Friday, July 26, 2013

Cheers 5:18: “One Last Fling”

Airdate: 2/12/87

Sensing Sam’s slow descent into madness from wedding shopping, the boys at Cheers plan a bachelor party for Boston’s greatest bachelor, but Woody, against their objections, asks Diane to be the girl inside the cake. She accepts, believing it to be the world’s greatest irony, but when the cake comes out, Sam starts lamenting the dwindling days of his singleship, and a very angry Diane emerges, at the ready with a handful of cake to be smeared into her betrothed’s face. In the office, Diane belives that the only way for Sam to get over this is for him to sew his wild oats, so she gives him a 24-hour pass to indulge in any carnal pleasures he wants. Of course, it’s mutual, so she gets the same pass, much to his consternation. 24 hours come and go, and a very tired Sam accosts Diane after learning she never went home; he had spied on her the whole night. The reason? She was spying on him too.

Clever concept, but of course it’s been used in movies before (Bachelor Party) and since (Hall Pass). Here, it’s a second-act idea that sets things up for the inevitable “Neither one cheated” payoff, but for my money, it’s the bachelor party scene that had me rolling, with Sam’s cronies tacitly imploring him to “shut up” about his lustful longings. And Diane looks pretty darn good in that negligee, even though she’s mad as heck.
Cold open: Woody tells a roundabout story to Frasier about how he broke his thumb. Roundabout? It actually has nothing to do with how he broke his thumb.  (Woody will wear a cast now for the next several episodes.)

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