Monday, September 2, 2013

Cheers 8.5: “The Two Faces of Norm”

Airdate: 10/26/89

Norm’s spreading himself thin with his painting job (pun intended), so he heeds the advice of Woody (or Rebecca, depending on whom you ask) to hire some assistance. The three helpers he recruits turn out to be fun-loving goofs, eager to go bowling but taking advantage of their boss at every turn. Frasier suggests adopting a firmer alter ego, so Norm becomes Mr. Schweitzer, a tough-as-nails order-barker that has the positive effect of keeping the boys in line. Soon productivity is increased, so Norm buys an office and secretary for “Mr. Schweitzer,” but his employees feel he’s being too hard – they go to the office. Norm beats them there, and pretends to intercede on their behalf. Ironically, they think Norm was too hard; their imaginary boss would still have been better than softie Norm, so they quit. Rudy (the head painter) goes to Cheers to tell Norm he’s on to him – but he thinks Schweitzer is his real identity, with Norm just the fake. Norm’s bar buddies don’t exactly prove him wrong, either.

Norm’s still a painter – and his assumed identity is relatable for anyone who’s divided their identity to get any job done. Subplot involves Sam’s ongoing quest to sock enough money so he can buy the bar back (Robin’s idea from two episodes ago); he decides to sell his Ferrari and get a Volare (apparently a cheap car – I didn’t know). His love life suffers as a result.

Cold open: Rebecca returns from a seminar on positive thinking. She manages to see the bright side of everyone at Cheers – except Cliff. Carla succeeds, however, noticing “Way to make a dork out of yourself, Clavin!”

Norm’s opener: Woody” Got room for a beer, Mr. Person?” Norm: “No, but I am willing to add on.”

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