Friday, June 21, 2013

Cheers 4:14 “Triangle”

Airdate: 1/23/86

"I don't let other men touch my head."
Recently unemployed Frasier is down in the mouth, and down on life, until Diane gets Sam to fake depression and sexual dysfunction so Frasier can diagnose him and find meaning in life again. The diagnosis: Sam is still is love with Diane, and until he admits it to himself and to her he other symptoms will continue. To continue the ruse, Sam and Diane make up a fake scenario is which the mutually proclaim their love for one another, but the ruse becomes all too real when they reveal their bedroom pet peeves about one another, changing the tone from clinical to emotionally charged. Frasier walks right in on the “denial fest,” and flatly tells them their mutual but suppressed love for one another has made their lives a self-loathing hell. Stunned and silent, they can’t exactly disagree – and that means they agree with each other!

Outstandingly written, conversation-driven episode unpeels the layers of the Sam/Diane relationship and adds arbiter Frasier to give it a psychological perspective. Kelsey Grammar finally gets a chance to shine and show the world a character that more closely resembles the Frasier of his own self-titled show, which was still seven years away. It’s his best Cheers to date, and one of the best overall.

Cold open: Cliff invites Norm to help paint the house, along with a bunch of other guys; Norm declines but ultimately agrees, although he wants no mention of it to Vera, since he never finished painting their house. “How far did you get,” asks Cliff, to which Norm responds, “I got one of those little hats.”

Norm’s opener: Woody: “What can I do for you, Mr. Peterson?” Norm: “Elope with my wife.”

Norm’s second opener: Sam: “What can I get you?’ Norm: “Clifford Clavin’s head on a platter!” (Norm was the only one who showed up to pain the house.)

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