Thursday, May 7, 2009

Bring back 'Cheers'

I'll have to admit when 'Cheers' premiered  on September 30, 1982, I was about as far away from an old tavern in Boston both mentally and geographically that a person could possibly be. At fourteen and domiciled  in a seemingly desolate  California desert town, I doubt that I was the targeted audience.  

For me, the only TV that mattered was on MTV.  Do you guys remember that late great network launched on August 1, 1981 before it went to the girls?   So many memories of world premiere videos,  concert dates, cool VJ's living in NYC drinking cheap coffee on an even cheaper set on a Sunday morning.  Let's not forget the mind-numbing videos in which the concept for the video was seemingly created before the song was written.

But I digress.    The Life and times of the original MTV generation is reserved for another post.

Bellying back up to the bar,  I imagine at the time I couldn't conceive why a handful of middle-aged adults would want to spend so much time away from their families in a dreary basement bar consuming spirits and exchanging banter no less.  'Norm' what a slob.  'Cliff' what a know-it-all. 'Diane' what a preppy snob.  'Sam' what a male gigolo.  'Carla' what a pro creator.  'Frazier' put a sock in it!   'Woody' oh woody... someone call the village, your idiot has been found in Beantown.

Over time with the demise of MTV as it was originally intended to be enjoyed by its founding fathers, I began watching 'Cheers' with more regularity.   Some characters left the show while yet others were introduced.  'Lillith" was my favorite newbie...'Rebecca' not so much.   But despite those minor character flaws (alluded to above) in which we all possess, the bar patrons and the employees presented that human need for fellowship.

Sadly, I'm not sure if the networks would consider a sit-com (with laugh tracks) centered in a watering hole.  Not really "PC."   Some schmo with a lisp might say "Oh wow guys, drinking isn't too good for you.  It leads to bad decisions, and goes hand-in-hand with smoking, gambling and prostitution.  I won't even mention those possible chronic ailments including cirrhosis of the liver, and the tremendous potential monetary costs to society."  

Oh please!  We're not romanticizing drinking.  The setting could be at Starbucks or Einstein Bagels.  There is nothing wrong with finding an establishment that "everyone knows your name" or at least in my case they recognize me and remember how I like my java or my bagel prepared.   In these tough economic times, why not extend pleasantries, and build camaraderie everywhere we go.   We could all use a shot of 'Cheers' in our lives.


phd in yogurtry said...

Cheers carried me through a dificult break up. Every evening from 7-8:30 pm I could count on a cup of tea and three Cheers reruns to get me through the night.

msprimadonna67 said...

I loved cheers, too, but was never a big fan of the Rebecca addition. Woody cracked me up every time!

Jay said...

I don't know, it sometimes seems embarrassing when my local bartender has my drink poured before my butt's on the stoole.

Gwen said...

I have to admit that I didn't really watch Cheers growing up. When it debuted I was 7 and didn't really get the jokes. But I've caught a few re-runs and I do love the idea of a show like that. The insular atmosphere of the bar, the comraderie of the patrons. I always like when a bunch of different personalities are thrown together and find their commonalities. Maybe that's why I love The Breakfast Club (which I also didn't see until years after it was introduced).

A Free Man said...

I think you could still get a Cheers tye sit com. It wasn't the fact that it was set in a bar that made it great, it was the writing and acting. There are some shows these days that spend a lot of time in bars - How I Met Your Mother pops to mind.

What prevents a show like Cheers these days is the utter lack of creativity in television. That's why there are so many 'reality' shows. No writing needed!