Friday, August 16, 2013

Cheers 6.19: “Airport V”

Airdate: 2/25/88

Eddie LeBec, Carla’s hubby, has a new job as a penguin. No, not the sports team, as an Ice-Capades-style character, and he’s doing quite well at it. So well, in fact, that he wants Carla to fly to Seattle to see him in action, but she comes up with reason after reason why she can’t. After much needling, the Cheers crew discerns the answer: she’s afraid of flying, The solution: a crash course in a psychotherapy group (no pun intended) on overcoming such a fear, led by none other than Frasier Crane. The course goes well, and then the final test, an actual flight, tests everyone’s progress, but the one failing mark belongs to Frasier himself, who starts to believe all the reasons given by the group members on why they’re afraid. It works for Carla; she’s on the next Seattle-bound flight. But Rebecca’s a nervous wreck these days – a highly influential but nasty food critic comes to appraise Cheers, and wants to take out her out afterwards. Fearing some bedroom quid-pro-quo, she begrudgingly accepts, but when the review is stellar, everyone thinks she did the nasty, including Evan Drake.

Airplane story is really the highlight here, and Frasier’s group therapy fiasco is reminiscent of those conducted on The Bob Newhart Show and a precursor to Frasier’s own show after the end of Cheers. Seeing him unravel while helping others unraveled around him is a Frasier trademark, and the comic centerpiece of this episode.

Cold open: Cliff’s test to prove how people believe lies backfires when he plays the classic whisper game. Not very funny.

Norm’s opener: Woody: “What’s the story, Mr. Peterson?” Norm: “Bobsey Twins go to the brewery. Let’s just cut to the happy ending.”

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