The Sixth 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, season four, and season five.
In the very beginning of this season, Cheers isn't quite Cheers. There was a big change that you the viewer do not get to see between the season transition. What you may ask? In season five, Sam and Diane's relationship was heading towards marriage. They were soon to be wedded, but at the last minute, Diane broke off the engagement. She decided to leave Sam to write a book with a former professor. Outraged, lost, and confused, Sam sold Cheers to a corporation. With that said, season six starts off with no Sam and Cheers being run by a corporate hussy named Rebecca Howe (Kirstie Alley). Howe is the replacement character to play across Sam, as did Diane, of course in a slightly different manner.
In the first episode we learn that Sam went to sail around the world, but crashed his boat on a reef somewhere in the Caribbean. Without a boat or money, Sam returns to Cheers in hope to get a job as a bartender. To his dismay, he finds Cheers is not quite Cheers. Howe runs the bar completely different, the decor, the customers, and even the employees! At first Howe refuses to hire Sam back, but he manages to find his way on staff at the cost of Woody! Fortunately with the help of his old Cheers buddies, Sam is able to keep Woody on staff and get rid of the new guy Wayne.
Afterward the first episode, Cheers once again becomes Cheers. The same familiar faces start returning to the bar, the same kinds of jokes are made, and the goofy stories continue. Although it still comes with the change of Diane to Rebecca and a fair amount of the stories revolve around her. From the get go, the new character is an interesting addition. In a way Rebecca is a lot like Diane. Both can be very aggressive and straightforward. They also share a neurotic behavior that makes them fun in various situations. The major difference between the roles is their actual roles in the bar. Diane didn't have the same power and authority Rebecca has. Rebecca is also slightly more aggressive and as the boss, she takes a no bull attitude. She's not afraid to butt heads with Sam, Carla, or anyone else she needs to. But we do find out there is a softer side to her. Either way, Rebecca works with the cast. I thought her integration into the series went a lot better than Woody in season four. She has great chemistry with Sam, Carla, Woody, Norm, Cliff, and Frasier.
Other reoccurring stories/jokes involving Rebecca are about romance. Rebecca is the new love interest for Sam. Throughout the season, he repeatedly tries to woe her and is never quite as successful as he was with Diane. One of the reasons is that she's swoon herself. Her boss Evan Drake is the man she wants to be with. On more than one occasion she tries her hardest to get closer to him. There are several episodes that lead all the way to the season finale.
My favorite story this season continues from season five. It is the story about Frasier and Lilith dating and living together. Near the beginning of the season it leads to a funny episode "The Crane Mutiny", where something pretty important happens for both the fans of Cheers and Frasier. Lilith and Frasier get engaged and continue upon a course that will generate some very sticky (and hilarious) situations for both series. The reason I like seeing these two together is that they have an unruly chemistry. When they get together, the resulting situations are always worth a few laughs.
For outright fun episodes, this season has quite a few. One of my favorite's from this season is the second episode, "I on Sports". In this very comical episode, Sam's buddy Dave Richards gets Sam a temporary job as a sports broadcaster. What makes this episode funny is that you'd think Sam Malone as former professional baseball player would make a great sports broadcaster. Of course when it comes down to it, Sam stinks. He tries to hard on the air and really never finds his niche. "Bidding on the Boys" is another fun episodes where Sam and Woody offer their companionship in a charity auction. As we all know in the world sitcoms, this always means the characters get bid on by someone they don't want. How this timely tale is handled by the Cheers is a blast.
Another entertaining episode included the two-part story "Little Carla, Happy at Last" where Carla and Eddie LeBec (her love interest from season five) get married. What makes this a funny episode is how the wedding unfolds. The two are both very superstitious and one too many bad omens happen which cause the two to want to back out of the wedding. "And God Created Woodman" is another entertaining episode. In it Rebecca breaks a vase at a company party and Woody, in an act of chivalry, takes the blame. He ends up good friends with Rebecca's boss Evan Drake and the target of Rebecca's jealousy and envy.
Overall season six of Cheers offers twenty-five delightful episodes that will leave you laughing and savoring every second of it. This season marks several important changes for the series' cast. It is a must for fans of the series. A new character, Rebecca Howe, is integrated in the cast and she plays a big role in this and future seasons. The stories about her are generally funny and she quickly finds a niche with the cast and has some great chemistry with the other cast members. The other stories build upon some great jokes and shouldn't fail to make you laugh. Highly recommended.
1. Home Is The Sailor
2. "I" On Sports
3. Little Carla, Happy At Last - Part 1
4. Little Carla, Happy At Last - Part 2
5. The Crane Mutiny
6. Paint Your Office
7. Last Angry Mailman
8. Bidding On The Boys
9. Pudd'nhead Boyd
10. A Kiss Is Still A Kiss
11. My Fair Clavin
12. Christmas Cheers
13. Woody For Hire Meets Norman Of The Apes
14. And God Created Woodman
15. Tale Of Two Cities
16. Yacht Of Fools
17. To All The Girls I've Loved Before
18. Let Sleeping Drakes Lie
19. Airport V
20. The Same In The Gray Flannel Suit
21. Our Hourly Bread
22. Slumber Party Massacred
23. The Bar Wars
24. The Big Kiss-Off
25. Back Seat Becky, Up Front
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.
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.
There are no extras included with this DVD release.
This season of Cheers saw some pretty big moments for the cast. Sam after selling Cheers returns without anything and takes a job as 'just' a bartender. A new character, Rebecca Howe, joins the cast and replaces Diane Chambers and the two are almost equally neurotic. Rebecca fits into the cast with ease and soon it's hard to tell she wasn't there before. Carla ties the knot with Eddie LeBec. Most importantly, my favorite character Frasier gets engaged with Lilith. This one event produces some great jokes for later episodes in Cheers and throughout the entire series of the spin-off show Frasier. Overall, a lot of great things happen to the cast and the twenty-five episodes are a riot filled with nonstop slapstick sitcom fun. Highly recommended.