Thursday, July 4, 2013

Cheers 4:24: “Strange Bedfellows, Part 1”

Airdate: 5/1/86

Sam and Diane’s respective dates seem to resemble competitions these days, and this sets the stage for jealousy to rear its ugly head, on the pretty face of Diane. Sam lands a date with the campaigning conservative councilwoman Janet Eldridge, and the two start dating, despite Diane’s vehement objections to her party affiliation, and to her potential exploitation of Sam for political gain. She and Frasier start stumping for her opponent, Jim Fleener, who loses, and in Edridge’s victory speech she smooches Sam madly.

Razor-sharp script by David Angell highlights this beginning of the three-part season finale. This time, it’s Diane’s turn to be jealous, and she most certainly is if the look on her face in the last scene is any indication. Kate Mulgrew is, of course, superb in her role as Janet, and the scene between her and Diane, in which the two discuss the pros, and cons, of the man they both love, is dense with dramatic tension and jokes which support, not undermine, it.

Cold open: Carla challenges Woody to an Italian arm-wresting match, which ends with the challengee striking himself in the head. Woody just thinks he won the match.

Norm’s opener: Woody: “What’s happening, Mr. Peterson?” Norm: “Question is, what are you and why is it happening to me?”

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