CHEERS Season 1, episode 14: "Let Me Count the Ways"
Hosted by Ryan Daly with special guest Mike Gillis from Radio vs. the Martians.
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3 responses to “Cheers Cast 1.14: Let Me Count the Ways”
When I do my occasional Cheers rewatch, this is the only episode that I generally skip. Shelley Long’s performance is so raw and perfect that I simply find it too painful to watch. I almost skipped this podcast because I didn’t want to relive it.
But I persevered, and as usual Mike was a great guest. The show was never afraid to show that Diane had feet of clay, but as Mike mentioned this time it is firmly on her side–she’s completely justified feeling the way she does, and the bar just isn’t up to the task of comforting her. Sam, in another moment of him trying to be a better person, at least makes an effort. Diane’s feeling of guilt is palpable and true, hats off to Heide Perlman for finding the right way to convey this difficult moment with true feeling and never going for an easy laugh.
This episode reminds me of something I have always wondered about sitcoms shot in front of an audience. Occasionally Cheers would get “serious” or sometimes just very quiet, and often that makes people uncomfortable. You can hear an audience member laugh inappropriately during the clip played, and I wonder, did the producers worry some idiot might ruin the moment by yelling or laughing at the wrong time? Did they ever re-shoot because of this? This will come up again in SSN 3, as well.
Fine show, gentlemen, even if it was a little painful to revisit this episode at all.
The always astute Mike Gillis mentioned my stand-out moment, the genuine look of concern on Carla’s face when Diane hung up the phone. Of course the story about how Diane’s cat saved her life is great too, and extremely relatable (sniff).
As for Mike mentioning he would love Carla’s job security, let me tell you it can be as much a curse as it is a boon. I once “enjoyed” such security, and no matter what I said, I could not be fired, no matter how much I wanted it. I ended up quitting that job. Hopefully, Carla is happier at Cheers than I was there.
Another of my stand-out Cheers episodes. I’m a lifelong pet owner, and I was on Diane’s side even when this originally aired. I kind of understood the bar gang’s attitude towards pets, but wholly disagreed with it, and didn’t really think it was appropriate for the times.
Shelley’s performance was simply stellar. That final look of misery at the end, I’m with you Ryan, I’d have to hug her right then and there. Ted also gets plenty of credit for that scene. He nailed showing Sam “getting” Diane’s grief, without going over the top. Mike’s take was spot on: this cast were all fantastic. This episode showed that amply.