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Cheers: Season 1

751 customer reviews

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(May 20, 2003)
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Product Description

CHEERS takes viewers back to the Boston bar where everybody knows your name. As former baseball star Sam Malone (Danson) and his colleague Diane Chambers (Long) fight their mutual attractions, they cater to their regulars including Norm Petersen (Wendt) and Cliff Claven (Ratzenberger). Talking about their problems, laughing at each other’s flaws and trying to be there when someone needs them, the gang are joined by naïve farm boy Woody (Harrelson, The Thin Red Line), bitter waitress Carla (Perlman), troubled psychiatrist Frasier (Grammer) and his wife.

The definition of comfort television is this: You want to go where everybody knows your name. And you're always glad you came. Long one of DVD's most wanted, Cheers is at last open for business in this four-disc set that contains all 22 episodes of the first, and best, season of one of the defining series of the 1980s. Cheers inherited the mantle from Taxi as television's best ensemble-driven workplace comedy. It can be instructive to return to a long-running series' more humble beginnings. While Cheers got drunk on farce in its later seasons, it began life as a much more grounded human comedy. In these inaugural episodes, the action does not stray from the Boston bar owned by Sam Malone, a washed-up baseball player three years sober. The straws that stir the drink are the lineup of MVPs: Nick Colasanto as addled Coach; Rhea Perlman, the Thelma Ritter of her generation, as surly and fertile waitress Carla; George Wendt as quintessential barfly Norm; and John Ratzenberger as Cliff, the bar know-it-all ready with "little-known facts" (and blessedly far from the pathetic blowhard his character would evolve into).

Spiking this concoction is the palpable chemistry between Ted Danson's Sam and Shelley Long's Diane Chambers, fledgling waitress and self-described "student of life." The battle lines are drawn in the episode "Sam's Women": He's the "dim ex-baseball player" and she, "the post graduate." But, as Carla so indelicately puts it, they can't "put their glands on hold." In the first blush of lust, they were primetime's most potent mismatched couple until Moonlighting's David and Maddie bantered entendres. Here are little remembered facts: Sam was initially "an astute judge of human character." Guest stars Fred Dryer ("Sam at Eleven") and Julia Duffy ("Any Friend of Diane's") were among those considered for the roles of Sam and Diane. A pre-"Night Court" Harry Anderson stole his scenes in his recurring role as flim-flam man Harry ("Pick a Con...Any Con"). The lack of a commentary track is a disappointment, as are the extras that wouldn't fill a shot glass. Still, Cheers patrons can expect plenty of happy hours with this set. --Donald Liebenson

Special Features

  • All 22 episodes on four discs
  • Featurettes:
  • A Conversation with Ted Danson
  • Coach Ernie's Rules of the Game
  • Love at First Site: Opposites Distract
  • Stormin' Norm-isms
  • Trivia game

Product Details

  • Actors: Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman, John Ratzenberger, George Wendt, Kelsey Grammer
  • Writers: Glen Charles, James Burrows, Les Charles
  • Producers: Gary Khammar, Hillel Wasserman, Jon Barbour, Linda Frank
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: May 20, 2003
  • Run Time: 539 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (751 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008NV4G
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,990 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Cheers: Season 1" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

80 of 86 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 22, 2003
Format: DVD
"Cheers" is an atypical classic television situation comedy in that its first season (1982-83) is arguably its best. The show won the Emmys for Outstanding Comedy Series, Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Shelley Long, Directing in a Comedy Series: James Burrows, "Showdown (Part 2)," Writing in a Comedy Series: Glen Charles, Les Charles, "Give Me a Ring Sometime," and even Outstanding Individual Achievement/Graphic Design and Title Sequences: James Castle, Bruce Bryant. This would explain why the series, which finished 75th in the Nielsens with a 13.1 rating, survived on NBC's Thursday night lineup.
Looking back on the series as a whole it becomes clear that one inherent advantage for "Cheers" was that no matter what joke the writers came up with there was the perfect character to tell it. If you had a sarcastic barb then that went to Carla (Rhea Perlman), a dumb comment would come out of the mouth of Coach (Nick Colasanto), the arcane bar trivia belonged to Cliff (John Ratzenberger), the caustic non-sequiters and marriage humor was the province of Norm (George Wendt), the intellectual bon mots went to Diane (Shelley Long), and Sam (Ted Danson) played the Lord of the Come Ons. Equally as important, the bar where everybody knows your name was an appropriate place for all of these types of humor. As Diane says in the first episode: "Where better than here to study life in all its facets? People meet in bars, they part, they rejoice, they suffer, they come here to be with their own kind."
But the most important thing was that "Cheers" made the opposite attract concept work. Televison has a hard time handling romantic comedy.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 26, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If you are Cheers fan, obviously this is a must have. Where else can you get every episode from the first season in one package? The lack of extras is unfortunate, but the reason I purchased the set and the reason I watch it is for the show itself.
Sadly, though, the episodes are not presented in their original order. How hard would it have been to put episodes 1-6 on disk 1, and so on? What's episode 7, Coach's Daughter, doing placed as the second selection of disk one? I may not watch every episode in order every single time I view the disks, but upon my first viewing I would have liked if I could watch the episodes in order without switching disks until I completed each disk.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By WillRM on May 23, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It has been a long wait for those of us addicted to Cheers. But patience is rewarded.
The clarity of the images makes it seem like one is watching each episode for the first time. It is easy to forget how REALLY good the first year was (and still is). The shows are very intelligent, noticeably more so than later years, and witty. It is fun to observe the inconsistencies in the characters -- in one episode Norm is clearly not married and Sam brings his "ex-wife" into the bar. But at the same time the characters, without the more clearly defined "roles" of later years, are often more interesting, most especially Carla.
I met Rhea Perlman and she was understandably not all that proud of the rather 2 dimensional Carla of the later years. Here the character is wise-cracking, but with more depth and Perlman's considerable talents have room to shine. Also, Coach is a a great character, expertly realised, and more. One episode has the scene with Coach and his daughter Lisa, who is "not comfortable with her beauty," that is arguably the most moving, and genuinely so, scene ever in a TV series. And the sexual tension between Sam and Diane is about as good as it gets. I marvel that this season's shows were the lowest rated program on TV -- it is simply great comedy, suberbly written, and well performed by a strong cast that is consistently "on." How extremely fortunate that NBC stuck with the show!
Technically, as mentioned above, it is amazing to see the familiar images in such detail and clarity. The sound quality too is much improved over broadcasts of the time and most of the reruns. And, of course, each episode is complete -- unlike the broadcast reruns which frequently cut lines, and occasionally scenes.
One quibble. The shows are not in their original broadcast order, which makes the inconsistencies in character development even more baffling. But it is a quibble.
Overall, magnificent. Highly recommended.
So now, when do we get season 2?
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ian Phillips on March 16, 2005
Format: DVD
Cheers very first season premiered on primetime U.S T.V in 1982. Little did people know that this series set in Boston's most famous bar would become such a phenomenon that would last for 11 years and stretch to an impressive 270 episode run. Cheers was deservedly showered with many awards and was still on top when the show sadly ended in 1993 (with the final episode bringing in record viewing figures for the series).

I was merely 2 years old when Cheers first swung into action. Of todays new generation of U.S sitcoms, Will And Grace (1999 -) and Friends (1994 - 2004) rank as my all-time favourites. Cheers is still near at the top of my list as the show is like fine wine - has gotten better with age! Obviously the clothes and hairstyles instantly date the series but overlooking that obvious fact Cheers still plays extremely well.

At long, long last (and way overdue) fans of this classic landmark series in American television history can enjoy the series once again with the first season being released in an attractive four DVD box set containing all 22 episodes that were filmed between 1982-83 (as well as boasting a host of interesting special features including an interview with Ted Danson and a fun trivia game that tests fans knowledge of the series).

The premiere episode of Cheers sees snotty academic Diane Chambers arrive at the infamous bar with her equally pompous partner only to be jilted before they were about to set off on a romantic vacation. In a twist, Diane is soon hired by Sam as a waitress and slowly succumbs to Sams somewhat brash charm. And that was how this fantastic series began.....

What makes Cheers such a knockout classic was the wonderful contrast of characters.
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