Sunday, July 28, 2013

Cheers 5:20: “Dinner at Eight-ish”

Airdate: 2/26/87

Frasier and Lilith are now POSSL-Q’s (Persons of the Opposite Sex Sharing Living Quarters), and to celebrate their cohabitation they invite Sam and Diane to their place for dinner. The night gets off to a rocky start when Lilith breaks down over the pressure of hosting, and from there it gets worse before it gets – worser. Just about every little detail, mainly involving Frasier and Diane’s engagement, sends either woman, or both, into the bathroom in fury, postponing the dinner again and again. Not that it would have mattered, particularly when they finally sit down to eat it and are shocked to learn its identity: lasagna. Subplot: Cliff volunteers to babysit Carla’s kids – little does he know what he’s in for.
Very funny episode giving the most screen time to date for Bebe Leuworth as Lilith Sternum, a character with all the analytical skill of Freud… and all the warmth of Spock from Star Trek. Her psychological observations certainly have merit, but they’re delivered, prodigiously, as if coming from a textbook, outside the necessary element of human context. But of course, we don’t want to see those walls being torn down – that’s certainly the appeal of her character. I also love it when the set gets used as a comic device: in this case, the bathroom door.
Cold open: Norm tells Frasier about a speech he has to give to his wife’s women’s auxiliary club. He’s a nervous wreck; the speech is about poise.

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