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Art for Mental Health

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Caleb Campbell
Caleb Campbell

Cheers - Season 4

Currently, the fourth season is available on DVD with four discs in the set. On February 1, 2005, the whole season was released to Region 1 DVD with four disc in the set. Unlike DVD releases of earlier seasons, the set lacks special features, like interviews and outtakes.

Cheers - Season 4


Here are my picks for the ten best episodes of Season Four. (They are in AIRING ORDER.) Every episode this season is directed by James Burrows, except one (which has indeed been highlighted and noted below).

While I like many of the episodes you feature, I think season four is actually my least favorite with Diane. It seemed like their was a real struggle to come up with new ideas, especially in the first half of the season. It sounds like you may have felt similarly?

One of the worst things about American sitcoms in the '80s and '90s was networks not knowing when to pull the plug. By season 10, it was clear "Cheers" had told every joke worth telling and tapped into every storyline the bar had to offer.

Season 9 includes some fun moments, like Woody's misguided endorsement of Veggie-Boy and little Frederick Crane's first word. One of my favorite eventual tie-ins from "Frasier" also happens in this season when Frasier says that both his parents are dead. Of course, we eventually meet Martin Crane in Seattle and it isn't until Sam makes a guest appearance in "Frasier" when this discrepancy is resolved.

"Cheers" continued to adapt to a new cast and story dynamic in season 7 and for the only time in the show's run, decided to go fully episodic without an over-arching story to tie the season together. That being said, there are some real fantastic moments that show off the show's clever writing and smashing ensemble.

This season's Bar Wars is a personal favorite with Sam and Woody acting in cahoots to win a Bloody Mary contest against Gary's Olde Towne Tavern. Sam teaches Lilith how to drive in a sub-plot of "How to Win Friends and Electrocute People" that is chaotically hilarious and proves Bebe Neuwirth's weight in gold as a comedic force. Rebecca's backstory is built up a bit more with the introduction of her sister, Susan, whom she teams up to get one back on Sam for his Lothario ways in "Sisterly Love."

After two languid seasons, season 8 sees a return to form for "Cheers." The writing sharpened up, the plotlines were compelling and fun, and every actor came to play. Kirstie Alley, in particular, really came into her own as Rebecca in season 8, resulting in a Golden Globe Award win, and Bebe Neuwirth and Ted Danson both received Emmys for their performances, as well.

The effect Long's leaving had on "Cheers" and her importance to the show truly cannot be overstated. "We've always said that we're not sure 'Cheers' would have lasted through the first season if it hadn't been for her," Les Charles, "Cheers" writer and producer, told The Hollywood Reporter. "While some of the other members of the cast were still feeling their way along, Shelley came in at full blast with energy and sparkle. She was hilarious, loveable and the dynamic of the show."

When it came time to say good-bye to Diane and bring her and Sam's story to a close, the writers went to bat for Diane and Long with the season 5 finale, "I Do, Adieu." Despite her initial insistence to the contrary, Diane eventually chooses to pursue her writing career in lieu of marrying Sam and staying in Boston. On the day of their wedding, instead of exchanging vows, Diane promises Sam she'll return to him in six months, but Sam knows better.

A bittersweet end to a five-year courtship, season 5 marked the end of an era for "Cheers." In the remaining six seasons of the show, "Cheers" would eventually retain some of its former glory, but things were never quite the same.

"Cheers" season 2 struggles at times to find its balance between being an ensemble show and one that focuses on a blossoming and fraught romance. Far too often, Sam and Diane take center focus and threaten to overwhelm the series with their constant bickering and on-again, off-again relationship.

The strength of "Cheers" has always been in the group friendship and not any particular character. For all the fuss Sam and Diane (and subsequently Rebecca) make, Cliff, Norm, Carla, Frasier, Coach, and Woody keep the show from becoming a soap drama with a few jokes. While season 2 had some great examples of this, ultimately the decision to hyper-focus on Sam and Diane created a sophomore jinx.

Wrapping up a legacy sitcom is incredibly difficult, but "Cheers" creator James Burrows and the writing team pulled off the near-impossible: a thoughtful and fun final season that paid respect to the legacy they had built without being stuck in the past.

Season 11 is filled with classic "Cheers" hi-jinxes, like when the bar gets temporary custody over a slot machine in "The King of Beers," and a final epic Bar Wars battle between Cheers and Gary's Olde Towne Tavern. Leading up to the last episode, season 11 set the stage for the end: Woody was heading towards a career in local politics, Frasier and Lilith separate, Rebecca finally finds love, Sam attends group therapy for his sex addiction, and Cliff believes his neighbor is Adolf Hitler.

Over 40 million households in America tuned in for the super-sized series finale, which saw the return of Diane and the final late-night bar hang where the group contemplated the meaning of life. "Cheers" had built an undeniable legacy for 11 seasons and stuck the final landing with purpose and humor.

"Cheers" ushered in the era of 'Must-See TV' on NBC and it all started with the fresh and charming season 1. While shows like "M*A*S*H" and "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" were massive successes with legacies of their own, "Cheers" entered the sitcom scene with sharp and clever writing the American network comedy scene hadn't heard or seen before. The acting was on point and the humor was a mix of screwball jokes and gags of a bygone era with scathing modern dialog, creating something new and unique. Not only did season 1 introduce us to the vibrant personalities that would occupy the bar stools for 11 years, the show wasn't afraid to tackle serious issues like homophobia from the jump.

The best season of "Cheers" is a toss up between seasons 3 and 4. Both seasons put forth a strong contingent of episodes, jokes, character arcs, and plots. By season 3, "Cheers" had won Emmys and knew its audience. The cast had an effortless ease with one another that translated into witty banter thanks to top shelf writing and direction.

The only reason season 3 receives the silver medal is because of the show's slightly awkward handling of Nicholas Colsanto's death. "Cheers" opted to explain Coach's disappearance in the final eight episodes of the season with peculiar excuses, the character's death was only acknowledged in later episodes in a rather haphazard manner. An unenviable position, the sudden disappearance of Coach failed to honor the memory of Colsanto properly and give fans respectful closure.

The introduction of Woody Boyd in season 4 to fill the hole Coach's passing left brought a new energy to "Cheers" that wasn't seemingly necessary until it was. As the sweet, naive young man from Indiana, Woody brought a boyish charm and youth that the show had been lacking. Hilariously, during an interview with Howard Stern, Woody Harrelson admitted to never having seen "Cheers" until they contacted him about the part. Regardless, Woody (Boyd and Harrelson) was a perfect fit.

With Woody's inclusion, the core group (save for Kirstie Alley's addition by Shelley Long's subtraction) that would remain together until the series finale was set. Season 4 also began the "Cheers" tradition of dramatic love triangles in the aptly titled episode "The Triangle" and was the season when the bar's rivalry with Gary's Old Towne Tavern begins with the very first Bar Wars competition in "From Beer to Eternity."

By season 4, all of the parts have fallen into place and the tone of the show has been well-established, allowing for the writers and actors to let loose and have fun. The show that we know and love truly starts here.

Coach was slow and forgetful, but always genial, warm, and caring, a marked contrast to the tough, plain-talking Carla Tortelli. He got his nickname from his tenure as a baseball coach; he had coached Sam Malone on the Boston Red Sox before Sam bought Cheers. He once said he thought he got called coach because he always flew in the coach section of an airplane and never in first class. He claimed his other nickname was "Red", not because he had red hair, but because he had read a book. Quotes like this were characteristic of Coach. While with the St. Louis Browns he led the American League in hits by pitches for two consecutive seasons.[1] It is possible that too many beanballs led to his being slow and forgetful. Despite his kind, affable personality off the field, he could be a tyrannical coach, as found out when he coached a little league team and worked them so hard that they all threatened to quit.

As a young man, Ernie dropped out of high school and joined the Navy. He then played both minor league baseball, and with the Browns. He later ended up with Boston's farm team, the Pawtucket Red Sox as a coach, and also managed in the minors. He moved back to the Majors as Boston's third base coach when Sam Malone was pitching, and Sam hired him as a bartender when he bought Cheers. He loved the job so much that he spent his days off working at the bar. Coach's wife Angela had died before the show took place; they had a daughter, Lisa (Allyce Beasley), whom he encouraged to end an engagement to a fiancé he disliked.[2] In season three he became engaged to a widow named Irene Blanchard, but she broke off the engagement after winning the lottery.

Colasanto died in 1985, shortly after filming the season 3 episode "Cheerio, Cheers". This episode was the 59th to be produced, but was moved following Colasanto's death and shown as the 66th episode. Production was halted for three weeks. After his death, episodes were moved around - in particular the cold openings - so as to make Coach's absence less obvious. For the episodes where Coach did not appear, excuses were often made for his absence. In one instance it was explained he was visiting his sister. In another he re-took his driving test in Vermont. Sam is seen congratulating Coach on the telephone. When Carla asks if Coach passed his test, Sam says that he was congratulating Coach for finding Vermont. In one episode the regulars receive a letter from Coach, who is at his annual family reunion. The photograph attached shows Coach with a black family. Sam explains to Carla and Cliff Clavin that Coach got an invitation by mistake and went so as not to appear rude. He had proceeded to be invited back every year since and was considering hosting next year's gathering at his home. The family, Sam explained, knew him as "Uncle Whitey". 041b061a72


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