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US Series Cheers (television series)

Discussion in 'Notable TV' started by ClassyCo, Apr 1, 2020.

  1. ClassyCo

    ClassyCo Soap Chat Addict EXP: 6 Years

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    Soap Chat has devoted many threads to a variety of television shows that hold a distinguished or pivotal significance in the history of the medium. We've devoted entire topics to shows that have cult and classic status, but among all these threads, I don't believe I've yet to see one singled out for Cheers.

    This classic small screen comedy aired for eleven seasons on NBC from 1982 to 1993. Despite a slow start in the Nielsen ratings, the series would eventually become one of the highest-rated shows on television, spending seven of its seasons in the top five, including the 199091 season as the most-watched network series on American television.

    I know some of you Soap Chatters have to be fans of Cheers, and I know some of you out there got to have some kind of input to share with the rest of us.

    C'mon fans, let's get this thread going. Don't be shy.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Seaviewer

    Seaviewer Soap Chat Enthusiast EXP: 18 Years

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    I loved Cheers at the time and would probably still call it my favourite 80s sitcom.

    It's really two shows in one - the first five years with Sam & Diane as the classic mismatched couple (I believe it's been confirmed that Moonlighting's Dave & Maddie were inspired by them in part) and the last six when it became more of an ensemble show.
     
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  3. TJames03

    TJames03 Soap Chat TV Fanatic EXP: 10 Years

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    The Diane years were the best, even though everyone hated Shelley Ling.
     
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  4. Jimmy Todd

    Jimmy Todd Soap Chat Well-Known Member EXP: 1 Year

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    I agree. She may not have been a barrel of laughs to work with, but Diane was a great foil for the rest of the characters, especially Sam.
     
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  5. ClassyCo

    ClassyCo Soap Chat Addict EXP: 6 Years

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    I can certainly agree with you assessments.

    The first five seasons are very consumed by the Sam and Diane relationship, which goes through the typical ups and downs of sitcom shtick when it comes to a duo of dissimilar people trying to forego a romance. While their romance does dominate the earlier seasons, I would argue that some of the earliest episodes at least hint at the ensemble show the Charles brothers had envisioned. The talented Charles duo have always said that they felt they had written themselves into a corner with the Sam and Diane arc, which had become the show's driving force. They also regret their decision to serialize their stories instead of the series being solely episodic.

    The "Sam and Diane Years" of Cheers are sometimes considered better because of the writing and the general quality of the episodes themselves.

    [​IMG]
    Shelley Long decided to exit after the fifth season to pursue other career opportunities. While she expressed her opinions that she felt that she and Ted Danson had done some great work on the series, she felt the time had come for her to move on.

    Enter Kirstie Alley. Her entrance was an pivotal one, as she was quickly interested as the permanent female lead, and also because she bore no resemblance to Long, and brought different dynamics to the cast of characters. The last six seasons of Cheers drifts back into the ensemble sitcom that the Charles brothers initially brainstormed, which naturally opens slots for other characters, such as Woody, Carla, Frasier, Norm, and the rest of the gang, to be used to greater potential.

    The "Same and Rebecca Years" could really be called the ensemble years because that's basically what those mid-to-later seasons are. I can't really decide which era of the show that I prefer overall because as I continue watching the series I find gems on both sides of the fence.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. ClassyCo

    ClassyCo Soap Chat Addict EXP: 6 Years

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    Apparently Shelley Long has a reputation of being rather difficult to work with. I know the cast and crew of Cheers have occasionally and often discreetly spoke of their thoughts that she caused tension.

    Bette Midler, who costarred with her in Outrageous Fortune, spoke on The Oprah Winfrey Show back in the 1980s that Shelley and she had a rough working relationship. The two women fought over top billing.
     
  7. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle EXP: 19 Years

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    In the early-'80s, CHEERS and FAMILY TIES were the only two sitcoms I could tolerate.
     
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  8. ClassyCo

    ClassyCo Soap Chat Addict EXP: 6 Years

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    I have the complete series of Cheers on DVD that I bought off Amazon a few years back, and of course, it's on Netflix. That makes it easily accessible for me. It use to air on Hallmark early in the mornings, but it isn't currently airing.

    Maybe a year or so ago I bought the first season of Family Ties at a flea market for like five dollars, or maybe even less. I think it still had the plastic on it then, but I've yet to watch any of them yet.

    I have far too many movies and TV shows to keep up with.
     
  9. Barbara Fan

    Barbara Fan Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Cheers was about the only US comedy i found funny and tuned in to watch it or tape it if i was out

    I far preferred Kirstie Alley to Shelley Long who left for that film career that never happened, i found her (Diane) very irritating.

    One of my fav epiosdes is the chimp painting and the one with Alexis Smith aka Lady Jessica having a bit of a fling with Sam Malone

    When i watched it last I m not sure that it aged too well but loved it at the time and Sam, Norm, Rebecca, Cliff, Carla and co were a great cast
     
  10. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator EXP: 19 Years Staff Member

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    I'm not sure about the set-up, but I recall one of Carla's best burns on Diane. Diane was obsessing about Charles and Diana's dramas, and kept referring to them as 'Chuck and Di' in that haughty manner of hers. So Carla told Diane she wished she (Diane) would "upchuck and die."
     
  11. ClassyCo

    ClassyCo Soap Chat Addict EXP: 6 Years

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    The camps revolving around the Diane seasons and the Rebecca seasons often seem to force fans to decide which side of the fence they are on when it comes to which era of the show they tend to prefer.

    They either like Diane and hate Rebecca, or vice versa. It seems to be relatively rare that fans like both eras of the show the same. I guess I'd be the odd man out in that arena, considering I find enjoyment in both eras of the show, and occasionally rotate from the Diane years to the Rebecca ones while binge watching the show on DVD or on Netflix.
     
  12. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator EXP: 18 Years

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    I know what you mean.
    Personally, I think Diane was funnier than Rebecca, but Rebecca and Sam had better chemistry, maybe because it wasn't so much about "them" anymore.
    I liked Kirstie in Cheers, but it also kinda sealed her fate as comedy actress. Not that there's anything wrong with being a comedy actor, but after her powerhouse performance in North & South I had hoped to see her in other dramatic stories, or maybe even a prime time soap.
     
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  13. Seaviewer

    Seaviewer Soap Chat Enthusiast EXP: 18 Years

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    I remember the scene but a version of the joke has already done the rounds here. I don't know about American slang but the prefix was not necessary for us to draw the double entendre.
    It was a good decision not to just make Rebecca into Sam's new girlfriend. So many shows make that mistake when replacing a departing character, basically a recast with a different name. It opened up a whole new avenue of stories to tell.
     
  14. ClassyCo

    ClassyCo Soap Chat Addict EXP: 6 Years

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    It would have been wild to see Kirstie Alley come into Dallas, or preferably Knots Landing for my tastes, and ran with some juicy role there.
     
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  15. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator EXP: 19 Years Staff Member

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    If you dig around, there are clips of KA appearing as a contestant on Match Game in 1979 when she had first come to LA. She said she was a "design student" or something like that, but a lot of actors used to appear on game shows while trying to get discovered. I recall she seemed so sour, as if she was pissed off at the whole group as they joked around and had a good time. Later, I read that she was hooked on cocaine during that period, so maybe that had something to do with her mood.
     
  16. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator EXP: 18 Years

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    Oh I must find it!
     

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