Cheers: Final Season: Season 11
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Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman, Kirstie Alley, Kelsey Grammer. As soon as Sam Malone closed the doors to his TV-famous bar at the end of the eleventh and final season, fans began clamoring for it on DVD. Revisit all the good times with one final bottoms up for Cheers ! Includes all 25 episodes on 4 DVDs. 1992-93/color/10 hrs., 53 min/NR/fullscreen.
The 11th and last season of Cheers maintains the highest standards of the long-running, NBC comedy while adding poignancy by wrapping up the show's long-running storylines. The Final Season commences with a devastating fire that all but destroys the eponymous Boston bar owned by Sam Malone (Ted Danson). Shocking as it is to see Cheers nearly reduced to rubble, a lot of funny material comes out of it, not least the fact that manager Rebecca Howe (Kirstie Alley) is responsible for the blaze and can't quite bring herself to tell Sam. The episode's sophisticated ending sets the tone for the season, in which all the show's characters seem prepared to cut each other more slack than usual. Other tumultuous events include an extended separation between Frasier (Kelsey Grammer) and Lilith (Bebe Neuwirth) when the latter chooses to live in an underground "eco-pod" with her new boyfriend, a break-up leading to a night of near-bliss for Frasier and Rebecca. Newlyweds Woody (Woody Harrelson) and Kelly (Jackie Swanson) transcend their struggles with religious differences (they're each members of minutely different Lutheran denominations), and Woody becomes an unlikely candidate for the Boston City Council. Meanwhile, Cliff (John Ratzenberger) takes a step toward adulthood by putting his domineering mother in a retirement home, while Norm (George Wendt) takes his dream job as a taster in a brewery. Nothing much changes for acerbic waitress Carla (Rhea Perlman), but she is certainly on hand to comment on everything, including Sam's overdue self-awareness about his sexual addiction. The final half-dozen or so episodes find Rebecca, much to her dismay, attracted to a working man (Tom Berenger) instead of a millionaire, while Diane Chambers (Shelley Long) reappears in Sam's life at a particularly vulnerable moment for each. The series' finale is a corker, including a lovely last scene that ends with Sam uttering one of the best closing lines in television broadcast history. --Tom Keogh
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Aside from the finale (which btw is an edited version), Season 11 contained only a handful of what I would consider "great" episodes: "The Beer Is Always Greener," "Feelings...Whoa, Whoa, Whoa" and "Is There a Doctor in the Howe?" The remaining episodes, to me at least, could have been a little stronger. However, I thought actress Dana Delany was delightful in "Love Me, Love My Car." Her performance as Susan, the widowed kindergarten teacher whom Sam deceives, was exceptional and very natural.
What disappointed me most about Season 11 was the estrangement of Frasier and Lilith. I loved these two characters together; they were made for each other. Their breakup, which spanned two episodes, was painful to watch and seemed rushed and out of character. For example, I don't believe for a moment that Lilith would abandon her child. Although actress Bebe Neuwirth appeared in only six episodes in Season 11 - two of which were fleeting appearances - I wish the writers had kept them together throughout this final season. (Then again, "Is There a Doctor in the Howe?" would not have been as great an episode had there been no estrangement.)
Also disappointing was the lack of extras / special features. It would have been nice to have cast and crew interviews commemorating not only the final season but the series as a whole.
Nevertheless, Cheers is television comedy at its finest. With Season 11 available on DVD, your collection is complete. So, raise your glasses and offer a toast: "Cheers to Cheers...thank you for the heartwarming memories of a little bar in Boston where everybody knows your name." :)