Friday, August 16, 2013

Cheers 6.18: “Let Sleeping Drakes Lie”

Airdate: 2/18/88

Evan Drake (now becoming a semi-regular on the series) has his house painted by Norm, who offers the chance to see the millionaire’s bedroom to Rebecca, who gleefully accepts. Only hitch – Drake’s back from his trip to Europe early, trapping Rebecca in his closet and evicting Norm so he can get some desperately needed slumber. Of course, the closet door creaks so she can’t escape; only Norm can be her savior, and he exploits every opportunity, and hatches every crackpot scheme in the book, to try and devise an exit plan for the poor girl. Finally, after making a complete fool of himself by carrying Drake across his lawn (a second time), Norm succeeds – although his dignity sure takes a beating. Subplot: Sam exploits information about one of Frasier’s patients – that she’s sexually turned on by men dancing – asking her out as if he were the second coming of Fred Astaire. Only problem is he’s got the wrong one – she’s a pyromaniac, and she’s in Sam’s apartment alone – and likely a book of matches.

And the broad bedroom antics keep a’ coming, almost as if the writers received a visit from the muse of Three’s Company. Norm’s endless array of schemes and Rebecca’s crafty physical maneuverings are nothing short of… hilarious! (Even though the situation could be easily rectified if Norm returned to oil the hinges.) Hey, the beauty of Cheers is that it’s so artful in both the cerebral and slapstick realm of comedy, often mixing the two like a painter blends pigments. And speaking of painting, it looks like this is Norm’s main job now – a clever, unpredictable idea, lending itself to a host of possibilities – like having sole access to people’s houses!
Subplot highlight is clearly the sight of Sam limbering up and pirouetting in front of a baffled young woman.

Cold open: Cliff vows silence so Carla will stop insulting him, Sounds like a plot startup that never materialized.

Norm’s opener: Woody: “Can I pour you a draft, Mr. Peterson?” Norm: “A little early, isn’t it, Woody?” Woody: “For a draft?” Norm: “No, for stupid questions!”

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