Why Cheers is One of the Best Sitcoms Ever Made
Thanks to popular streaming services, I had the recent pleasure of re-watching one of my favorite TV programs from my childhood, the wonderful series known as Cheers. I almost felt a little apprehensive. Would it hold up after not having seen it for the last fifteen years? I hadn’t seen more than a handful of episodes in that time and I wondered if it was as good as I remembered.
Not to worry, it was as good as I remember.
The best thing about Cheers is the well defined characters and their interactions and of course the chemistry with each cast member. It’s such a simple set-up: a Boston bar, owned by former Major League relief pitcher Sam Malone, a little whole in the wall that’s nothing special, with a zany bunch of regulars that more or less spend their entire lives sitting and drinking. Who needs to work and pay bills?
Sam Malone was a booze hound, ladies’ man, and local hero turned bar owner. He’s not the brightest but he’s a tough minded man who knows what he wants. The best counter to him is Diane Chambers, an over educated college drop out who finds herself trapped at Cheers working for tips and having to duke it out with the heathens. Of course she and Sam fall madly in love.
Carla Tortelli can’t stand Diane and lets her know how she feels. Carla works at Cheers as a waitress, has a gazillion kids and is pregnant most of the time in the early season and has an acerbic wit that can match any tough guy that comes in; in fact, she is the resident tough guy!
Clive Clavin, US postal worker and proud of it, anchors the end of the bar along with Norm Peterson. Cliff can never shut up, he’s always spouting off useless information even when no one is listening. Everyone knows Norm, he is the pillar of Cheers, the one who has been there since they invented beer, and is either looking for another job or another beer.
In later seasons, we see Coach, the dumb but good natured bartender, get replaced by Woody, the dumb but good natured farm boy from Indiana. And when Diane leaves, she gets replaced by Rebecca, who takes over management duties of the bar, much to the chagrin of Sam. We also see the development of psychiatrist Frasier Crane, who gets his own spin-off when Cheers leaves the air, and his disaster of a marriage to Lilith, who is robotic yet beautiful.
I spent a lot of this text on the characters of Cheers and not the actual show on purpose. This show is the characters. And that’s why I love it so much.