Monday, June 17, 2013

Cheers 4:11 “Don Juan Is Hell”

Airdate: 12/12/85

Diane needs a case study subject for her psychology paper on human sexuality, and Sam can think of no better candidate than himself.  After much cajoling, she concedes (although is a bit offended that he has to be called “Trevor). The paper turns out to be a hit, but Diane’s professor is skeptical that “Trevor” really exists, so Diane introduces him to the man in the flesh. Sam is flattered by all the attention, but he really shouldn’t be; the paper is cold, clinical, and rather disparaging observation of his “Don Juanism,” and when Diane’s student friends come to the bar for a meet and greet, he misinterprets their critical analysis for adulation. In the back room, Diane explains the paper’s true intent, and a crestfallen Sam wants to prove he’s capable of non-sexual relations by inviting Diane on his lap for a Platonic conversation. Unsurprisingly, he fails.

Great writing and a delicious situation – always love it when Cheers puts its characters under a psychological microscope (and without Frasier, this time). Sam really does take it on the chin when he is told his machismo is based on his fear of female domination, and his insecurity is only quelled with his lap test in the final scene, which, incidentally, reveals just as many frailties in Diane as it does Sam.

Subplot okay, sort of a sequel to the episode in which Cliff collects a potato that looks like Nixon. This time: a squash with a map of Hawaii. There’s also some goings-on regarding a Carla-Woody sports trivia face-off.

Cold open. The Cheers gang tests Carla’s knowledge of sports with a trivia book. When Woody stumps her by asking the Library of Congress number, she closes the tome in his nose.

Norm’s opener: already at the bar.

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