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100 TV Shows-#23-Cheers


I definitely watched the first two or three seasons obsessively. I had a massive crush on Ten Danson as Sam Malone. (He'd also been super hot in the Aramis commercials) and Diane was a character I related to, but HATED relating to. I was (am) an intellectual snob with literary pretensions. So I hated being a Diane, but there it was. I was very caught up in the idea of Sam and Diane getting together and I still think that scene IS one of the hottest things ever. (I couldn't find a Youtube clip, but I'm sure you know the one I mean.)

However, as we all know Sam and Diane (along with Dave and Maddie) are the classic examples of "They Did It" as a cause of Jumping The Shark. In Sam & Diane's case, it is definitely true. I think the problem is that what clearly happens between them in the scene is hate!sex and there was no way a mainstream sitcom in 1983 was going to base a relationship around that. So instead we had the ridiculous back and forth where they were supposed to be in love, but were just too different, instead of just saying they hated each other's guts but wanted to fuck all the time.

I never bought into any of the crap with Diane and Frasier and I didn't like Woody as a replacement for Coach. What had been fun about Cliff and Norm started getting on my nerves. Since was a Diane and Carla was all the bullies from High School, I didn't like Carla or feel sorry for her. I NEVER took to the Rebecca character, so I was pretty much over the show before Diane's departure, but I think I remember watching that episode and the way Sam said "have a good life" was kind of heart breaking.

I didn't bother watching much after I came to SF in 1986, but I may have seen episodes here and there and I definitely watched the last one. At the time, I thought it was a total bummer, but in retrospect it gets better and makes more sense.

My Sam/Diane shipping was so great that I used to name stuffed animals and "original" fic characters after them, but I had no interest in Shelly Long besides Cheers and my Ted Danson interest didn't really last past his appearance in Cousins where I was so actively rooting for William Peterson's character (who was a bastard) and found Ted's to be an annoying wimp.

I never bothered to watch anything else he was in and certainly didn't give a damn about him coming onto Cheers as the 2nd replacedment for (HAHAH) William Peterson. Strangely enough I do find him hot in Something About Amelia. It definitely says something for his personal charm that he was able to do that part while Cheers was still on the air and not have his career suffer for it.

So my final analysis of Cheers is that it only worked for me as a "single ship" program. While the ship was there, I was devoted and once the ship was gone, I had no reason to watch.

However---when people ask me about the Mint, I have been known to tell them that it's my "Cheers."


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 25th, 2012 10:38 pm (UTC)
as far as I'm concerned the fridge nuke (I don't say shark jump because I think Happy Days was always a piece of junk) came when Kirstie Alley showed up, and not just because she was such a bad actress that I kept thinking her character was lying about everything but because the plots, the jokes and the characters, particularly Sam, got noticeably stupider after she showed up.
I always thought Lilith was awesome though.
May. 25th, 2012 10:52 pm (UTC)
I know. You and Kirstie have a troubled relationship. But for me, it was so much about Sam & Diane, that I have to peg it right there. Of course it's pretty much the same thing since Exit Diane; Enter Rebecca.
May. 26th, 2012 08:16 am (UTC)
I was never a big shipper in Cheers, though I have to say I never wanted Sam and Rebecca (mind you, I don't think the show did either, beyond a 'test run') together and would've been okay if they'd figured out a way for Sam and Diane to be together (totally agree with you on the hatesex thing and THAT is hot). Probably the only real ship I had was Frasier/Lilith (I adore Bebe Neuwirth in everything I've ever seen her in) and it ended okay for me (relatively amicable divorce). To an extent I also ship Rebecca/Don (Tom Berenger's character) but that was a two-episode wrap up and I partly ship it because of the movie Kirstie and Tom were in together (and Sidney Poitier). I always thought that might have been why Tom was cast, actually.

I like most of the characters though I deeply dislike Woody Harrelson in general, but I see why a Sam/Diane shipper wouldn't enjoy it after that was done.

I actually really like Frasier as a character and love his own show more, if anything - it was one of those few spin offs that worked well for me.
May. 26th, 2012 05:04 pm (UTC)
Strangely enough I never much liked Frasier, even though he was meant to be a male version of Diane and I was so much a Diane.

I did see the episodes with Tom Berenger and I thought Rebecca's attitude was so shitty it was hard to see it as a "happy" ending, if that was what was intended.

I don't watch sit-coms these days...just 30 Rock very ocassionally. I wonder if the form and our society has progressed to the point where they're willing to have a continuing on-screen relationship that's only based on hate!sex without eventually having to "redeem" it into something deeper.

Digression...not a sit-com, but I think at one point Buffy/Spike qualified and then they decided Spike was in LOVE with her and that pretty much killed it.

Soap Operas used to be able to do it really well. Troy/Lindsay on One Life to Live is a good example.

But yeah...a lot of what still hits my buttons for a good "hot" scene is the qualities that Sam/Diane had when she said "Are you as hot as I am right now."

May. 27th, 2012 12:27 am (UTC)
Cheers was the first major US sitcom that Channel 4 aired. I was a bit young for it during much of the original run, but I remember watching the episode with John Cleese because I thought it was so cool that a British comedy actor was appearing in an American TV show. Watching it on cable TV in more recent years and having been a big fan of Frasier, it was good to see Frasier and Lilith together. Lilith was a great character, so funny and brilliantly acted, definitely my favourite of the female characters.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )



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