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Paramount Home Video presents
Cheers: The Ninth Season (1990-1991)

“I’m not afraid of anything, Dutch, and I don’t have anything to prove either.”
- Sam Malone (Ted Danson)

Review By: Chuck Aliaga  
Published: April 28, 2008

Stars: Ted Danson
Other Stars: Kirstie Alley, Woody Harrelson, George Wendt, John Ratzenberger, Kelsey Grammer, Rhea Perlman, Bebe Neuwirth, Roger Rees, Frances Sternhagen, Kevin McHale, Keene Curtis, Jackie Swanson, Paul Willson
Director: various

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (adult situations)
Run Time: 10h:29m:00s
Release Date: April 29, 2008
UPC: 097361327341
Genre: television

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer

DVD Review

On nearly every list of history’s best sitcoms, you’re bound to see Cheers at or near the top. Airing for an incredible 11 seasons, the show boosted the careers of Ted Danson, Kirstie Alley, and Woody Harrelson, while benefiting from an ensemble cast that is tough to match. Everyone is irreplaceable, from the smarmy, crass Carla (Rhea Perlman), to the overweight barfly Norm (George Wendt), and resident mailman, Cliff Clavin (John Ratzenberger). These character actors have simply become these characters, especially at the ninth year of the series’ run. Add Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer) and his uptight wife Lilith (Bebe Neuwirth) to the mix, and it’s easy to see why the show was so successful. See for yourself how Cheers: The Ninth Season shakes out on Paramount’s new five-disc set.

We pick up where season eight left off with the season premiere, Love is a Really, Really, Perfectly Okay Thing. After Sam (Danson) and Rebecca (Alley) are caught in the act by her beau, billionaire Robin Colcord (Roger Rees), she goes into major damage control mode to smooth things out. In Cheers Fouls Out, Boston Celtics great, Kevin McHale shows up to take part in a contest between Cheers and their rival bar, Gary’s Olde Town Tavern. Sam feels sorry for the down-on-her-luck Rebecca in Rebecca Redux, while a jealous Rebecca doesn’t know how to react to an ex-lover of Robin’s claim to be his current girlfriend in Where Nobody Knows Your Name. Mother Clavin (Frances Sternhagen) returns to give Cliff a hard time in Ma Always Liked You Best, and Norm fights the impending shut-down of his favorite restaurant, Hungry Heifer, in Grease.

After Carla tries to land Rebecca a conjugal visit of Robin during Breaking In is Hard to Do, we get to enjoy the special 200th Celebration: One-Hour Special. This great retrospective features tons of clips from the previous eight seasons, and a great panel discussion headed up by John McLaughlin. We’re back to the regular episodes with Bad Neighbor Sam, where the title character is at odds with John (Keene Curtis), the owner of the upstairs restaurant, Melville’s. Some funny antics from Woody dominate Veggie-Boyd, and he even manages to steal the thunder from the title characters in Norm and Cliff’s Excellent Adventure. There’s even more Woody in Woody Interruptus, as his old girlfriend, Kelly (Jackie Swanson) comes back from France with an annoying new boyfriend.

Carla faces a quandary thanks to her mother’s strange, death bed request in Honor Thy Mother. Sam and John’s feud might come to an end in Achilles Hill, Robin proposes to Rebecca in Days of Wine and Neuroses, but she’s got cold feet on her wedding day in Wedding Bell Blues. The aftermath of her wedding day decision continues to haunt Rebecca in I’m Getting My Act Together and Sticking It in Your Face, we see one of Sam’s Valentine’s Day rituals in Sam Time Next Year, and find Rebecca taking on John this time in Crash of the Titans.

Norm doesn’t know what to do when his wife, Vera, takes a job as a waitress at Melville’s in It’s a Wonderful Wife. A couple of rare throwaway episodes are up next, in the form of Cheers Has Chili and Carla Loves Clavin, but we’re back in business with Pitch it Again, Sam, where “Mayday” Malone flirts with the idea of a baseball comeback. In Rat Girl, Lilith can’t find a lab rat, while little-respected Paul (Paul Willson) is suddenly a bar-favorite. Home Malone is one of this season’s funniest efforts as we see Sam babysitting for Lilith and Frasier, and the season comes to a close in Uncle Sam Wants You. It seems that Sam has become close to Frasier’s son, which makes him realize that he needs to find the right woman to settle down with if he wants a child of his own.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A+


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: All 26 episodes are presented in their original full frame format, and this is the best the show has looked on DVD. Images are finely detailed and sharp, and a much brighter, more vivid color scheme is in play. Black and shadow levels are strong, and grain and dirt are kept to a bare minimum.

Image Transfer Grade: B+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno

Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Digital 2.0 audio is richer and fuller than that of past episodes. There’s plenty of deep bass, which can be a bit too heavy at times, but, with crystal clear dialogue, these are still impressive audio tracks.

Audio Transfer Grade: B


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 106 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English
1 Other Trailer(s) featuring I Love Lucy: The Complete Series
Packaging: Keep Case
5 Discs
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: Unfortunately, there aren’t any extras.

Extras Grade: F


Final Comments

The bar “where everybody knows your name” continues going strong in Cheers: The Ninth Season. This great batch of 26 episodes is more of the same character-driven comedy that we grew to love in the first eight seasons. Paramount Home Video brings all episodes to us in this nice 5-disc set, which contains solid audio and video, yet, sadly, no extras at all.


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