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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Cheers - The Complete Fifth Season
Cheers - The Complete Fifth Season
Paramount // Unrated // May 17, 2005
List Price: $38.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Jeffrey Robinson | posted May 17, 2005 | E-mail the Author
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The Fifth Season

Cheers is a popular sitcom about the employees and patrons of a Boston bar called Cheers. The show ran for eleven seasons and was also the foundation for the popular series Frasier. Cheers is without a doubt, a solid comedy. The show has some very wonderful characters and plenty of funny stories to tell. For more details about this series, please refer to my reviews of season three and season four.

In the world of Cheers, season five is a big deal. Quite a lot happens in this season, which not only affects Cheers, but also sets a multitude of jokes for the spin-off series Frasier. The big event of this season is the departure of Diane. It is her last season on cast. In season six, she gets replaced by Rebecca Howe (Kirstie Alley). I personally thought the way she was written out of the season was the worst part of the season, which in itself isn't too bad. The entire season built up a great story with Sam and Diane engaged and in the season finale, their relationship and Diane's departure seemed to go off without much thought. Up until the season finale, I think the season was very strong.

What works about it is the long running story about how neurotic Sam and Diane's relationship is. To begin with, they two are distinct opposites and their personalities have always clash. We have seen this in earlier seasons as they have dated on and off again. In this season, their relationship is quite odd. In the first episode Sam proposes to Diane after she agrees to say yes. To his dismay, she has a change of heart. After the rejection, Sam has a change of heart too. Of course, Diane changed her mind once again and is convinced Sam and she should be betrothed. This odd one-way relationship makes for some funny episodes as Diane tries to convince Sam that he loves her. As their relationship develops, so do the jokes surrounding them getting back together. It is a real strong part of the season. Unfortunately, as earlier mentioned, the story arc comes to a halt in the last episode and I felt somewhat deprived of the way Diane left the series.

Another important event surrounds my favorite character Frasier Crane. In season four Bebe Neuwirth as Lilith Sternin (Frasier's bride to be!) made her first appearance on the show, but it was not until season five that she and Frasier hit it off. There are a few funny episodes in this season where the romance of Crane and Sternin begin. It is most definitely worth some laughs. Throughout the rest of the series and Frasier, this one relationship adds a nice touch of comedy.

In the transition from season three to season four, a new character was introduced. Woody replaced Coach and in season four Woody did not seem to fit in completely. However, in this season he seems to flow with the other characters as if he had always been there. His role works a lot better and his oblivious to the obvious personality adds some great character and lots of laughs.

The other characters get involved in some very fun situations. In "Norm's First Hurrah", Norm gets a new job, but it isn't as glamorous as he told everyone at Cheers and the truth gets revealed when Diane sticks her big nose in his business. Carla has a couple of good stories in this season. In "House of Horrors With Formal Dining and Used Brick", Carla gets a great deal on a house, but her superstitious nature stops her from moving in. The episode features something you don't see everyday, Clara and Cliff bonding. The episode also sets up another great episode, "Thanksgiving Orphans", which appears later in the season. It features a brief glimpse of Norm's mythical wife Vera! In "Dog Bites Cliff", Cliff gets a chance to shine. In the episode he gets played by a beautiful woman who is using her sex appeal to get him to drop a lawsuit. The last character, Woody, gets a couple good episodes. In "The Godfather, Part III" he and Coach's niece hit it off and their relationship leaves Sam in a world of trouble. Another great episode is "Cheers: The Motion Picture". The entire cast bands together to make a video for Woody's parents about how wonderful life is in Boston. His father wants him to return to Indiana, where it's safe. Diane and Sam have very different opinions on who to direct the movie.

Overall, this season is filled with plenty of great episodes, which revolve around the hilarious lives of the wonderful cast. As well, there are some pretty important events to the development of this show and its characters. I think this season was a huge improvement over season four, and while I was sad to see Diane go, I still really enjoyed season five. There are really some great moments in Cheers history and this season release is solid entertainment.

Episode Guide
1. The Proposal
2. The Cape Cad
3. Money Dearest
4. Abnormal Psychology
5. House Of Horrors With Formal Dining And Used Brick
6. Tan N' Wash
7. Young Dr. Weinstein
8. Knights Of the Scimitar
9. Thanksgiving Orphans
10. Everyone Imitates Art
11. The Book Of Samuel
12. Dance, Diane, Dance
13. Chambers Vs. Malone
14. Diamond Sam
15. Spellbound
16. Never Love A Goalie Part 1
17. Never Love A Goalie Part 2
18. One Last Fling
19. Dog Bites Cliff
20. Dinner At Eight-ish
21. Simon Says
22. The Godfather, Part III
23. Norm's First Hurrah
24. Cheers: The Motion Picture
25. A House Is Not A Home
26. I Do And Adieu

The DVD

Video:
This DVD release is presented in its original television aspect ratio 1.33:1 full frame color. The quality isn't top notch. The picture looks a little dirty, with a trace of grain. This isn't a problem associated with video compression, but more or less, it is due to the transfer's source medium. Overall, the quality isn't great, but it still shouldn't ruin your viewing experience. Considering its age, it does look quite good.

Audio:
This DVD release is provided with a very standard audio track, English 2.0 Dolby digital stereo sound. The quality is fairly good, providing the show with a relatively clear and crisp audio track. The audio is very flat, but that is mainly due to content, as the majority of the show is spoken dialogue. Overall, it is more than adequate for this presentation. This release also supports closed-captioning.

Extras:
The first three season DVD releases included extras, nothing too fancy. However, this season (like season four) have no extras included.

Final Thoughts:
Cheers is really one of those great television sitcoms. The cast is very likeable and generally their interactions and daily lives lead to some hilarious situations. The fifth season continues the tradition and proves to be one of many very strong seasons for the series. I really enjoyed getting to watch this season. I think getting to watch Sam and Diane fall in and out of love was great and seeing the sparks fly between Frasier and Lilith were absolutely priceless. Overall, this season is very strong and if you are looking for some solid entertainment, it is right here.

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