Friday, May 17, 2013

Cheers 3.16: “Teacher’s Pet”

Airdate: 1/31/85

Sam is going back to school, but an initially supportive Diane changes her tune when she finds that it’s high school, not college. Her disappointment only worsens when she discovers, via co-student Coach, that Sam is sleeping with “Miss Purdy” to get his A’s, and so she implores him to examine his conscience and start earning his marks by hitting the books, not the teacher. A reluctant Coach helps out with an all-night cram session, resulting in Sam’s passing the class, and getting his diploma. Frustrated that it’s only a D, he rues that learning doesn’t come easy like it does for Diane, but when she fails to identify the capital of North Dakota, a rejuvenated Sam feels just a little bit smarter.

Sam’s insecurity with his lack of knowledge comes up again, and good ol’ Diane is there to both allay and aggravate it, as only she can. Nice to see a story with outside action still stay within the Cheers set, as other sitcoms would most likely show us Miss Purdy and/or the classroom. Dialogue fills in the rest.

Two highlights: the final Sam/Diane sniping match about state capitals, and Coach’s song to help him remember geography. Subplot involving Cliff’s would-be operation to have his ears tucked allows for some good Carla insults.

Cold open: Cliff begs Carla not to make fun of his ears or the fact that he lives with his mom, but of course she finds a way to do both without dishonoring his request.

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

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