Cheers - The Complete Fifth Season Studio: Paramount Year: 1986 - 1987 Rated: NR Length: 10 Hours, 35 Minutes Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1, Audio: Dolby Digital English 2.0 Surround Subtitles: None Closed Captioned Special Features:None Estimate Street Price, $30 USD Release Date: May 17, 2005 The fifth season of Cheers sets up a major casting change - and I won’t be ruining this for you since that fact is prominently displayed on the set’s shrink wrap. The character of Diane Chambers leaves at the end of season five. The season begins with Sam proposing to Diane, and Diane turning him down. Viewers are teased for a great part of the season about whether or not the couple will reconcile and become engaged - it is the major running plot element of season five. Obviously, given the spoiler on the packaging, the first-time viewer knows the ultimate end as well as those who have seen this before. Of course, the following of long-term plots isn’t necessary to enjoy this show, which is one that gets better with each passing season. In fact, I prefer the post-Diane years of the show - so I’m waiting patiently for season six. If I had to pick one episode as my favorite from this season, it would probably be “Simon Says,” which features John Cleese in a hilarious, Emmy winning performance as a marriage counselor who counsels Sam and Diane. A close runner-up would be “Abnormal Psychology,” which features one of my favorite Cheers characters, Fraiser Crane, along with Lilith, as they debate psychology on television.... a very sexually charged debate. A very good season, overall. But how does it look? How does it sound? The Transfers The show is well represented on DVD, for it’s age. As long as you don’t go in expecting the picture to look as sharp and as bright and clean as a recent sitcom, you shouldn’t be disappointed. Sharpness and detail are acceptable. There are occasional minor source flaws visible, but the compression is without any major artifacting. Based on my viewing of a half a dozen episodes, in an overall comparison with prior seasons of Cheers on DVD, season five is on par with previous seasons. The sound is adequately presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo. It is pretty much everything you would expect of an 80’s vintage sitcom. The sound has good frequency response and dialog is always clear and intelligible. The track is free of noticeable hiss. This is also on par with previous seasons. Special Features There are no special features. Final Thoughts A good bunch of episodes at a good price make this set worthwhile, even with a lack of extras. Recommended for fans of the series.