Cheers Cast 5.23: Norm’s First Hurrah

CHEERS Season 5, episode 23: “Norm's First Hurrah”

Hosted by Ryan Daly with special guest Rick Heinichen from Jeff and Rick Present: Unpacking the Power of Power Pack.

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2 responses to “Cheers Cast 5.23: Norm’s First Hurrah

  1. Not a big fan of this one. The cruelty may be part of it, but there were also some jokes that were hard to hear or felt muddled. I dunno. It often happens that the weakest episodes are at the tail end of a season, just before the finale ramps up.

  2. Great discussion. In some ways this could be seen as a rather forgettable run-of-the-mill Norm-centric episode. Once again we see his bad luck and his lack of motivation in his career.

    Yet at the same time I have to say this episode always stayed in my memory, even after I hadn’t seen it for many years. There are many unique aspects of this episode, including: (1) the set for Norm’s office area (which as you note may be a result of the show having more money), (2) seeing all the regular characters—except for Sam—together at a location away from the bar, and (3) Diane essentially playing what is usually Sam’s role of providing guidance to another character, in this case Norm.

    What really strikes me about this episode is it shows what a good person Diane is. She sincerely wants to help Norm, even if her advice is ultimately not that helpful. She and Norm really formed a bond in this episode. But sadly this is pretty much the last we will see of that friendship. Diane’s time on the show is nearing an end. (And strangely when she comes back in the final episode, Norm never says one word to her. Diane briefly goes to say hi to Norm and Cliff, but only Cliff speaks to her.)

    Like you I wonder if Diane could have stayed on the show by playing the type of role she did in this episode, even if she and Sam were happily married. I guess that was not to be for a multitude of reasons. The fresh change of direction after five years of the on-again off-again Sam-Diane romance ultimately fueled the show’s longevity. But Shelly Long was so great in the role that it is fun to wonder what might have been.

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