Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Cheers 7.18: “What’s Up, Doc?”

Airdate: 3/30/89

To prove he’s still a Don Juan after getting shot down by Rebecca for the umpteenth time, Sam bets he can bed the next dame that walks in Cheers. She’s Shelia Rydell, and – not interested. Sam concludes it’s because she’s an egghead psychiatrist, and friend of Frasier and Lilith’s, but that makes his lust for her no less. He hatches a plan to get closer to her: pretend he’s a patient, suffering from impotence. At her office, she’s immediately on to him, and invents a crazy treatment for him conducted by a former Nazi, but later on, beguiled by his readiness to make a fool of himself for her, she accepts his date offer. It goes well, until afterwards at the bar when Sam wants an honest assessment of his psyche. She concludes his life is utterly empty, with the exception of women and sex; he’s so horrified by this he kicks her out and abruptly ends the date. Rebecca tries to lift his spirits, attempting to come up with any non-sex interest he might have. She does: the Three Stooges!

Shelia fills in for Diane in this episode, assuming the long-absent duties of reminding Sam what a dunderheaded horndog he is. 80s film actress Madolyn Smith is stunning in the role, to the extent that it’s nearly impossible to believe Sam would refuse having sex with her, no matter how psychologically wounded he is. Ploy of using impotence as a fake illness is clever too, and has some funny comic payoffs.

Cold open: Rebecca and Woody host a “guess the number of jellybeans in the jar” contest, but Woody inadvertently gives the number away, and Norm eats the spare beans slated for a do-over.

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