Friday, August 23, 2013

Cheers 7.8: “Jumping Jerks”

Airdate: 12/22/88

Cliff, Norm and Woody return from a Magnificent Seven film festival hopped up on testosterone, lamenting the lack of bravery-testing trials in the modern age, when an eavesdropper suggests skydiving. He’s an instructor willing to take the trio up and give them their shot at adventuring, but when they go up in the plane, they chicken out. Back at the bar, they tell their fish tale pretty convincingly; even Woody manages to lie for the first time, though it’s clearly eating him up inside. Sam is impressed, so impressed, in fact, that he wants to go up, and when they agree to it, he calls them out on their lie when they chicken out a second time. Now the four of them, back at the bar, have to live with their falsehood, when Rebecca suggests they go up again and advertise Cheers by holding a banner. Here we go again – but Woody’s so torn up he jumps just to sleep at night, followed by Sam, who’s turned on by the prospect of Rebecca being turned on by a skydiver, followed by Norm, followed by Cliff (nudged just a bit after being falsely told the plan is going down). The trip is a success – as rite of manhood and publicity stunt, though Rebecca’s turn on steers her in the direction of… the instructor.

A fan favorite, this one has all the crowd-pleasing elements – and the comedic device of repetition – to make it a home run. Cowards that they are, we just know they have to jump by episode’s end, and they do. Third episode to feature chaos on an airplane; Cheers recognizes the comic potential of the situation.

Cold open: Rebecca nixes ideas from a suggestion box, but one holds her interest, until she discovers it’s a proposition for sex from Sam!

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