Friday, July 19, 2013

Cheers 5:11: “The Book of Samuel

Airdate: 12/11/86

Sam’s out of town for a few days, so he delegates authority to Woody. Thingsaren’t too bright for the not-so-bright barkeep these days, however, as he has just received a Dear John letter from his back-home sweetheart, Beth, who happens to be in town with her fiancée before departing for their wedding. Woody desperately wants to look like he’s got a girlfriend to keep Beth from pitying him, so he steals Sam’s little black book and arranges a date with one of his four star… cleaning ladies. The double date works for a while, but Woody fesses up to his once beloved that he’s still single, and the two reconcile their feelings over the separation. Forlorn and heartbroken, he’s still compassionate enough to keep a coffee date with Desiree – the cleaning lady.

Charming, well-balanced episode revolving primarily around Woody, and features, presumably, the last appearance of Beth (Amanda Wyss). This one really does show Woody Harrelson’s comic timing – his funniest scene is the one where he reads the letter, admitting it’s not “one of her better ones.” Sometimes I think being the simpleton character in a sitcom is harder, since you have stricter parameters within which to move. The archetype for this type of role was of course Edith Bunker – but certainly Woody Boyd belongs in the top 5! Second funniest scene: the Cheers employees all devise different ways of determining who gets to run the bar.

Cold open: Friasier notes the similarities between his job and that of a bartender, and envies Woody’s ability to listen – or not!

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