Friday, August 30, 2013

Cheers 7.22: “The Visiting Lecher”

Airdate: 5/4/89

Frasier eagerly awaits a peer in his field, Dr. Lawrence Crandell, a psychologist who wrote the end-all be-all book on fidelity. While in Rebecca’s office, though, he persistently questions whether his amorous feelings for her are mutual. They are not, she insists, and when she voices her anger to Sam and Frasier, they question her credibility. Apologizing to the doctor, she finds herself propositioned again when he plays footsie with her. Angrily, she barges into his hotel room (where he was coming on to the chambermaid) and tries to extract a confession while Sam listens in the closet (where the chambermaid is also hiding). All goes not according to plan, but when the Dr.’s wife drops by surprisingly, she wants to know the story. Again, Rebecca’s story doesn’t quite hold water (at least the way she tells it) and it seems Crandell’s marriage and career are saved when it looks like Rebecca’s gone off the deep end.
Amusing enough hijinks are practically undone by the sheer political incorrectness of it all (at least by today’s standards). Crandell’s behavior with Rebecca is clearly sexual harassment, and boys at the bar (and his wife) constantly taking his side can’t help remind one of the male culture undermining the seriousness of anti-female crimes, such as rape. I’ve certainly seen worse from this time period, but with Cheers it’s more cringe-inducing because it’s such a quality-written show.

Well anyway, that’s the season – see you for number eight!

Cold open: Carla vows niceness for one night due to a palm-reader’s prophecy, but she manages to get one in on Cliff, without him knowing it.

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