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The Classic Sitcoms Guide to...
Season Two: 1983-84

SEASON ONE: 1982-83
SEASON TWO: 1983-84
SEASON FOUR: 1985-86
SEASON FIVE: 1986-87
SEASON SIX: 1987-88
SEASON NINE: 1990-91
SEASON TEN: 1991-92

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"Cheers" on Video or DVD


Year-End Rating: 16.6 (34th place)

Sam and Diane's well-contained passion finally bubbles to the surface when the pair form a tentative romantic alliance during the second season. Once again, the producers are Glen Charles, James Burrows, and Les Charles. The second-year story editors are David Angell and Heide Perlman. David Lloyd serves as executive script consultant, a function he will serve throughout most of the show's remaining seasons.

23 Power Play    First Aired: September 29, 1983
Writers: Glen Charles, Les Charles
Director:James Burrows
Guest Stars: Alan Koss, Paul Vaughn

The gang at Cheers doesn't hold much hope for Sam and Diane's newly blossomed romance after Sam returns to Cheers early on the night of their first date.

"You've made my life a living hell," Sam complains, brushing aside the stuffed toys that litter the scene of their intended carnal pleasure. "I didn't want you to think I was easy," Diane retorts, setting the comic tone for the bumpy romance that ensues throughout the second season. The show's loyal fans were delighted to see Sam and Diane in each other's arms at last, but the couple's petty insecurities and power plays nearly doom the affair before it's begun.

24 Little Sister, Don'tcha    First Aired: October 13, 1983
Writer: Heide Perlman
Director:James Burrows
Guest Stars: Paul Vaughn, Paul Willson, Jerry Prell

Cliff falls for Carla's identical twin, a mousy woman who's actually more like her sister than anyone guesses.

Early on, Coach proclaims Cheers "a romantic bar. As many people fall in love here as get sick." But before the night is over, it's Cliff and Norm who declare their devotion--to each other! After Norm warns Cliff away from Carla's sister, the bewildered postman confesses that Normie is the best friend he's ever had--though the two do stop short of actually hugging. As Cliff points out, it's not like Norm pulled him from a burning car or anything. Rhea Perlman also plays Carla's twin sister, Annette Lozupone.

25 Personal Business    First Aired: October 20, 1983
Writer: Tom Reeder
Director: James Burrows

Norm and Diane each decide to expand their horizons, but for very different reasons.

26 Homicidal Ham    First Aired: October 27, 1983
Writer: David Lloyd
Director:James Burrows
Guest Stars: Severn Darden, Derek McGrath, Paul Vaughn, Alan Koss

Andy Andy returns to Cheers with a new career goal--he wants to be an actor.

Diane's criminally maladjusted blind date is up to his old tricks when he performs a strikingly realistic interpretation of the murder scene from Othello, with Diane as his unsuspecting Desdemona.

27 Sumner's Return    First Aired: November 3, 1983
Writer: Michael J. Weithorn
Director: James Burrows
Guest Star: Michael McGuire

To compete with Diane's brainy former beau, Sam tries to finish War and Peace in five days.

28 Affairs of the Heart    First Aired: November 10, 1983
Writer: Heide Perlman
Director: James Burrows
Guest Star: Don Amendolia

Carla rebuffs her latest suitor, convinced that any guy who's interested in her must have something wrong with him.

29 Old Flames    First Aired: November 17, 1983
Writer: David Angell
Director: James Burrows
Guest Stars: Fred Dryer, Elizabeth McIvor

An overbearing sportscaster wagers that he can put an end to Sam and Diane's romance within twenty-four hours.

30 Manager Coach    First Aired: November 24, 1983
Writer: Earl Pomerantz
Director: James Burrows
Guest Stars: Herb Mitchell, Elliott Scott, Corey Feldman, Martin Davis

Coach undergoes a startling personality transformation when he volunteers to manage a Little League team.

31 They Called Me Mayday    First Aired: December 1, 1983
Writer: David Angell
Director:James Burrows
Guest Stars: Dick Cavett, Walter Olkewicz, Ed Quinlan

Dick Cavett inspires Sam to write his memoirs; and Norm fumes when Vera dates his old high-school rival.

Broke, unemployed, and homeless after his separation from Vera, Norm has evolved into an almost heroically pathetic character. At his lowest ebb, he actually takes up full-time residence in his home-away-from-home when he secretly camps out in Sam's office after closing hours.

32 How Do I Love Thee, Let Me Call You Back     First Aired: December 8, 1983
Writer: Earl Pomerantz
Director: James Burrows
Guest Star: Harry Anderson

Diane insists on a week's separation from Sam to allow them both time to reevaluate the depth of their commitment.

33 Just Three Friends    First Aired: December 15, 1983
Writer: David Lloyd
Director: James Burrows
Guest Star: Markie Post

Diane refuses to believe that her best friend finds Sam completely irresistible.

34 Where There's a Will    First Aired: December 22, 1983
Writer: Nick Arnold
Director: James Burrows
Guest Stars: George Gaynes, Alan Koss

The gang at Cheers lifts the gloom of a terminally ill customer, and in return he leaves them $10,000 in a hastily scrawled will.

35 Battle of the Exes    First Aired: January 5, 1984
Writers: Ken Estin, Sam Simon
Director:James Burrows
Guest Stars: Dan Hedaya, Jean Kasem

Carla's insensitive ex-husband invites her to his wedding, which she attends with Sam in tow.

Dan Hedaya gives flesh to the previously only imagined horrors of Carla's ex-husband, Nick Tortelli, who would soon develop semi-regular status in the Cheers cosmos.

36 No Help Wanted    First Aired: January 12, 1984
Writer: Max Tash
Director:James Burrows
Guest Star: Barbra Horan

Feeling sorry for Norm, Sam reluctantly hires the unemployed accountant to do Cheers's income tax return.

37 And Coachie Makes Three    First Aired: January 19, 1984
Writer: Heide Perlman
Director: James Burrows
Guest Star: Eve Roberts

When Coach begins to spend his every waking moment with Sam and Diane, they decide to fix him up with an eligible woman of his own.

38 Cliff's Rocky Moment    First Aired: January 26, 1984
Writer: David Lloyd
Director:James Burrows
Guest Stars: Sam Scarber, Peter Iacangelo

Tired of hearing Cliff's opinions on everything under the sun, a Cheers patron finally challenges the verbose mailman to a fight.

39 Fortune and Men's Weights    First Aired: February 2, 1984
Writer: Heide Perlman
Director: James Burrows
Guest Star: Tim Cunningham

Diane worries that the uncanny predictions of an antique fortune-teller's scale might end the spell--and spell the end--for her and Sam.

The couple convince themselves that their fate rests on the very next card drawn from the fortune-teller's slot, but the cryptic legend reads, "Machine empty. Order more fortunes today." The screen goes black before they have time to comprehend the message, and we are left on our own to ponder their fate--at least for another week.

As the comedy traces the peaks and valleys in the continuing saga of Sam and Diane, their epic courtship begins to take on nearly operatic proportions. The show's creators admit a far greater debt to soap opera than Wagner, but still insist they never planned to carry the romance to such extremes when they started. "Initially there was no master plan," Glen Charles confessed, "but when it began to look like the show might actually stay on the air a second year, we knew we'd have to chart their relationship over a period of time. Now, at the start of every year, we sit down and figure out where we want Sam and Diane to be at the beginning, the middle, and the end of the season."

40 Snow Job    First Aired: February 9, 1984
Writer: David Angell
Director:James Burrows
Guest Star: James Gallery

Cliff is jealous of Norm's new friendship; and Sam concocts a far-fetched story so that he can slip away for a weekend skiing trip in Vermont.

41 Coach Buries a Grudge    First Aired: February 16, 1984
Writer: David Lloyd
Director:James Burrows

Coach mourns the passing of an old friend until he discovers that the cad was once romantically involved with his wife.

42 Norman's Conquest    First Aired: February 23, 1984
Writer: Lissa Levin
Director: James Burrows
Guest Star: Anne Schedeen

The guys egg Norm into making a play for an attractive woman who's hired him to audit her books.

43 I'll Be Seeing You (Part 1)    First Aired: May 3, 1984
Writers: Glen Charles, Les Charles
Director:James Burrows
Guest Stars: Christopher Lloyd, Steve Giannelli

A temperamental artist offers to paint Diane's portrait, convinced that he can reveal the inner turmoil that Sam has inflicted on her soul.

Christopher Lloyd, late of Taxi, plays Philip Semenko, the haughty painter who comes between Sam and Diane.

44 I'll Be Seeing You (Part 2)    First Aired: May 10, 1984
Writers: Glen Charles, Les Charles
Director: James Burrows
Guest Star: Christopher Lloyd

Diane jeopardizes her relationship with Sam when she poses for a portrait against his express wishes.

Once again, the Charles brothers script a darkly funny season finale. This one ends with the lovers pitched in a nose-pulling, slapstick standoff that's as harrowing as it is hilarious. "This is it!" Diane declares in comic desperation. "We have sunk as low as two human beings can sink. There is no degradation left!" Only after she's stormed out of Cheers for good does Sam allow himself to be taken in by the fragile melancholy of her oil portrait. In the episode's final, sad moment, the barman--who rebelled so violently against Diane's cultural superiority--now finds his only solace in the quiet appreciation of a work of art.


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