Saturday, July 20, 2013

Cheers 5:12: “Dance, Dance, Dance”

Airdate: 12/18/86

Diane enrolls in a ballet course evaluated by a super-tough Russian instructor, but her grade (hand delivered by a meek assistant) is not exactly stellar, and when the Cheers gang watches her dancing on a video tape, they find out why. Sam and Frasier realize such a harsh critique would destroy Diane, whose lifelong dream to dance professionally has evidently blinded her of her own awfulness, so they write a fake, effusively glowing appraisal. Diane is over the moon, but now she sets her sights on the Boston ballet, and arranges her own audition. Barging in on their rehearsal, she rhapsodizes, ad rationalizes, her intrusion by exclaiming her passion for the art of dance. Frasier and Sam arrive at the eleventh hour to spill their secret, leaving Diane to exit stage right with a meek “Never mind” to save face.

Very funny entry has both belly laughs (especially when the boys’ ruse almost becomes dismantled) and a poignant theme about regret and never letting dreams go unchased. Finale, shot on location at a real theater, is funny but bittersweet, as Diane must let go of her lifelong ambition of dancing. Best scene: Diane and Norm, alone, talk about dreams: she sees their value while he feels they just get your hopes up. That is, until she leaves and he’s alone at the bar. “Maybe dreams do come true,” he concedes.

Cold open: Woody becomes a human antenna for  the broadcast of a football game that’s not coming in very clear.

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