Even as it bid goodbye to one of its core characters, Cheers
enjoyed a fifth season of high hilarity that still holds up decades later. The cliffhanger at the end of the fourth season
began a season-long courting dance between Sam (Ted Danson) and Diane (Shelley Long) in which both want to get married--but never at the same time. They argue, they see a pre-nuptial counselor (an Emmy-winning John Cleese), and then one has to make a final decision. But Sam and Diane weren't the only ones exploring relationships. Frasier (Kelsey Grammer) once again meets Dr. Lilith Sternin (Bebe Neuwirth) and, with the help of Diane, are soon cozily coinhabiting. Woody (Woody Harrelson) gets a visit from his ex-girlfriend (Amanda Wyss), and meets Coach's niece (Cady McClain). Carla (Rhea Perlman) seems finally rid of the sleazy Nick (Dan Hedaya, who was spun off into a thankfully short-lived series called The Tortellis
) only to meet a Bruins goalie named Eddie LeBec (Jay Thomas). Then again, there were some non-relationship events, such as Diane's trying out for the Boston Ballet and the gang's classic Thanksgiving dinner at Carla's house (in which we finally get to see Norm's wife, Vera, sort of). But more than anything, the fifth season belonged to Sam and Diane. Their relationship ends in touching flash-forward and a wish to "have a good life." If only the departing actor's subsequent career had been so good. Like the fourth season, the DVD set has no extras. --David Horiuchi
CHEERS - THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON focuses on the colorful staff and offbeat patrons of a friendly Boston bar where "everybody knows your name." Starring Shelley Long as Diane Chambers and Ted Danson as Sam Malone, Cheers co-stars Nick Colasanto as "Coach," Rhea Perlman as Carla Tortelli, John Ratzenberger as Cliff and George Wendt as Norm. Guest appearances by John Cleese, Bob Costas, Dan Hedaya, Bebe Neuwirth and Brent Spiner.