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Cheers: The Complete Series

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by chadHobbick, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. Message #21 of 81 Feb 19, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2019
    The Drifter

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    I just started watching S06 (1987-1988) of Cheers, and this is the first time I've ever seen these Rebecca Howe episodes. Great casting & writing. Kirstie Alley is the total opposite of Shelley Long's Diane in many cases, but her sarcastic comments/commentary are great, and IMHO she may even be a more interesting character than Diane. She definitely has a harder, more businesslike edge to her, but at the same time is extremely attractive - even without necessarily meaning to be [​IMG]

    Also wanted to mention that this 6th season has a completely different feel/vibe than what was seen in the previous five seasons. I.e., the bar has been sold to RH's company & has gone "corporate", so is much less "homey" than the previous five seasons. In one of the first S06 episodes, Sam comes back to the bar after having sold it & trying to sail around the world (presumably it's only been several months) - and barely recognizes any of the customers. Yes, RH "replacing" Diane Chambers seems to be the only real major cast change. However, I wonder if the bar being sold was not only a way to "change things up" on the show, but was also a kind of social commentary on how local, small businesses were being bought up by large corporations - something that seemed to be happening more often by the late '80's.
     
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  2. LeoA

    LeoA Cinematographer

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    Sad to hear that I Fought the Law was replaced. Haven't watched that episode yet, apparently.
     
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  3. bmasters9

    bmasters9 Producer

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    And one infamous example of that has been when Metromedia was swallowed up by Gannett-- The Greenville News got a lot thinner, the paper size got smaller, and a lot of other things happened; the News is nowhere near the same paper it once was!
     
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  4. John*Wells

    John*Wells Supporting Actor

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    The Same thing happened in Columbia when the Columbia record disappeared and the State Newspaper was the last one Standing. Its only gotten worse over the years
     
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  5. bmasters9

    bmasters9 Producer

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    BTW, I just remembered that it wasn't Metromedia that Gannett purchased-- it was Multimedia; got the names confused.
     
  6. ClassicTVMan1981X

    ClassicTVMan1981X Screenwriter

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    And only a year later Gannett, in turn, sold the TV production arm of Multimedia to Universal Television. However, the Multimedia Entertainment name is still trademarked today by Tegna (the current incarnation of the broadcasting/digital arm of Gannett since 2015).

    ~Ben
     
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  7. John*Wells

    John*Wells Supporting Actor

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    Yep. the Local CBS affiliate in columbia SC WLTX is owned by TEGNA
     
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  8. Message #28 of 81 Feb 26, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2019
    The Drifter

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    Slowly making my way through Cheers S06. Wow - this is a great season. Even though I liked the previous 5, I may actually prefer this "second half" of the series with Rebecca Howe - and this is only based on 7-8 episodes of S06, so far.

    Some of the main characters are going through some obvious changes here. Most notably, the houses in Cliff & his mother's neighborhood were bought out by a developer in order to make way for a shopping center/businesses, and Cliff & his Mom eventually & reluctantly took the payment offered by the developer. And, soon after his Mom moved to Florida. Though, initially Cliff was so reluctant to leave his childhood home that he actually handcuffed himself to a beam in the house to keep it from being demolished - ha ha.

    As with the buy-out of the bar by a corporation at the beginning of S06, this buying out & tearing down old neighborhoods to make way for new businesses seemed to start happening quite a bit in the '80's - or at least that's when I first started paying attention to things like this.

    That being said, in this particular fictitious case, it was obvious that this change ended up being for the better, since it forced Cliff to move out from under his mother's apron strings, temporarily move in with Norm and Vera, and then eventually into his own "bachelor pad" condo - which led to his starting to date, etc.

    Some of the funniest sequences in S06 involved Norm & Cliff discussing Cliff's temporarily staying w/Norm & Vera (before he got his condo) and how Norm didn't want him to leave - due to Cliff helping with the cooking, cleaning, rubbing Vera's feet (LOL) and "talking" to her - which Norm didn't want to deal with. So, instead of portraying Cliff as being a burden (as the majority of house-guests would be) he actually ended up being a benefit to the house-hold - ha ha. There was another sequence when Vera called Cliff at the bar, and he enthusiastically discussed cooking strategies/recipes with her - LOL.

    The sequence when Cliff invited some of his friends from the bar over to his new condo was hilarious; at one point, one of them asked why his refrigerator wasn't working & he gave a ridiculous answer. As it turns out, it wasn't even turned on properly - something he obviously hadn't even realized before it was pointed out to him - LOL.

    Haven't seen this episode yet, but that's terrible - though it is understandable. When TV shows (and sometimes films) make their way onto modern home video (DVD/Blu), in some cases the copyright to a rock/pop song can't be purchased a second time - so, it needs to be changed. This exact issue has been why some shows weren't put on DVD/Blu for years, and why when some were put out the songs were replaced - in some cases. Another notable example was the great Vietnam War drama Tour of Duty (1987 - 1991). The theme song of that show was The Rolling Stones' Paint it Black, which really fit the Vietnam War era & the dark subject matter of the show. However, due to copyright issues the song was replaced on the DVD's with a more generic theme song, totally ruining the whole vibe of the opening theme & the show in general. This is the main reason I've never gotten these DVD sets - even though I really liked the show back when it was on.
     
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  9. Jeffrey D

    Jeffrey D Supporting Actor

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    You’ll really like the episodes Slumber Party Massacred and Our Hourly Bread (towards the end of season 6).
     
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  10. bmasters9

    bmasters9 Producer

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    And that was why WKRP's standalone first go from Fox ran into much controversy: because many of the hit rock tunes of the time that were used on CBS had to be replaced in that release, owing to copyrights. Fortunately, when Shout! put out that all-in-one much later, much of the music that originally had to be replaced was recovered (at least that's how I remember it said).
     
  11. albert_m2

    albert_m2 Second Unit

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    Cheers was able to adapt and succeed with changes to relatively significant characters (Coach/Woody) and key characters (Diane/Rebecca) very well.

    With the Rebecca change, it re-energized the show. While the Diane years had great episodes and moments - classic even - the Sam Diane thing was played out.

    The show was able to go do new stories and still retain its core sensibilities.
     
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  12. Message #32 of 81 Feb 27, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2019
    questrider

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    In the last scene of the final episode of season five "I Do and Adieu" (also Shelley Long's swan song) when Sam daydreams about a life that him and Diane could have together, an instrumental of the Irving Berlin song "What'll I Do?" accompanies the scene and adds so much depth because of what the song represents of love lost. On the DVD, the song is there; however, the streaming version on Netflix (and I suspect in syndication) has a generic piano song that is, as far as I know, detached from the scene because it adds no meaning. As with most of these music replacements, if you aren't aware of the original versions they might not be so jarring but for me the removal of "What'll I Do?" completely ruins that scene.

    Here's the version with "What'll I Do?" [starts at 1:02]:




    And here's the version with the generic replacement music (recorded from a cell phone but still an example of the music replacement) [starts at 2:43]:



    They also obviously didn't have the original audio stems so in cutting out "What'll I Do?" they also cut out the last dialog exchange between Sam and Diane:

     
  13. Message #33 of 81 Feb 27, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2019
    The Drifter

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    Good to know - Thanks. I'm trying to watch the show exclusively on DVD, but will stream what I can't see on Disk.

    Agree 100%. By S05 I was sick & tired of the whole Diane/Sam "relationship". They kept breaking up & getting back together to the point that it got aggravating to even see them together on screen. That being said, S05 was probably the strongest season up to that point - and had some of the best & funniest episodes (The Thanksgiving episode; the John Cleese episode; The Motion Picture episode; the finale; etc.). However, if Diane hadn't left at the end of S05, the show would have started to go downhill. So, I think the Rebecca Howe arc started exactly when it should have to invigorate/re-invigorate the show.

    What's interesting about the Diane character is that I had read/heard that Shelley Long wanted to leave the show due to wanting to get more involved in films; most notably, I remember her from The Money Pit w/Tom Hanks (1986), Outrageous Fortune w/Bette Midler (1987), Troop Beverly Hills (1989), etc. This was a good decision on her part, both for her film career & for the series. Cheers lasted for 11 seasons, so for 6 more seasons after Diane left - i.e., there were more seasons with Rebecca & without Diane. And, if Shelley had stayed, the show would have become old quickly - i.e., I can't imagine the final 6 seasons of the show with the Diane/Sam relationship continuing to be the highlight of the series :angry:
     
  14. albert_m2

    albert_m2 Second Unit

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    No, I can't see the show having gone 11 seasons without that change.

    They did some interesting things with Rebecca. Most importantly, she wasn't Diane 2.0.

    They didn't repeat that story line. Rebecca was (at least at the beginning) a confident business woman, not a liberal arts academic etc.
    She had her own love interests and problems and her character would evolve as well.

    But the integration of the cast was always key. In the early seasons, they were less significant, but they mattered more as the seasons moved and the show was better for it.
     
  15. Message #35 of 81 Mar 6, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2019
    The Drifter

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    Finished S06 of Cheers. Great season, and one of my favorites (so far). It's interesting that Rebecca Howe - despite being cool & professional (for the most part) still harbors an unrequited "crush" on her boss, the wealthy Evan Drake (Tom Skerritt). I think this humanizes the character to a great extent, and it's funny how Sam, Cliff, Norm, etc. use this knowledge to their advantage.

    Some stand-out S06 episodes include:

    - Woody & Sam make a bet that one of them will be able to kiss Rebecca first by the end of the night. And, once Rebecca is onto them - she enlists Carla for help in humiliating/tricking them both - LOL.

    - Rebecca hires Sam & Woody to serve as bartenders at a party for the "big boss" & his wealthy big-shot friends/co-workers. While there, Rebecca accidentally breaks an expensive vase - and, in order to protect her, Woody takes the fall - with unexpected & hilarious consequences.

    -Sam is hired to work at the corporate office by Evan Drake, but it's only because they temporarily need his skill on the company baseball team so they can beat the opposing team - LOL.

    -Sam "accidentally on purpose" locks Evan Drake's chauffeur in the bar's basement (temporarily) so that Rebecca can take over the role as the car's driver & take Evan to the airport....and use the opportunity to tell him how she feels. However, the plan back-fires when Evan has Rebecca pick up his gf on the way - LOL.
     
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  16. sjbradford

    sjbradford Stunt Coordinator

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    WARNING: This post contains spoilers.

    I think that season 6 is the last consistently great season of Cheers. Seasons 4-6 were produced by David Angell, Peter Casey, and David Lee. The trio later went on to do “Frasier”, and there was rarely a dud during the seasons they were producing.

    That’s not to say that there aren’t good episodes from season 7 on, but those seasons don’t have the same consistency of the Angell/Casey/Lee years. The trio stayed on for the first part of season 7 as they handed the show off to new showrunners Cheri and Bill Steinkellner, who ran the show through season 10.

    Part of the problem with this season was the softening of the Rebecca character. I liked her better when she was the hard-assed businesswoman with a few quirks, as opposed to the basket case she gradually became.

    The new producers also seemed to struggle with creative direction. The first episode of season 7 ended with Sam and Rebecca as co-managers of the bar, with Rebecca also waiting tables. They seemed to be going for a different setup, with Rebecca no longer having the upper hand over Sam. But after a couple of episodes, that was reversed, with Rebecca back as sole manager. They did something interesting, at first, with Evan Drake’s replacement; now, Rebecca’s boss was chasing after her, and she couldn’t stand him. But that setup was dropped after a couple of episodes, even though it could have provided some recurring fun throughout the season.

    The Steinkellners also planned to marry off Sam Malone at the end of the season. They hired Joan Severance to play Rebecca’s sister (and rival), Susan, who would wind up marrying Sam. But before this arc ever aired, they dropped it. Susan did appear, played by Marcia Cross, but only in a single episode.

    Season 8 was more steady creatively, but I don’t think the show ever reached the heights of seasons 4-6 again.
     
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  17. Message #37 of 81 Mar 19, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2019
    The Drifter

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    Didn't read all of the above post, since I want to be genuinely surprised by the storyline(s) when watching Seasons 7-11 of Cheers. I've already seen about half of S07, and do find it to be a strong season - so far. Some stand-out episodes:

    -Rebecca Howe has to "pretend" to be dating Sam, in order to avoid having to date her new boss - who looks like a younger version of actor Martin Short - LOL.

    - Norm is painting Frasier & Lilith's apartment, and gets inadvertently pulled in to being their new interior decorator. They then recommend him to others, and he doesn't want his buddies at the bar to know about this because it will ruin his "macho" image - LOL.

    -Cliff has to go into the hospital for routine surgery, and is disappointed that the Cheers gang doesn't miss him more when he's out & that they they don't come to visit him in the hospital. So, he comes to the conclusion (with Frasier's help - LOL) that he is saying the wrong thing/making inappropriate comments - and that's why he isn't more liked. So, he goes to a doctor/psychiatrist?! and decides to go through some type of therapy, where he will be "shocked" whenever he makes stupid/inappropriate comments. He then goes to the bar (with the doctor observing from the side-lines), and proceeds to make an @$$ of himself, thereby causing the doctor to repeatedly shock him - hysterical ;) This is definitely one of the funniest episodes of the series - LOL.

    - Sam, Woody, Cliff, and Norm brag that they aren't afraid to try sky-diving - with hilarious results.

    General comment(s) about this show:

    I'm always interested in background characters in shows like this, and it's interesting that in the last several seasons I've watched there are a couple of funny "stand-outs", notably the little old guy w/the squint (always wearing a hat) who makes amusing one-liners throughout the episodes; there is also an older woman who sometimes gets inadvertently pulled into the main characters' shenanigans - LOL. Both of these characters are obviously "regulars".

    Rebecca Howe is a complex and emotional character - even in S06; she is a much more nuanced & interesting character than Diane Chambers. I.e., she is initially introduced as this hard-edged "career woman" who was married to her job - but then, you found out soon after that she has this "schoolgirl crush" on her unattainable boss & finds herself in ridiculous, avoidable situations because of this - i.e., getting stuck at his house (while he's asleep in the next room), going to great lengths to replace his chauffeur to drive him to the airport, etc. I.e., even in S06 I felt that she presented an exterior 'facade' of being calm, cool, and collected - but in reality was the exact opposite, and all that was needed were some elements that weren't going her way to 'set her off' - LOL.

    In any case, I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of the series - but at the same time I don't want the show to end. I know I'm seeing these episodes years after everyone else, but it's still the first time seeing them for me. They definitely don't make TV shows like this anymore.
     
  18. The Drifter

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    Since I wrote up my last post (couldn't edit this after a while), I did read the previous post, even though it had some S07-S011 Spoilers - and found it very interesting & informative:

    Yes, I remember thinking it was interesting that they dropped the idea of Evan Drake's replacement going after Rebecca after only a couple of episodes. However, it made sense in the context of the show - i.e., Rebecca lied to this guy (I'll refer to him as Martin Short 2.0 - LOL) and told him that Sam was her boyfriend. So, I guess he just gave up pursuing her after a while.

    I was not aware of this - terrible idea, and I'm glad they didn't go through with this. I can't imagine Sam getting married on this show - it would have truly ruined the series.
     
  19. Jeffrey D

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    Another funny episode from season 7- Those Lips, Those Ice. Carla has suspicions about Eddie messing around with an attractive ice
    skater that has joined his ice show tour. The funnier episodes in the series feature Carla and her feisty, mean demeanor.
     
  20. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Unfortunately, as the series progresses, Rebecca Howe turns more and more into a whiny, babbling loser and completely loses all of the stronger personality traits that made her an interesting character in her first few seasons on the show. The Rebecca Howe at the end of the series is nothing like the character that was originally introduced.
     
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