Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Cheers 4:12 “Fools and Their Money”

Airdate: 12/19/85

Woody is enjoying a winning streak, betting on underdog football teams, and wants to up the ante to the tune of $1,000. Sam paternalistically tries to talk him out of it, but Woody is adamant, and Sam relents. When Woody once again hits big, Sam confides to Diane that he never actually placed the bet. Both of them try to break the news to Woody gently, futilely, so Sam tells him point blank. Surprisingly, the neophyte Indianan is effusively grateful to his boss for the gesture, claiming it was the nicest thing anyone had done for him, but Sam is mad that Woody’s not mad; the two make peace with one of Coach’s old tricks -  singing “Home on the Range,” arm in arm, for 30 minutes. Subplot: Frasier, annoyed that Diane won’t go away with him, starts nitpicking her grammar, etiquette and overall knowledge.

Woody’s evolution is the focus here, and his naïveté and uber-politeness make for a surprising but true to character scene with Sam at the end. Again, money (and thirst for it) makes for a terrific McGuffin and overall theme – greed always begets chaos, the father figure influence and its effect as betterment, etc. Subplot abut Frasier is strangely unfinished – it seems as though the writers simply lost interest and decided instead to peruse the Woody story. In any case, good to see the erudite analyst after a several-episode absence.

Cold open: Carla and a customer trade innuendo-laden dialogue, until she asks him to whisper what he wants, and it’s a drink order.

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