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Cheers Viewing Club: Season 1 Discussion

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Cheers Viewing Club: Season 1 Discussion

Old 12-30-12, 11:15 AM
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Cheers Viewing Club: Season 1 Discussion



Welcome to the thread for our Cheers Viewing Club. Depending on the amount of activity I can start a new thread each Sunday or keep it all in this one, and have an “update post” each week in this thread.

The series debuted on September 30, 1983. For this week, we will be watching the first 5 episodes:
  1. Give Me a Ring Sometime
  2. Sam’s Women
  3. The Tortelli Tort
  4. Sam at Eleven
  5. Coach’s Daughter

Feel free to post your thoughts episode by episode if you want to post things fresh in your mind, but if you’re reading through the thread, be prepared for thoughts on the five episodes in question. I’m sure it’ll run more smoothly as we go along.

Since Cheers is the place where everybody knows your name, why not have all the username of all our interested parties here for reference. But anyone is free to join us! This was just a list carrying over from the interest thread.

Spoiler:

bluetoast
cardsfan111
Michael Corvin
mhg83
davidh777
Quack
jeffkjoedaTel
Darth Maher
T-bone22
Trevor
Drexl
Elijahmagallon
Keith6601
Mike86
Tellybox
Brent L
Wildman1037
Larry C.
Heat

Last edited by bluetoast; 01-01-13 at 10:44 PM.
Old 12-30-12, 11:35 AM
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Re: Cheers Viewing Club: Season 1 Discussion

Oh I'm so excited about this. I'm all primed and ready and desperately want to start but as I'm tying it in to the January challenge I just have to hold off for a couple of days... :-(

Looking forward to it!
Old 12-30-12, 11:43 AM
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Re: Cheers Viewing Club: Season 1 Discussion

This should be fun! Might check out the pilot later on today.
Old 12-30-12, 01:45 PM
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Re: Cheers Viewing Club: Season 1 Discussion

I'll probably watch a couple episodes after I'm done with work this evening. Looking forward to it!
Old 12-30-12, 03:59 PM
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Re: Cheers Viewing Club: Season 1 Discussion

Give Me a Ring Sometime:

Just watched the pilot episode, saw it once before earlier this year (along with most of this season), great introduction to the cast. Since I usually watch the later years it's interesting to see the actors look so much younger. There are also a lot of different camera setups than what we see in later seasons. This was directed by James Burrows who helmed more episodes than anyone else.

It's interesting, sometimes you can see the lights above the bar, surrounding the top area. Throughout the series these are visible during certain shots, and I'm pretty positive they're for the purposes of lighting the set and actors, but they don't stand out in a bad way so it's not distracting if they're seen.
Old 12-30-12, 08:55 PM
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Re: Cheers Viewing Club: Season 1 Discussion

Give Me a Ring Sometime (pilot)

So much to like about this one. It's amazing that Charles, Burrows, Charles (CBC) had so many character beats worked out in the premier that worked from day one. Coach, Carla, Norm!, Cliff all the exact same characters we all came to love right from the beginning. Typically it takes a few episodes to work out where the characters are going, so this one was almost weird that they all worked from the get-go. Same goes for Sam & [know-it-all] Diane's bickering.

Also it had quite a few classic jokes that you always remember, like "mime school" "Magnificent Pagan Beast." But Coach answering the phone and asking for an Ernie Pantusso "that's you coach"... "speaking" is one of the best bits in the show's run, IMO.

Couple things stood out though, a couple weird camera zooms. A couple shots of the bar from the front door. I don't ever recall seeing that in future episodes. Then there's John Ratzenberger missing from the opening credits despite being in the episode. It'll be interesting to see when he finally got billing. Lastly, in the "weird" category is George Wendt giving a Norm a Boston accent. It makes sense thinking about it, but I'm glad that didn't last.

Originally Posted by bluetoast View Post
Since Cheers is the place where everybody knows your name, why not have all the username of all our interested parties here for reference:
In that spirit, a little background...I was 7 when the show premiered, so needless to say I didn't watch a lot of the show in it's initial run. I think I started watching around 7-8th grade, which would have been '88-'89.

I haven't sat down to watch season 1 since the DVDs came out in 2003.
Old 12-30-12, 09:25 PM
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Re: Cheers Viewing Club: Season 1 Discussion

Ah yeah some background. The show premiered before I did, so to speak, I didn't really watch it until summer 2004 on Nick at Nite, and then I missed out on the Coach episodes. I knew so little about the character that I thought the sitcom "Coach" was a spin-off or something, like Frasier. Earlier this year I've been getting back into it very much. Saw most of Season 1 a bit earlier this year, and am happy to continue watching it now.

And yeah Michael you're right, a lot of the beats were in place, pretty surprising. Usually when you watch a pilot after seeing a lot of the series, it might seem jarring, but only a few things seemed strange, like the camera angles and some accents like you mentioned.

And is it just me or does Sam remind you of Han Solo? It might be something about the first season.
Old 12-30-12, 09:57 PM
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Re: Cheers Viewing Club: Season 1 Discussion

Give Me A Ring Sometimes

Sorry if my entries seem out of structure a bit. I just like to type while watching and try to separate thoughts.

Can't talk about this show without going into the Sam Malone hair discussion. Can someone clarify with me, which was a wig and which wasn't? His hair looked awful in the first episode! I think that was one of the first things I noticed, when that kid came in and tried to buy a beer.

I really enjoyed the first few shots of the episode and the theme playing slower with it.

How bout a beer chief!

I absolutely love shows with live studio audiences.

Recognized Sumner Sloan from one episode of M*A*S*H, as the assistant to a general, but he was bald, so does he wear a rug too?

"That's dunn....I certainly hope so!" lol

The Coach phone call gets me all the time, along with the Patriots jokes this first episode. Carla full of anger and fiesty-ness. Cliff right off the bad, mister know-it-all, but friendly.

Cool Hand Luke.

I agree with the above about the shots they used, I liked the one from the bathrooms to the bar.

Loved Diane's first customers, perfect way to start her out for her nice waitressing career.

I was born in '80 so I have faint memories of some of the later episodes really, bought the season DVD's along the way when they were released and watch the entire series a few years ago, definitely looking forward to this go around though.
Old 12-30-12, 10:06 PM
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Re: Cheers Viewing Club: Season 1 Discussion

Heads up DVD watchers: I thought I'd watch a couple tonight and noticed the DVDs have the episodes out of order. Coach's Daughter is #2 on the disc, but that's actually episode #5. The rest of disc 1 appears to be in the correct order. Just follow Bluetoast's list in post #1.
Old 12-30-12, 10:26 PM
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Re: Cheers Viewing Club: Season 1 Discussion

Quack: Not sure when Ted Dansen started wearing a wig, but what he did wear was a little piece that covered the top of his head, not too big. He reveals it in like season 8 or 9 to Carla.

Michael: Thanks for the heads up! Going to start episode 2 now.
Old 12-30-12, 10:59 PM
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Re: Cheers Viewing Club: Season 1 Discussion

Sam's Women

For this episode I'm going to try writing some thoughts as I watch as well:
  • Throwaway gag: Same bar entrance camera angle on Sam, Carla and Coach, without hearing them reacting, that was cool.
  • Looking at the credits, that was Keenan Ivory Wayans who told Diane about the drinks!
  • Establishing music is a lot better than the overly jazzy stuff from the last few years.
  • Cracking up at how loudly Coach greets Norm. "NOOOOORM!"
  • Guy asking for Gus is...Donnelly Rhodes, who I recognized not by name but by look as Dutch on Soap and Doc Cottle on BSG.
  • It's a lot quieter, there seems to be less bustle in the background, pauses between lines
  • Norm...aren't you married? What's with trying to get with the lady?
  • Carla isn't as mean yet.
  • Poolroom makes its debut!
  • Cliff is freaking thin, and has more of an accent.
  • Nice moment with Diane smiling as Sam looks away.
  • Set is more dimly lit than in later years.
  • Quack you're right, Sam Malone is starting to look like Silvio Dante.
  • The actress who played Brandee died in 1988? Damn.
Old 12-30-12, 11:05 PM
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Re: Cheers Viewing Club: Season 1 Discussion

Give Me A Ring Sometime:

The first line or 2 from the main characters is so memorable, and then you have every single thing that comes out of Coach's mouth.

They really introduced each individual very well making you connect with them easily right in this first episode.


Add me to the people that missed the original airings due to being too young at the time. I've seen all of them since then obviously, but I still laugh at every joke.
Old 12-30-12, 11:39 PM
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Re: Cheers Viewing Club: Season 1 Discussion

Episode 1: Give Me A Ring Sometime: Good premiere episode. I definitely agree with people here that it's pretty amazing that the characters basically seemed like themselves right from the first episode. Coach is such a great character. Loved when he answers the phone and it's for himself and Sam has to tell him . Other than some of the 80s styles this series really has held up pretty well if you ask me. I didn't really see the show until re-runs in the early 2000s or so but it's always seemed really well written and is a show that's stood the test of time better than a lot of shows from the same era.

Last edited by Mike86; 12-31-12 at 12:04 AM.
Old 12-30-12, 11:45 PM
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Re: Cheers Viewing Club: Season 1 Discussion

The Tortelli Tort:

Nice tracking shot in the intro. 30 gross...does anybody use that terminology anymore? Also, years later they order bar napkins with trivia facts on them, and Cliff gets pissed about it. Man he really hated those napkins, right from the beginning!

Carla's personality is coming out! What I like though is that she's always pretty nice to Norm, and here we see the first time she gets pissed at Cliff.

Some notes about the three guest customers:
  • The old guy said 'Superstation!' Don't hear that used anymore either. These early episodes really are all about the customers. Looking at IMDB, that guy, John Fielder also voiced Piglet until his death in 2005. As an aside, the current voice is Travis Oates, ex-host of the ex-show Arena on the ex-channel, G4, if any of you caught that back in 2002-2003 or so.
  • Ron Karabatsos (Ed) died earlier this year. Looking at his credits he was on an episode of The Wayans Brothers show. What a coincidence (though Keenan wasn't on that). Definitely reminded me of Lou Albano, and apparently he was a wrestler. So it fits!
  • Rex Ryon, who plays the Bruin at the end of the episode also had a notable role in Beverly Hills Cop as the security guard who offers Foley a match in the warehouse. He is also no longer living.

While watching, I found myself no longer taking notes but I was just engrossed in the episode. Man this show is good.
Old 12-30-12, 11:47 PM
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Re: Cheers Viewing Club: Season 1 Discussion

Originally Posted by Mike86 View Post
I didn't really see the show until re-runs in the early 2000s or so but it's always seemed really well written and is a show that's stood the test of time better than a lot of shows from the same era.
Exactly, and Ken Levine thought that a reason for this was that they didn't really focus on too many pop culture references or things of that nature to keep the jokes going. It's not Bloom County that requires footnotes for every other strip (although that's a good strip!).
Old 12-31-12, 12:10 AM
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Re: Cheers Viewing Club: Season 1 Discussion

Episode 2: Sam's Women: Liked the opening bit with Diane delivering the whole big order to the wrong table and then asking if they'd mind switching tables. Norm lighting the cigarette for the bar patron and almost forgetting to put out the lighter before putting it back in his pocket was a funny little gag.

Also the line where Brandee is discussing what movie her and Sam should see and Sam asks if anyone knows any good movies and Norm remarks "what about that Australian film" and she replies with "no Australian films I hate subtitles" .

Also it's interesting how Norm and Cliff don't really seem like the buddies they'd eventually become in the later years. I suppose because he wasn't considered a full character in the first season and was just credited as a guest star he had a smaller role.

Coach giving Leo "advice" without really doing anything and being so proud of himself afterwards even though he didn't really give advice made me laugh too.

Sam's whole spiel at the end of the episode about the color of Diane's eyes and how she fell for it but he thought she was too smart to see past what he was doing .
Old 12-31-12, 12:36 AM
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Re: Cheers Viewing Club: Season 1 Discussion

Sam at Eleven

Harry's here! Great to see his cons, and only one dollar for a beer?!

Coach's super serious face and mannerisms during the broadcast was the best.


"For a good time call Norm" is written on the chalkboard in the poolroom!

Really liked the final conversation in the poolroom between Sam and Diane.

Great final shot going into the main bar. We don't see too much of those.

Tried to see what the exact book that Diane was reading is. Couldn't track it down, but the painting is A Girl with a Watering Can

Last edited by bluetoast; 12-31-12 at 01:24 AM.
Old 12-31-12, 12:38 AM
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Re: Cheers Viewing Club: Season 1 Discussion

Originally Posted by Mike86 View Post
Episode 2: Sam's Women: Norm lighting the cigarette for the bar patron and almost forgetting to put out the lighter before putting it back in his pocket was a funny little gag.
Totally didn't notice that part, I'm gonna have to check that scene again! And yeah that last bit with the eyes was really well done.
Old 12-31-12, 12:45 AM
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Re: Cheers Viewing Club: Season 1 Discussion

Episode 3: The Torelli Tort: Yup this does seem like the episode where Carla's mean streak appears a bit. Not quite the smart ass Carla we get in the later years and she's still pretty nice to Diane for the most part but definitely beginning to develop a bit of her attitude. The whole bar mocking her when she declares to no longer be a Red Sox fan after they lost was pretty good.

The patron who celebrates whenever one of his siblings dies .

Also the ending was pretty funny where Carla is talking about how her anger is under control yet throws the beer at Cliff in the poolroom when he asks where the beer he ordered is.

Originally Posted by bluetoast View Post
While watching, I found myself no longer taking notes but I was just engrossed in the episode. Man this show is good.
I found myself doing the same with this episode. I wanted to comment a bit more on it but I mostly watched it instead of writing down parts I liked. Good episode.
Old 12-31-12, 04:43 AM
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Re: Cheers Viewing Club: Season 1 Discussion

Here are the actors ages at the start of the series:

Shelly Long: Born '49, ~ 33 years old
Rhea Perlman & George Wendt: Born '48, ~ 34 years old
Ted Danson and John Ratzenberger: Born '47, ~ 35 years old
Nicholas Colasanto (Coach): Born '25, ~ 57 years old

And I thought that Carla's character was a bit over the top, but I'll get used to it. The rest of the characters were great and as I remember them.
Old 12-31-12, 06:56 AM
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Re: Cheers Viewing Club: Season 1 Discussion

Sam's Women

Great episode setting up the series long battle of intelligent vs. dumb women in Sam's life. The highlight of the episode is definitely Sam's long piece about Diane's eye color. Both Danson and Long's reactions at the end were magnificent.

Interesting to see the pool room this early in the series' run. I always felt it was an underutilized set.

Originally Posted by Mike86 View Post
Also it's interesting how Norm and Cliff don't really seem like the buddies they'd eventually become in the later years. I suppose because he wasn't considered a full character in the first season and was just credited as a guest star he had a smaller role.
Yeah, I know he didn't have a name in the first episode and I still don't think they referred to him as Cliff in this one either.

Originally Posted by bluetoast View Post
Sam's Women
  • Norm...aren't you married? What's with trying to get with the lady?
  • Cliff is freaking thin, and has more of an accent.
I didn't enjoy seeing Norm chasing tail either. Even by Ep.2 they had established he was married, so it definitely felt out of place.

I too noticed how thin Ratzenberger is. It kinda takes away from the dorky postman persona they eventually give him. I do recall his voice/delivery changing over the years.
Old 12-31-12, 12:02 PM
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Re: Cheers Viewing Club: Season 1 Discussion

The Tortelli Tort

- Starts out with a extremely rare shot from the backside of the bar. Kinda cool.
- the "Norm-isms" in these first few episods are really lacking.
- Norm's accent seemed to disappear last episode but is back here. Weird.

Couple classic bits in this one that always showed up in clip shows. Carla jumping on Big Ed's back and banging his head into the bar, then Coach being proud of his HBP record and subsequent example given to Diane.

Originally Posted by bluetoast View Post
[B]
  • The old guy said 'Superstation!' Don't hear that used anymore either. These early episodes really are all about the customers. Looking at IMDB, that guy, John Fielder also voiced Piglet until his death in 2005. As an aside, the current voice is Travis Oates, ex-host of the ex-show Arena on the ex-channel, G4, if any of you caught that back in 2002-2003 or so.
  • Ron Karabatsos (Ed) died earlier this year. Looking at his credits he was on an episode of The Wayans Brothers show. What a coincidence (though Keenan wasn't on that). Definitely reminded me of Lou Albano, and apparently he was a wrestler. So it fits!
  • Rex Ryon, who plays the Bruin at the end of the episode also had a notable role in Beverly Hills Cop as the security guard who offers Foley a match in the warehouse. He is also no longer living.
Interesting stuff. Keep 'em coming in future episodes.

I would have assmed that Rex Ryon was a real Bruin given future sports stars that stop by the bar throughout the years. I wonder if they reached out to any real Bruins at the time and got shot down, or if they just chose an actor from the outset.
Old 12-31-12, 03:23 PM
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Re: Cheers Viewing Club: Season 1 Discussion

I outta slow down!

The Coach's Daughter:

The laughter was lifted out of the office scene according to Ken Levine. Also that's the first appearance of Sam's office, also with different camera angles, although not as rare as say, going behind the bar. That was probably the most serious moment in the series thus far, very well done.

Here are Ken's thoughts on the episode, including the casting of Roy.

http://kenlevine.blogspot.com/2011/0...on-cheers.html

Not too many tidbits this time:

Allyce Beasley (Lisa) was married to Vincent Schiavelli for a time. Also the writer for this episode was a writer on Taxi, on which Schiavelli appeared as Latka's Reverend.
Old 12-31-12, 04:16 PM
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Re: Cheers Viewing Club: Season 1 Discussion

Wonderful thoughts coming in so far. I just watched GIVE ME A RING SOMETIME and laughed out loud so much. It is probably the episode I've seen the most often but it is still really funny every time. It is one of those pilots that really sets up the characters and context well whilst also being very funny at the same time, not many shows manage that.
Old 12-31-12, 06:26 PM
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Re: Cheers Viewing Club: Season 1 Discussion

Just reading everyone's comments us getting me excited to start watching these!

Will start tomorrow since tonight is mostly NYE viewing.

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