“The place where everybody knows your name.”
To date, this is one of the two television series that I have watched in its entirety– I never missed a single episode (for the curious, the other is Glee). I am the proud owner of all eleven seasons of Cheers. I plan to keep the discs forever in hopes that my children will one day stumble across them and feel compelled to watch this fantastic show. The plot follows retired Red Sox pitcher Sam Malone as he takes on the task of opening and managing a bar. He acquires a little hole-in-the-wall pub located in downtown Boston and names it “Cheers.” He employs the absolute wackiest people to work at his bar. The staff includes an ill-tempered barista named Carla, a down-home country boy from Indiana named Woody, his old coach from his baseball days (cleverly named “Coach”. and the neurotic, but lovable, Diane Chambers. Along with following the lives of the bar staff, there are a few bar regulars that work their way into the mix and become part of the bar family. Viewers are swept up into a world of bar humor, humiliating situations, and are even in for a few serious and heartwarming moments as love blossoms within the group of bar inhabitants. Ted Danson, Woody Harrelson, Shelley Long, Rhea Perlman, John Ratzenberger. George Wendt, Kirstie Alley, and Kelsey Grammar are among the most notable cast members.
WHY I CONSIDER THIS TO BE “FEEL-GOOD”
Imagine, if you will, walking into a room filled with your most favorite friends and family. When you walk through the door, everyone turns and with a smile on their face, shouts your name in a heartfelt, welcoming manner. This is the reality of one of the characters on Cheers. The show does a great job of highlighting the importance of security and sense-of-belonging among peers. Many of the characters remain unaware that they have all made friendships with one another until something happens and they come to lean and depend on everyone else around them. Though I may have missed it when I began watching the series as a ten-year-old, I now realize that the “take-away” that the writers of Cheers wanted most to convey is the idea that it isn’t necessarily the PLACE that makes you feel at home; rather, you feel most at home when you are surrounded by the people that you love (and that love you). After the characters experience a terrible day at work or a nasty break-up, they go to the bar in order that they may share in jokes and laugh with the people that have become family.
Superficially, this show seems to exist only to inspire laughter for those who are overly-sarcastic and appreciate witty banter, but to those who like to dig a bit deeper, there is definite substance to be found. When I watch the show, I feel as if I am a part of their little bar family. I love watching this show because it reminds me that I have my own “Cheers” crew. I have those whom I turn to when I need to be uplifted or encouraged. I called my friend the other day and my first words to her were literally “I just needed something to laugh about today,” and in a matter of seconds, I was clenching my stomach in pain due to an excess amount of my favorite kind of laughter: belly laughter.
We all need a place “where everybody knows our name” and if we cannot physically be with the people whom we love most, spending an evening hanging out with the gang at Cheers is definitely a close second.
Love and light to all! –EK ❤