THE AWESOMENESS OF CHEERS | SAM AND DIANE




I have been binge-watching Cheers for the past few days now.


I was initially alternating Cheers with Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Despite the cuteness of Kimmy and the awesomeness of the Titus Andromedon character though, the 80s sitcom got me hooked. I was also trying to re-start Season 2 of The Golden Girls, Season 1 of Ed, Letterkenny, and my weekly dose of Korean variety shows but again, the 80s sitcom got me hooked.


Cheers is an 80s sitcom that ran for eleven seasons from 1982 to 1993. The show mostly revolved around a group of friends who hang out in a bar. Cheers is the direct predecessor of Frasier and its hang-out style could have influenced Friends’ Central Perk, How I Met Your Mother’s McLaren’s, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s Paddy’s Pub Old City, Community’s study group all... etcetera. Most importantly, Cheers could have influenced the bait-and-switch love story formula seen with Friends’ Ross and Rachel, How I Met’s Ted and Robin, Scrubs’ JD and Eliott, New Girl’s Jess and Nick, and even The Office’s Jim and Pam.


Now I may have given Cheers a lot of awesome things they may or may not have created... but in the 80s, they were the first sitcom that kind of had this yuppie-ish scenario. Also, I know the characters in this series are far from yuppies with Sam, Diane, and later Woody far from the “kids” of Friends, Scrubs, New Girl, and How I Met.


I guess this is why Friends is such an era-defining show.


In fact, Friends' James Burrows, is also part of the team that came out with Cheers.


Anyway, I am a huge fan of the Norm and Cliff Funko pops. I couldn’t believe that Cliff almost did not make the show. Also, I have yet to buy the Woody Boyd Funko because I think Coach is awesome. It bugs me that Nicholas Colasanto had to pass away in the middle of the series. I thought his character is awesome as the gullible and clueless former baseball coach.


And then there’s Ted Danson and Shelley Long – the protagonists of the show. I haven’t finished the second season and at this point, I think their love affair is unsustainable. Sam Malone is a great character – as he is a bar owner who does not want to drink. His situation isn’t a "fish out of the water" type as what happened with Diane Chambers. Sam is well-respected by his patrons because he is an all-around good guy who can pose as an avatar to score the chicks they wish they could tap. On the other hand, Diane as a fish out of water template has...


WAIT!


SPOILER ALERT!
















On the other hand, Diane as a fish out of water template has... an expiry date. When they cracked open the love story part towards the end of season one, I thought it was a scary moment for the show. The thing is, watching it nearly four decades into the future, these “would they or won’t they” scenarios kind of mess up story arcs. Carla is a good foil for the macho barflies but not believable as a love interest to anyone inside the bar because she is a single mother with an on-again, off-again relationship with her ex-husband. Diane has to carry the burden of love interest in the series. In the aforementioned shows I enumerated, Friends also had a strong Monica and Chandler love story, How I Met has a Marshall and Lily, New Girl has Cece and Schmidt, Scrubs has Turk and Carla, The Office has Dwight and Angela, and Parks and Recreation has either Andy and April and Ann and Chris. Yes, this is another formulaic device used to counter love stories from being stale but oftentimes, the secondary love stories work better than the actual love stories.


I just remembered that before Sam and Diane kissed, Diane’s Mom wanted her daughter to marry any random person so she can get Diane’s dad’s money.


They could have used this as an arc.


There is also an episode wherein Sam sets Diane up with a killer.


They could have dragged the bit as well.


And then there's the man who left Diane in Cheers.


He could have been a great season-ender.


No idea how Sam and Diane would break up but I know there is a point at which Frasier is going to come in. Also, no idea if the sped-up romance caused the eventual departure of Shelley Long from the series. In an A & E documentary, there is real-life tension between Danson and Long which in some ways was helpful with their dynamic. However, the death of Nicholas Colasanto may have caused the rift to escalate to the point of her departure in the series. Danson stated that Colasanto once told them that “if you do not put everything on the table if you are not truthful to each other, you will destroy yourself”. Nonetheless, they could have stretched the love affair for two more seasons because frankly, the quality of tension ignites a spark but the quantity of tension ruins it.


But yeah, I guess the future showrunners knew how to combat love story strain.


Anyway, I am on the cusp of checking out Cheers S3.




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