Cheers Cast 5.05: House of Horrors with Formal Dining and Used Brick

CHEERS Season 5, episode 5: “House of Horrors with Formal Dining and Used Brick”

Hosted by Ryan Daly with special guests Siskoid from the Fire and Water Network.

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4 responses to “Cheers Cast 5.05: House of Horrors with Formal Dining and Used Brick

  1. I enjoy the main focus of this episode on Carla, Cliff, and Norm in lieu of Sam and Diane, who remain stuck in their excruciating ongoing plot about Diane pursuing Sam. I suspect this episode might be the first time we get an extended scene away from the bar without either Sam or Diane being there. Basically, the final third of the episode is set in Carla’s house with only Carla, Cliff, and Norm involved. I found that a refreshing change of pace.

    As you noted, Carla and Cliff seem to make headway in improving their relationship but then it will all be forgotten by the next episode. It sort of reminds me of the recent discussion on M*A*S*HCast about the fifth season episode “Margaret’s Engagement,” in which Frank Burns shows some rare glimpses of humanity when talking to his mother and even starts to get along with Hawkeye and BJ, but then by the next episode, we are back to the “factory preset” as a villainous buffoon. Here, Carla and Cliff apparently have to remain at odds throughout the series (and even into their guest appearances in season nine of Frasier when Carla goes so far as to lunge for a spear gun).

    By the way, I watched this episode on Hulu, and I think the music that is playing when Cliff and Carla are dancing must have been changed from the original airing because it doesn’t sound to me like music that would have been played in 1986 on a top comedy series. My guess is it’s a rights issue so that they substituted some other song in. I think the first time I saw this episode was in syndication in the early 90s, but I don’t recall what song was used. Another example of this is in a later episode in season nine they substitute in some no-name song for “I fought the law” when Sam is taunting Rebecca about Robin being in prison.

  2. By listening to various F & W podcasts, I have heard much about Siskoid’s early years. He seems to have found a non-linear way to use this medium as a form of auto-biography. I love it!
    Ryan, I listen to every Cheers Cast, even though I don’t tell you. I don’t recall seeing any of these episodes, but I do remember watching the season finale. However, I seem to recall discussions with my sister and others about the fate of Sam and Diane. At the macro level, that topic was a part of the contemporaneous pop culture for almost five years. (I’ve been wanting to ask you, do you know the Bloom County strip where Opus laments, “What’s worse, this is Thursday which means I’m missing Cheers!” to which Cutter John responds by producing a small TV and saying, “Whoa, we’re not savages here!”)
    Almost every time just the reading of a well-crafted Cheers joke on the podcast makes me laugh out loud. “Do you have a dress? What’s the occasion?” got me this time.

    Regarding Diane’s motivation/behavior this season: Given the personnel challenges facing the writing staff, and from the perspective of one who has not watched these episodes, just listened to Cheers Cast, I can justify Diane. Diane hates to be wrong. Often she cannot be wrong, or she must not be wrong. If she has decided that she and Sam will be wed, then she is right, regardless of what Sam thinks. Sam hates for Diane to be right and will do what he can to prove her wrong (i.e. breaking a date in this episode). Diane’s confidence in her intelligence allows her to think of the marriage as inevitable and as predictable as Norm having another beer. (Her previous engagements, as well as her previous predictions are either conveniently ignored or are someone else’s fault.)
    Every episode may be someone’s first, and, based on what this podcast tells me, the producers have been consistent with letting the audience know: Diane wants to marry Sam; Sam does not want to marry Diane; they are both immensely sexually attracted to each other.

    Regarding Carla’s house; it must be in East Boston. Most of Boston’s Logan Airport is built on fill in Boston Harbor. There is a neighborhood not even a couple of hundred yards away across the water from some runways. One expects that the ubiquity of airplane traffic is rather like the elevated train track next to Elwood Blue’s room in “Blues Brothers”. “Do trains go by often?” “So often, you don’ even notice.”

  3. I love the rare for a sitcom at the time continuity development with Carla’s house. In a lot of cases any sort of prosperity is usually undone by episode’s end (the long-lost great aunt or uncle’s inheritance that falls through your fingers at the last minute for example) so it’s nice that Carla get s a win and we continue to see her house through the rest of the series.

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