Episode 9: Coach Returns to Action
Episode 10: Endless Slumper
By: Carlos Uribe
Cheers is a show about a bar called Cheers in Boston.
Coach has always been a funny character on this show. He's already had an episode that had it's focus on him. It's the one that introduced his daughter. “Coach Returns to Action” is the second episode to focus on him. When a new girl moves in next door, Coach is attracted to her. He's just too nervous to ask her out. He doesn't have a high self-esteem and he's never had good experience in picking up women. He recalls his old glory baseball days to Diane, where he would injure himself to gain the sympathy of the women he liked. It always managed to work. He's older now and he doesn't pursue girls as often anymore. When that girl comes to the bar, Diane and Carla have to build up his self-confidence. What doesn't help is that the more charming Sam is constantly hitting on her and getting turned down. When Coach does finally ask her out and she rejects him, he does the only logical thing for him. He purposefully falls down the stairs and “hurts” himself. This gets Nina to go out with him and he's happy.
While the previous episode that focused on him had established how good of a father Coach is, this is an episode that focused more on his charm. He might not have the looks and charisma of Sam, but Coach has a charm of his own. It's not as attractive to women but it's one that is able to work. This episode managed to set down the charm in more definite terms: it's one that is self-deprecating. The only reason that Coach was able to get a dinner date with Nina is because he hurt himself. He not only realizes this but he accepts it. This is an episode that perfectly fits the Coach from previous episodes and manages to expand him a little bit more. He's not just a forgetful former baseball coach who cares a lot, but he's also one whose low self-esteem helps make him likeable and ultimately charming. That the episode is funny is always a good sign. “Coach Returns to Action” may not have the emotional scene that the previous Coach episode did, but it was consistently making me laugh more. It's ultimately a good episode.
The episode “Endless Slumper” takes the idea of a lucky charm and explores it. When a professional baseball player is having trouble, he goes to Sam for some help. Sam tries to give him some advice. One of the funniest parts that Cheers has managed to do is when Diane thinks that Sam has taken her advice and given it to the player. This is funny because the advice that Sam had just given the player was to have sex. Diane came across that she was not only willing to have sex with the player, but that she did it all the time. She even stated that she would do it outside. She had no such intention of procreating with the player. It was a scene that worked really well and it further proves that miscommunication is one of the best ways to get people to laugh-assuming that you can get the set-up right. That scene was simply hilarious and it's the most that I have laughed at this show. It makes perfect sense that soon I would be feeling the most.
That's because the solution that Sam is able to give the player is to have a lucky object. This object happens to be a bottle cap. The player's luck turns around and so does Sam's luck. It gets bad enough for Sam that he gets desperate to have that bottle cap back. When Diane learns that Sam didn't win a single game with that bottle cap, this gets her interested to know why that bottle cap is so important to Sam. The show reveals that the bottle cap has been what has kept Sam from ever drinking a single drop of alcohol. When Sam discovers that the bottle cop is lost, there is a really tense scene where Sam contemplates drinking a beer. Just like Diane, I felt myself hoping that Sam wouldn't drink it. I had no idea whether or nor not Sam would drink it. The obvious result was that he wouldn't, but the scene was so well done that I wasn't thinking it logically. That's some good television. This turns out to be the best episode since it took the idea of a lucky object and added a lot of emotional depth to it. “Endless Slumper” isn't just the funniest-it's also the one with the best emotional beats.