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Cheers - The Complete Sixth Season



DVD Release Date: September 13, 2005 (Paramount Home Video)
MSRP: $38.99
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 25
Running Time: Aprrox. 10 hours, 14 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; No Subtitles; Closed captioned
Special Features: None


It's the cozy little Boston bar where everybody knows your name... welcome to Cheers - the Emmy Award-winning, smash-hit television series that kep the laughs uncorked for 11 years. It's a new beginning for the bar - and for the gang - in Cheers: The Complete Sixth Season. After selling the watering hole to a large corporation six months earlier, Sam Malone (Ted Danson) is back from "retirement" ... and looking for a job. Holding his employment hopes in her hand is the bar's new manager, the acerbic and neurotic Rebecca Howe (Kirstie Alley). But still hanging around - and ready to watch the Malone-Howe fireworks - are the hilarious Cheers staff and patrons: Carla (Rhea Perlman), Woody (Woody Harrelson), Cliff (John Ratzenberger), Norm (George Wendt), and Frasier (Kelsey Grammer). It's a brilliant sixth season, with 25 uproarious episodes and liters and liters of laughs in this classic TV comedy!

Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

Cheers once again finished in 3rd place with a 23.4 rating for the 1987-1988 season, behind The Cosby Show and A Different World. Kirstie Alley joined the cast as Rebecca Howe, the new manager of Cheers. Other recurring characters included Tom Skerritt as Evan Drake and Jay Thomas as Eddie LeBec.

The Rebecca years begin and the show didn't seem to miss a beat. The season opened with "Home Is the Sailor," in which Sam returns to Cheers six months after he sold it to a large corporation to pursue a life of leisure on board a new boat. Sam tries to dodge his bar duties so he can fill in for a friend as a sports broadcaster in "I On Sports." This episode features Sam's classic rap: "Time to rap about a controversy..." Rebecca asks an eager Sam to escort her to a company function to correct a false impression held by her boss in "A Kiss Is Still A Kiss." Christmas Eve is depressing at Cheers as Sam rushes to find Rebecca a gift, Rebecca makes everyone work late, and Norm's Santa Claus buddies gather to celebrate the end of the season in "Christmas Cheers." Lilith and Rebecca throw a teenage slumber party to cheer up Carla after she learns she's soon going to be a grandmother in "Slumber Party Massacred."

A few notable guest stars dropped by Cheers. Fred Dryer ("Hunter") appears as David Richards for the final time in ""I" On Sports." Robert Urich appeared as himself in "Woody For Hire Meets Norman of the Apes." Bobbie Eakes played Laurie in "Tale of Two Cuties." Boston Red Sox legend Wade Boggs appears as himself in "The Bar Wars."


They've gone with a new look for the cover art starting with season six. The DVD cover art features a cast photo of Frasier, Sam, Woody, Cliff, Carla, Rebecca, and Norm. The cover has a white background with the Cheers logo in blue at the top. I really like the bar wood panel type packaging they've used on the first five seasons, and I think it would have been nice if they continued this look. Perhaps, with the start of the Rebecca years, Paramount wanted to try something new. The overall color scheme of this set is blue and white. There is a montage of five photos on the back of the box and a listing of the episodes broken down by disc. There is the usual digipak packaging that they've used for the previous five Cheers releases. There is a photo of Lillith and Frasier making a toast on the back of the digipak. When you open the digipak, there is a photo of Sam and and Rebecca sitting on the couch in the office. There is just a white background inside the case where the discs are held. There are various photos of the bar when you lift up the discs from the holders. All of the discs are blue and white, with the Cheers logo in blue and a photo of one or two cast members. Disc 1 has a photo of Sam and includes episodes 122-127. Disc 2 pictures Rebecca and has has episodes 128-134. Disc 3 shows Cliff and Norm and offers episodes 135-140. Disc 4 has a shot of Carla and Woody and contains episodes 141-146.

Menu Design and Navigation:

The main menus continue the blue and white color theme. Each menu features a different photo, along with the Cheers logo in blue on the upper left hand side of the screen. Part of the bar can be seen with a light blue tint in the background at the top. The episode titles are listed vertically in one column on the right. When you select an episode, the title is underlined in blue and then it turns gold upon your selection. Disc 1 has the same shot that is used as the cover art. The photo on the menu is not cropped like the DVD cover art though. Disc 2 pictures Rebecca and Woody. Disc 3 features an appearance of Sam (wearing glasses) and Harry the Hat (Harry Anderson). Disc 4 rounds out the set with a photo of Norm. When you first insert disc 1, there are 4 minutes of previews for other Paramount DVD releases. The promos include MacGyver, Charmed, The Brady Bunch (including the upcoming Season 4 set), and the Airplane "Don't Call Me Shirley" Special Edition. There is a Play All button button to play all the episodes on each disc. There are chapter stops within the episodes but no separate menus for scene selections.

Video and Audio Quality:

The video and audio quality is much the same as the previous five releases. These episodes were remastered when they went into syndication a few years ago on Nick at Nite. The only major difference, of course, is that that episodes on these DVD sets are unedited and contain 2-3 minutes of footage not shown on cable. Cheers was shot on film, and these episodes look as good as can be expected. There is some occasional grain and dust in the episodes, but it didn't affect my viewing experience. The episodes are well spread out with no more than 7 per disc, so there are no compression problems. The episodes, presented in their original broadcast order, appear to be unedited with running times around 23 1/2 to 24 1/2 minutes. Only 4 of the 25 episodes run under 24 1/2 minutes. The audio quality is very good with an English 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo track, and I noticed no major problems. Closed captioning is available on all of the episodes.

On the back of the packaging, it says "some music has been changed for this entertainment version."

Here is the episode breakdown by disc, including running times:

Disc 1
122. Home Is The Sailor (24:47)
123. "I" On Sports (24:34)
124. Little Carla, Happy At Last - Part 1 (23:44)
125. Little Carla, Happy At Last - Part 2 (24:37)
126. The Crane Mutiny (24:35)
127. Paint Your Office (24:41)

Disc 2
128. Last Angry Mailman (24:46)
129. Bidding On The Boys (24:40)
130. Pudd'nhead Boyd (24:50)
131. A Kiss Is Still A Kiss (24:46)
132. My Fair Clavin (24:42)
133. Christmas Cheers (24:44)
134. Woody For Hire Meets Norm of the Apes (24:43)

Disc 3
135. And God Created Woodman (24:40)
136. Tale Of Two Cuties (23:44)
137. Yacht Of Fools (24:45)
138. To All the Girls I've Loved Before (24:39)
139. Let Sleeping Drakes Lie (24:41)
140. Airport V (24:43)

Disc 4
141. The Sam In The Gray Flannel Suit (24:42)
142. Our Hourly Bread (24:44)
143. Slumber Party Massacred (24:43)
144. The Bar Wars (23:59)
145. The Big Kiss-Off (24:46)
146. Back Seat Becky, Up Front (24:03)

Special Features:

After including special features on the first three releases, Paramount has not included any for Seasons 4-6. It would have been great to see some interviews, gag reels, bloopers, and other season specific features on every set. The unedited episodes are the most important thing to me, but the extras always seem to add my enjoyment of watching a TV show on DVD release.

Final Comments:

Let the Rebecca years begin! I really can't say I am more of a fan of the Diane years vs. the Rebecca years. Kirstie Alley has great comedic skills, and it seemed she had great chemistry with Ted Danson. The writing seemed to be similar throughout all seasons despite the cast changes. These Cheers sets are largely the same, with the only difference being the episodes and the packaging/menus. I've seen the episodes many times in syndication, but somehow there is a different feeling watching them in their complete, unedited form. Season 7 will be released in a little over two months on November 15th. That will be 4 Cheers releases in 2005...not too shabby after 3 combined releases in 2003-2004.

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)

Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 09/06/05

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