Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Cheers 5:9: “Thanksgiving Orphans”

Airdate: 11/27/86

The holidays are nigh, and nearly everyone is depressed (except cockeyed Woody), mainly because no one has any real plans for Thanksgiving. Of course, Diane is engaged to attend a student party at her university, full of literary lions and bookish bigwigs, but feeling sorry for the rest she arranges a turkey-day get together at Carla’s, which everyone winds up going to, including Diane. Everything seems okay at the heavily sports-themed repast, but when a minor quibble escalates into spiteful insults, well… can you say, “Food Fight!!!”? When he dust, and gravy, settles, all that’s left is for Diane to deliver Sam’s comeuppance – in the form of a flying pumpkin pie. Unfortunately it lands smack dab in the face of a surprise guest: Norm’s wife, Vera, rendering her completely unidentifiable.

A sort of sitcom trope (remember the classic T-Day episode of The Bob Newhart Show?) is given madcap Cheers treatment, with the aforementioned food fight ending you’ll either love or… not love (I’m in the latter camp). Still, some hearty laughs up until then, mostly from Diane and her mostly futile attempts to inject some class into a rather hambone affair. Carla’s new digs look swell – but hard to believe it’s the same place she moved into just a few weeks earlier.

Cold open: Woody and Sam love “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,” until Frasier passionately deconstructs it as a psychologically unhealthy song.

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