sábado, agosto 03, 2019

Séries que mereciam Streaming em Portugal (I)

On May 20, 1993, more than 40 million people watched the series finale of Cheers, the NBC sitcom about a popular Boston bar that first aired in 1982. Not only was the episode, titled “One for the Road,” the most-watched episode that season, it remains the second-highest-rated series finale of all time (just after M*A*S*H). And it's easy to see why: For eleven years, millions of Americans were obsessed with the wacky goings-on at this everyday watering hole, with its incredible cast of characters representing the everymen (and women) who tuned in each week. For all its highs and lows, Cheers represents a pinnacle of American pop culture, culminating in a record-breaking finale that caught the attention of millions of viewers. Twenty-five years after its final episode, Cheers remains one of the great American sitcoms.

I realized a few years ago that Cheers was a massive blind spot in my pop-culture knowledge and began streaming hours of it every night. After all these years, the jokes felt fresh, the dialogue sharp and clever. I became invested in the rocky relationship between Sam Malone and Diane Chambers. I teared up over the death of actor Nicholas Colasanto almost 30 years after it happened. I would sometimes call my mom and talk to her about an episode as if she, too, had just watched it. (She has a surprisingly stellar memory about the specifics of Cheers.) And after a bad breakup, it was there for me. That may sound like I'm being dramatic, but that's because I was. Call it ridiculous, or call it self-care, but it felt particularly poignant at the time. The characters on Cheers were resilient (mostly) in the face of romantic woe, and that’s what I needed, too.

A few months after bingeing the series on Netflix, I was in Boston for a wedding—conveniently located in the same city Cheers took place. I’m not a religious person, but going to the Bull and Finch Pub—the bar used as the exterior for Cheers and the show's inspiration, which is now called Cheers Beacon Hill—was a spiritual pilgrimage. Cheers was a constant, a rock during an emotional time for me, and I felt like I needed to pay my respects.


It’s that very familiarity that makes the show so brilliant: Cheers became iconic, a touchstone of American pop culture, slyly influencing the way we consume entertainment since its beginning—without our even noticing it. Its influence on television is almost unavoidable. It was the first sitcom to feature a serial storyline, with the romance between Sam and Diane capturing the attention of an audience who cheered for them (and rooted against them). Without those two bickering and fighting and falling in and out of love, we wouldn’t have the similarly frustrating Ross and Rachel on Friends or, for that matter, the platonic version of that mismatched couple in Liz Lemon and Jack Donaghy on 30 Rock.

Cheers also managed to be an amalgamation of a workplace comedy and a family sitcom; its characters all interacted together like relatives, yet they weren’t, which allowed for them to intermingle in ways that heightened their dependency on each other. Why did Diane stay at Cheers so long? Why couldn’t Frasier, Norm, or Cliff find another place to drink? Maybe Carla could have found another line of work. None of this happened—not just for the sake of the show, but because they all genuinely liked being around each other despite whatever interpersonal conflicts they had.


But beyond what Cheers said about America, the show also changed TV forever. It was part of a blockbuster lineup of Thursday-night TV, an era that predated the Must See TV age that saw NBC dominating the television landscape. Cheers itself was a bridge between the ’70s workplace and family-centered sitcoms, combining that into a single concept and initiating the serial narrative into the sitcom genre. And while Cheers was a multi-camera sitcom filmed before a studio audience, the show was shot in a distinctly cinematic style that would influence the single camera sitcoms of the new millennium like The Office, 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation—three workplace comedies in which the characters also interacted like dysfunctional families.

You couldn’t avoid Cheers when it was on, and you can barely avoid it three decades later; it permeated the culture at large, still hanging over us as an influence on the entertainment we consume and appreciate today. Cheers, after all, is what all of us strive for: a regular haunt, filled with friends and lovers who are glad to see us, that will always be there waiting for us when we make our return—and yes, where everyone knows your name.

Fonte: Esquire

1 comentário:

Belinha Fernandes disse...

O que eu me ri com esta série!

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