Thursday, April 18, 2013

Cheers 2.20: “Norman’s Conquest”

Airdate: 2/23/84

Say it ain’t so: Norm dusts off his bankbooks when he gets a new client in the form of an attractive redhead, Emily Phillips, who seems to be more interested in his greater assets if ya know what I mean. With the boys at the bar egging him on, and Diane tempering his lust with reminders of his marital status, Norm has a crisis of conscience on his hands. Even his ruse of bedding the femme fatale is blown when Emily calls the bar, wondering why he never came back from parking the car. Finally, in a heart-to-heart with Sam, Norms confides that he truly does love his wife, with Sam even confessing his envy of a monogamous lifestyle (for now, at least). All that Vera-bashing? Just guy talk, as Norm once again demonstrates in a display that shocks Diane…. and tickles Sam.

The ever-unseen Vera continues to be the curse, and blessing, of Norm’s existence. What is intriguing here is how their relationship is somewhat of a reflecting pool for Sam and Diane’s, whose union is nowhere near as stable. In the end, it all boils down to a “Should I stay or should I go” dilemma, with Norm sensibly opting for the former, and keeping his good name intact for those within Cheers, and without.

Cold open: Diane brings drinks in to the octogenarians of a “Golden Eighties Club”: two trays worth and a beer she balances precariously on her head. Cruel Carla just can’t help herself, yelling “There’s Lawrence Welk,” and a silver-haired stampede ensues.

Norm’s opener: Not the traditional greeting; as Norm enters with Emily, Coach asks, “Could this be Vera?” Norm’s reply, “With a lot of expensive surgery, maybe.”

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