Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Cheers 6.14: “And God Created Woodman”

Airdate: 1/14/88

Rebecca gets chosen to host a cocktail party for her boss – her big boss, Daniel Collier, CEO of the corporation that owns Cheers. After much protest, she reluctantly hires Sam and Woody to bartend the affair. Sam, of course, is up to his old womanizing tricks, but Woody mistakes an antique case for a wastebasket, and when she tries to lean it, she breaks it into a million zillion pieces. After Sam agrees to take the fall, Woody soul-searchingly admits to the accident himself, but winds up earning Collier’s praise for it. The two become kindred spirits, with Collier even inviting the Woodman on a ski trip to meet his daughter. The next day at Cheers, however, Collier is on the warpath; not remembering anything the night before, he demands to know the vase-breaking culprit. Sam fesses up this time, and again Collier praises his integrity… and invites him to a ski trip. Subplot: Cliff sells chic mail-order shoes to the bar boys, but they have one fatal flaw: they squeak like chew-toys when used for walking!

Terrific script by first time Cheers writer Jeffrey Duteil, especially Sam’s pick-up scene with a blonde at the party. Structure, propelled by the vase as McGuffin, builds and builds with a terrific twist payoff at the end. And, as usual, plenty of character development along the way. Sitcom rule: whenever a fragile antique is introduced, it will be broken by episode’s end.

Cold open: Carla’s labor pains coincide, by Rebecca’s observation, with Celtics’ home games. She calls foul, but Carla’s acting is just too good! (Again, Carla’s out for the rest of the show – she must have taken maternity time off and filmed the cold opens back-to-back.

This is it! We’ve reached the halfway point: only 135 more episodes to go. Hmm – maybe we shouldn’t count any more.

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