While I wasn’t even born when Cheers debuted (and only six when it went off the air), I have fleeting memories of watching the show as a kid on the TV in the upstairs hallway. It was a small set, but I can clearly remember watching both Cheers and Wings on occasion. Sure, I may not have known what I was laughing at, but my brother and sister were laughing at it, so I had no choice but to join in on the fun. Later, when Cheers landed on TV Land I began watching it again, now older and capable of understanding the jokes, rather than nodding stupidly (though, seeing as I watched the show later at night, I may have done that on occasion from lack of sleep), I began to really appreciate what Cheers was. With eleven seasons to catch up on, I knew I’d be watching the series for a long time and with such an eclectic group of characters, I couldn’t think of a better way to spend countless hours in front of the TV.
With another twenty five episodes comprising this next-to-last season of the now famous show, Cheers eleventh season contained some real highlights for the series. While it’s easy to say that each season has some of the “greatest” in all of the series, in the case of this season the two-part finale for this tenth season really was some of the best writing and humor ever done for the show and to this day remains one of my families favorite episodes of the series. With an equal smattering of great episodes throughout the season, Cheers tenth season brought about an all new Bar Wars and also the disappearance of Sam’s beloved Corvette.
For comedies, it’s hard to consistently write something different about them with each season. Especially shows like Cheers, if you’ve reviewed one season, it’s kind of difficult to continue with a different train of thought for the next season. This is difficult because unlike a lot of modern shows, Cheers doesn’t switch up gears quite so much as other shows. There was a few season cliffhangers and when Sam lost the bar it changed things around, but for the most part the romance between characters was an on-going thing and not something that switched gears as much, say, Friends. With Cheers you always knew you were in for a good time and the playful banter between the two main characters played by Ted Danson and Kirstie Alley, you always knew what to expect. It may sound predictable, but akin to the theme song of the show, Cheers really is like home (“where everybody knows your name”—in case you didn’t know where I was going with the theme analogy).
It seems that TV Land likes to air the later seasons of Cheers more often than the earliest, as I started to watch this tenth season and unlike the previous season where there were a few episodes I hadn’t seen, this one I remembered each and every one of them. Not to say the season was any less of a joy to watch; the “Bar Wars” episode especially is wonderful to watch as it mixes in a bit of dark humor into the show that we didn’t see too often. “No Rest for the Woody” is another fantastic episode where Woody (Woody Harrelson) becomes overly tired from his night job as a grave digger and ends up making a fool of himself in front of his fiancé-to-be’s grandmother.
Of course the majority of the season is hilarious to watch but it’s the two-part finale “An Old Fashioned Wedding” that stands out to me. While the show has always been smartly written, the writers really went all out on these final episodes of the season, throwing in a myriad of sight and physical gags as well as plenty of the sarcastic and biting humor that the show was so famous for. It’s an absolutely perfect episode, in my opinion, of the show and the fact it stretches over two episodes doesn’t hinder it one bit. It’s a truly fantastic example of just what this show can offer.
Overall the tenth season of Cheers remains strong as ever and with only one season left to hit DVD, fans will soon find their collection complete. Highly Recommended.
Like the season before it, Cheers arrives in a standard size amaray DVD case that houses the four discs for the set. There’s nothing on the reverse side of the insert, which makes the use of a clear case a bit strange and the accompanying gray wash disc art makes for an incredibly boring interior for the set. The menus are simple and easy to navigate and the accompanying video transfer for the set is of the same quality as the past seasons. A solid 4:3 video transfer without any real signs of compression and the usual amount of grain accompany the transfer, making for a nice picture all around. Nothing that will astound you, although considering the shows age, it might. The English Stereo track is clean and free of distortion and I didn’t notice any serious cases of any background hiss or anything interfering with the characters dialogue.
And the extras…once again, nothing. While I’ve no doubt fans appreciate the series just being put on DVD, the complete lack of extras is rather bewildering for a show as popular as Cheers. Here’s hoping the final season, whenever it gets released, at least has some kind of retrospective documentary of some sort.
Overall a solid set comprised of twenty-five episodes, many of which have their fair share of fans themselves. It’s another great season (when wasn’t there a great season for this show?) and one I’m sure fans and newcomers alike will eagerly await. I really envy those who are just watching the show for the first time on DVD, as you’re definitely in for a treat. Recommended.
Cheers – Season 10 is now available on DVD.