Friday, April 26, 2013

Cheers 3.4: “Fairy Tales Can Come True”

Airdate: 10/25/84

It’s Halloween at Cheers! Frasier can’t keep his date with Diane to see the Boston Pops, so he suggests Sam as his replacement, with the usual Sam/Diane insecurities keeping this from being a smooth transfer. But the big story around seems to be a sprouting romance with Cliff; dressed as Ponce de Leon, he starts up a conversation with a woman at the bar dressed as Tinkerbell, and they dance the night away in oblivious bliss. The next day, as himself again, Cliff gets a bad case of the jitters, and it takes Norm’s coaching, and Sam’s (literal) prodding, to get his gumption up again. After waiting hours, it looks like the lovelorn letter-carrier has been stood up, until “Tinkerbell” calls to reveal how equally nervous she is. Slowly, ever-so-slowly, she creeps down the stairs to meet her conquistador in shining armour, and the two dance to the strains of “Moon River” like they did the night before.

Beautifully written and charmingly acted, this one demonstrates how expert the Cheers writers are at exploring character insecurities with a deft, delicate touch. Shades of Marty echo in this sweetly-brewed “tale” – and the finale is guaranteed to warm the cockles of your heart. Even the Carla’s among us will be charmed!

Great work by guest player Bernadette Berkett as “Tinker Bell,” whose tongue-tied introduction in the last scene rivals even Ratzenberg’s awkwardness.

Cold open: The Cheers gang trades scary ghost stories: Frasier regales with “The Raven,” while Coach conjures up a classic Casper episode. But the scariest of all is Norm’s empty beer glass!

Norm’s opener: Norm’s already at the bar.

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