Friday, June 14, 2013

Cheers 4:10 “The Barstoolie”

Airdate: 12/5/85

Two equal stories: Sam’s newest date, Claudia, turns out to be a cultured intellectual, and she hits it off with Diane so well she insists on the three of them going out to dinner together. Sam’s plan to isolate Diane with remote seating backfires (he’s the one who gets the third-wheel treatment), and Claudia ultimately confesses she’s not comfortable with Sam’s forwardness. Blaming the whole thing on Diane and charging that she’s trying to sabotage his relationships because she was unable to get over their own, he diplomatically invites her up to Melville’s for dessert. In our other tale, Cliff’s long lost and estranged father visits the bar, and, after a rocky reunion, the two hit it off fabulously. But ol’ dad’s been up to no good lately: he’s been engaged in some serious real estate fraud, and plans on heading to Australia on the next plane out. He invites his son to go with, but not only does the conflicted postman decline the offer, he also wrestles with whether or not he should turn the old man in. He doesn’t, and discovers that his dad had taken it on the lam – from the Cheers bathroom window.

Two fine plotlines – the Sam/Diane sage capitalizes on the lingering sexual tension between them (and introduces a new pretty face to rebuff Sam’s advances), and the Cliff/dad story has some nice moments, although it turns into a far less dramatic situation than the setup anticipates. Veteran actor Dick Miller is good as Cliff’s dad, but maybe the most poignant moment is Carla’s, when she consoles Cliff during his inner conflict. Of course, she threatens Norm with a “Full-Melvin” if he tells anyone!
Cold open: Woody cues a tape up for Norm to record an audio message for his folks back home, but Diane’s was so long the cuing is a rather tedious process.

Norm’s opener: Woody: “What’s your pleasure, Mr. Peterson?” Norm: “Boxer shorts and loose shoes.”

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