Saturday, July 21, 2012

Cheers 1.22: "Showdown, Part 2"

Airdate: 3/31/83

The job Norm got from Derek is a fizzle, Coach’s Spanish doesn’t land him a new coaching job, and Diane has mixed feelings about going away with Derek to Paris – because she wants to be with Sam. All this serves as a prelude to the “Showdown” between Sam and Diane in the poolroom. After acknowledging this could be the start of something, Dane proceeds to critique Sam’s lack of romantic spontaneity, escalating into a full-fledged sparring match where the rules of attraction are hindered only by their aversion to each other. The episode ends with an insult-incited kiss, tempered coolly, once again, by Diane carping about Sam.

Sexual chemistry? Let’s talk St. Elmo’s fire! Second act of this episode is almost exclusively the aforementioned mono-a-mono, with dialogue that is as witty as it is… well, normal. Haven’t we all been through the nonsense that is the bickering between two fools in love? Writers (and show creators) Glen and Les Charles know it al too well, and they distill it, effervescently, in this 30-minute package of sheer comedic bliss. Bravo to all involved, and, now with Sam and Diane ostensibly a couple, on to season 2!

Cold open: a repeat of Cheers 1.5: the scene after the midpoint commercial break: a janitor who works with mutant viruses at a biology lab stops by Cheers for a beer, and after he leaves, everyone partakes in a ballet of cleaning fluids and wipes, all clocking in at 13 seconds!

Norm’s opener: (Coach: How you doin’, Norm?) On top of the world – some dismal spot in Greenland.

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