Thursday, July 19, 2012

Cheers 1.20: "Someone Single, Someone Blue"

Airdate: 3/3/83

Diane’s mother, Helen, could stand to lose the entire fortune due to a clause in her late husband’s will that requires Diane to be married ten years after his death: tomorrow. Helen begs her daughter to find someone when Carla squeals that Sam has been the recent object of her affections. Diane sheepishly suggests the idea to Sam, who objects first before relenting, warning that a wedding does strange things to people. After a justice is procured, the ceremony is a mere two minutes old before Diane catches Sam “leering” at a brunette – he retorts defensively, and the sparks soon fly. After the disaster, now-impoverished Helen apologizes for putting the two in such an awkward position, but her chauffeur is the one to save the day. He proposes marriage to her on the grounds that he’s really a very rich man, having embezzled from the family for nearly 25 years.

A forced marriage – between a couple with enough seething sexual chemistry to power a nuclear plant – what could be funnier? As soon as the premise is introduced, we all know it will collapse like a deck of cards, but with David Angell’s deft dialogue and pitch perfect characterizations, it’s the “how” of it all that makes the affair such a zippy comedy of errors. Veteran character actress Glynis Johns is well cast as Diane’s well-heeled mom, but her scenes are more than a bit stolen by Duncan Ross as her chauffeur, Boggs, in the funniest work by an elder servant since John Gielgud dished out the acid in Arthur.

Cold open: Sam berates Coach for not letting him in on a bar patron’s story of surviving the sinking of the Titanic – so Coach shows him a guy who’s got a good one…. the ability to sing the lyrics to the Bonanza theme song.

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