May 10, 2023
Has “Cheers” aged well? Was Norm the norm in 1982? Was the toxic behavior in the show’s Boston-based bar a device to expose the destructive nature of misogyny or was it just a casual reflection of a patriarchal system?
Carla Tortelli and Diane Chambers, the barmaids in the first season of the show, served as sparring partners for their coworkers, customers, and each other. Carla was at home at "Cheers." Diane was a fish out of water. Carla and Diane could not have been more different. But Rhea Perlman and Shelley Long, the actors who portrayed Carla and Diane, both were incredible actors with excellent comedic timing.
Cynthia Bemis Abrams takes a closer at their work and celebrates their contributions as two of the strong, female characters that emerged on television in the 1980s. She discusses the interplay among the regular characters at the bar, the foundational toxic environment, and the influence of female writers and showrunners on comedies of the era.
MENTIONS & REFERENCES
ATVH Newsletter - https://cynthiabemisabrams.com/
Shelley Long interview - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNagwFVh9xs
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