Long before Lost, there was a series about the connections among a group of unrelated people on an island. This island just happened to have stools around it and an alcoholic ex-pitcher pulling beers in the middle of it. Cheers‘ setting—not home, not an office—set it at the margins of its characters’ lives; a bar is where you go to get away from the big events of your life, not live them out. That meant that Cheers was free to find humor in the little things—Cliff’s obsession with trivia, Norm’s greetings, Carla’s insults. And the one big thing driving the show’s early years, Sam and Diane’s bickering romance, was a rare will-they-won’t-they-oh-they-just-did storyline that didn’t disappoint. Cheers was playful, urbane and bracing as a tall cold one.
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