Cheers versus Frasier

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When I made the decision to watch all the Cheers episodes despite not having any interest in bars or baseball, I was completely hooked in the first season.  I loved the back and forth between Diane and Sam.  They were very strong-willed characters, each trying to capture the essence of what they once were as children, and faced with the reality they were now older and facing adult pressures and expectations.  The show’s success wasn’t only due to the cast and it had an amazing cast, and the story lines were realistic.  The writers were not shy about discussing taboo topics as they sometimes could be in the 1980s.  I would say my favorite characters after Diane and Sam were Cliff, Carla, Coach, and Norm.  After Diane left and Coach died, Rebecca and Woody replaced them along with Frasier, Lilith, and Paul taking on more central roles. Cheers ran from 1982 through 1993 for 11 seasons.  My top picks from each season are the following.

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Season 1 = “Friends, Romans, Accountants” is the 7th episode where Norm throws an office toga party at the bar.

Season 2 = “Manager Coach” is the 8th episode where Coach becomes a ruthless baseball coach to a young baseball team.

Season 3 = “The Mail Goes to Jail” is the 17th episode where Cliff doesn’t rescue Norm when he is arrested for helping him on his mail route. 

Season 4 = “Woody Goes Belly Up” is the 2nd episode where Woody overeats when his high school sweetheart visits.

Season 5 = “The Proposal” is the 1st episode where Sam proposes to Diane on his boat after her insistence he do it properly.

Season 6 = “My Fair Clavin” is the 11th episode where Cliff and his date, Sally, go to the bar so his friends can meet her.

Season 7 = “The Cranemakers” is the 16th episode where the Frasier and Lilith go camping to be one with nature.

Season 8 = “Death Takes a Holiday on Ice” is the 7th episode where Carla learns her husband is dead and has kept a secret from her.

Season 9 = “Rat Girl” is the 1st episode where Lilith finds out her beloved lab rat has been thrown into the garbage.

Season 10 = “An Old-Fashioned Wedding” is the 25th and 26th episode where Woody and Kelly marry at her family’s estate.

Season 11 = “Is There a Doctor in the Howe?” is the 16th episode where Frasier is upset that Lilith has left him for another man.

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Then, I made the decision to watch all the Frasier episodes because how could you not like his character?  I did and was completely hooked in the first season.  Frasier had a pompous attitude, but he was charming as well.  He offered good and bad advice on his radio talk show.  He was the quintessential Freudian therapist complete with the dead mommy and son issues, but also with glaring father and son issues. The character of Lilith was supposed to be an integral part of the series, but Bebe Neuwirth did agree to come back for a handful of episodes.  I can’t put one cast member ahead of another.  They were all equally great.  The relationships between Frasier and Niles, Niles and Daphne, Daphne and Martin, Martin and Eddie couldn’t have been any better.  It was weird to see people who were just breaking into Hollywood as talking extras or had a role for a few episodes.  Frasier ran from 1993 through 2004 for 11 seasons.  My top picks from each season are the following.

Season 1 = “Give Him the Chair!” is the 19th episode where Frasier gets rid of Martin’s chair and replaces it with a new one.

Season 2 = “Breaking the Ice” is the 20th episode where Frasier and Niles compete for Martin’s affection on an ice fishing trip.

Season 3 = “The Adventures of Bad Boy and Dirty Girl” is the 7th episode where Frasier and Kate try to ignore their attraction for each other.

Season 4 = “Ham Radio” is the 18th episode where Frasier stages a radio murder mystery with the help from the whole gang including Niles.

Season 5 = “The Ski Lodge” is the 14th episode where Frasier, Niles, Daphne, Martin, Annie, and Guy go to the ski lodge for a getaway and a love polygon ensues.

Season 6 = “The Seal Who Came to Dinner” is the 8th episode where Niles holds the Gold Apron Award at the clubhouse he once shared with Maris.

Season 7 = “The Cranemakers” is the 16th episode where the Frasier and Lilith go camping to be one with nature.

Season 8 = “Motor Skills” is the 11th episode where Frasier and Niles goes to evening class to learn more about cars and where Martin overextends himself with Roz’s new dog.

Season 9 = “Bla-Z-Boy” is the 7th episode where Martin accidentally spills oil on the carpet, which sends Frasier into a frenzy of revenge.

Season 10 = “Proxy Prexy” is the 3rd episode where Frasier tells Martin to run for President of the Condo Board.

Season 11 = “The Doctor is Out” is the 3rd episode where Frasier follows Roz’s new boyfriend into a gay bar and realizes everyone thinks he is now gay.

*******

After watching Cheers and Frasier, I would say they are pretty neck and neck in terms of story lines and content within each character.  I saw more of the issues play out in person between and among people in Frasier.  Yet, there was more variation in characters with Cheers and I laughed more overall.  When push comes to shove, I conclude that Frasier edges out Cheers by a dog’s hair.

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cwhite2018

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