cheers, on NBC
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Really not quite sure what to say. I always enjoyed watching it when it was first run, but now I have very little interest in watching reruns. But I definitely hate the idea of never watching it again. It's a classic, you just can't get around that fact. I tell you what, there was later a spin-off, Frasier, which in a way I guess I thought I preferred over Cheers itself. When I first wrote up little entries for each show in the old, tiered system of my TV section, I had Frasier on tier 2 and Cheers on tier 3. But thinking about it now, I kind of feel like... Cheers was just more important than Frasier. Definitely of a lower class, not that there's anything necessarily better or worse about a show, based on class. Maybe Cheers is more relatable than Frasier, I dunno. I just... meh, I dunno what to tell you, I just don't.

Anyway, of course you probably know what the show was about. There was this bar in Boston called "Cheers," which was run by Sam Malone (Ted Danson), a former pitcher for the Red Sox. It's interesting to note that he was also a recovering alcoholic. Kind of ironic for such a person to work in a bar, but still... it didn't really come up much. He also was immature in a lot of ways, not the brightest guy in the world, but still, a nice guy, and funny, and kind of charming, and also quite the womanizer. Not a trait I generally like in a person, but with Sammy, it was okay, somehow. At the start of the series, a woman named Diane Chambers (Shelley Long) got a job as a waitress at Cheers, though she was well educated and kind of thought of Sam and the bar as beneath her. The two of them had a kind of love-hate relationship that was the centerpoint of the show for quite awhile, but it was far from the only point.

Mainly it was about all the many regular and recurring characters who either worked at or patronized the bar. There was an acerbic waitress named Carla Tortelli (Rhea Perlman), a bartender named Ernie "Coach" Pantusso, a kind of dumb but loveable farmboy bartender named Woody Boyd (Woody Harrelson), everyone's favorite customer Norm Peterson (who drank a great deal but never paid his bar tab, and who was married to a woman named Vera, who is never seen), and another customer named Cliff Clavin, a mailman who thinks himself pretty clever, but who is actually kind of annoying. Another customer was Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer), a psychiatrist who would later get his own spin-off (as mentioned above). He had a relationship with Diane at one point, but later married a woman named Lilith Sternin (Bebe Neuwirth), also a psychiatrist. Eventually Diane left the show, and was replaced by Rebecca Howe (Kirstie Alley). In addition to these characters, there were tons of other recurring characters, so... yeah, a very large ensemble show.

Anyway, not sure what else to say. There were changes over the years (and the show did last 11 seasons), but whatever was going on, it was always amusing, and the characters sort of felt like family, you know? Just really familiar faces you'd see each week. So it was fun, and endearing. I don't suppose there's any need to get into various plot threads, as for the most part, it was a very episodic show, especially in the earlier seasons. And, yep, that's pretty much all there is to say. Damn fine comedy....

Oh yeah, I should also mention it had one of the most memorable theme songs ever, "Where Everybody Knows Your Name," by Gary Portnoy. And btw, if you never have, you should try to listen to a copy of the full song, which wasn't used on the show. The extended version has some... interesting lyrics....

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