Diane’s old college friend, Rebecca Proud, stops by Cheers to pay a visit. She’s every bit like Diane: in other words, elitist, pretentious and stuffy. After Rebecca breaks up with her boyfriend, she decides what she needs is pure “bestial pleasure,” and sets her sight on Sam to this end. Against Diane’s admonitions, Sam obliges the girl, but he ends the assignation after being bored to tears by her Russian poetry. A crushed Rebecca returns, feeling scorned and rejected, until Diane invents a ruse that she and Sam are going together, explaining his lack of interest. Rebecca reenters the room, while Sam and Diane are fighting again, and sees that it is just this “passion” she is hoping to find.
One of my favorite episodes of the season casts Julia Duffy is a role she was born to play – so much so that she later starred as a less intellectual though equally pompous housekeeper on CBS’s Newhart. The final scene, and lines, is as much an example of irony as foreshadowing, given the course of Sam and Diane’s relationship.
Subplot: To impress his alcoholically temperate boss, a very jittery Norm must limit his beer consumption, with predictably mixed results.
Best line – Carla: I love sailing. After seeing Ordinary People I’ve been trying to get my kids interested in it.
How life’s treating Norm: Like it caught me in bed with his wife!