Premiered: September 25, 1986
Starring: Ted Danson, Shelley Long, Rhea Perlman, John Ratzenberger, Woody Harrelson, Kelsey Grammer, George Wendt, Philip Perlman, Joseph Paz, Rebecca Soladay, Al Rosen, Alan Koss, Paul Wilson, Pete Schreiner, Tim Cunningham, Steve Giannelli, Hugh Maguire, Thomas Babson, Jay Thomas & Bebe Neuwirth
Though the season becomes repetitive with the on-again, off-again relationship between Sam (Ted Danson) and Diane (Shelley Long), Cheers’ fifth season comes to an emotional end as Long – and therefore Diane – leaves the series.
Diane turns downs Sam proposal twice, but quickly realizes her mistake. Despite some lows in their relationship, the couple ultimately, to the horror of Carla (Rhea Perlman) and Fraiser (Kelsey Grammer), decides to marry.
Parts of the season are hard to watch and convoluted. Diane is constantly chasing after Sam, which feels out of character. When she accuses him of assault just to get him to propose, it feels wrong.
It’s sad to see Long go, especially since her reason to leave – not being able to balance marriage and a career – has become an outdated storyline. However, her legacy will remain.
Final say: Cheers to Diane. ★★★☆☆