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Episode reviews for Episode 9.20 - Cheerful Goodbyes

Avg. Viewer Review: 84.4%
Number of Reviews: 7

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Oh dear god, it's just labelled wine, May 21, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia

"Cheerful Goodbyes" is one of the most plotless episodes this show has ever done. It's also clearly a marketing move on the part of NBC (then celebrating its 75th anniversary) and a dedication to the supporting cast of a series that had by this point been off the air for a decade. I'd be inclined to dislike it if it weren't for the feel-good vibe the episode manages to engender over the course of its half-hour.

After ditching Roz to look after Frasier's place, the rest of the gang vacate to Boston where they're quickly roped into the retirement party of Cliff Clavin (John Ratzenberger) of "Cheers" fame. For what I assume are legal reasons, the episode isn't actually set at the bar Cheers but this might just be a good thing. Ted Danson either wasn't available or was deemed unnecessary by the script, so the episode gets that out of the way right off the bat. Indeed, by setting this episode in a generic function room, we're treated to a deliberately plot-free piece that is really just an excuse to bounce 10 or so characters up against each other and see what sticks. It's odd, but it's done with panache. While Woody, and Lilith were granted guest spots in clear "Frasier" episodes, Sam and Diane took over their respective episodes - two un-"Frasier'-esque instalments that were redeemed largely by the performances and attention to character detail. Rather than trying to shoehorn the rest of the gang into a Frasier escapade, the script just does its own thing. There are some good moments for all the cast with Niles' lack of interest gradually becoming a fear of social interaction, Martin making friends (unsurprisingly) with Norm (George Wendt), and Daphne being a sucker for Cliff's stories ("I never knew there were so many letters in the dolphin alphabet"). Frasier still gets to be the bringer of doom when he sets about a plan to help Cliff, and I particularly relish the performance of Philip Perlman as barfly Phil, who exists largely to provide us with "old guy is abrasive" jokes.

I'll concede here and now that I'm not gonna give this episode an incredibly high rating. For anyone who has seen little or no "Cheers", much of the character stuff here may take some guesswork. And regardless of how much this show owes to that one, it still feels like an indulgence to spend this time with a bunch of people our characters have never met before nor will again. Still, this is a bunch of good fun, buoyed particularly by the performances of Ratzenberger and Rhea Perlman as Carla. I've only recently started watching "Cheers" from the beginning, and their performances ring true to me. That was a show that was always happy to be inventive in its structure, and one that wasn't afraid to show many sides of its characters. To give them one last hurrah in a free-form environment doesn't seem like too bad an idea.

Rating: 77%


Second favorite so far, Sep 06, 2010

Reviewer: Rick Kiefer from Wooster OH USA

This is our second favorite episode after the one featuring Roz's baby's
grandparents who had "two giant schnauzers".
The interaction of the Cheers cast with the Frasier cast was uncanny.
Phil ( maybe Rea Perlman's dad?) in an episode written by Heide
Norm and Marty bonded, Carla stayed "in character shredding Cliff,
twists and turns that all worked beautifully.
Well crafted writing which is what makes Frasier so easy to watch over
and over again !!!!

Rating: 98%


Great!, Sep 20, 2009

Reviewer: M.D. from Vancouver, BC, Canada

This episode was a great throwback to the past, and the good times at Cheers. I was happy to
see the old gang back together. I also enjoyed the way everyone was perfectly preserved even
thought many years have gone by.

Rating: 100%


Cheerful Goodbyes, Jun 02, 2008

Reviewer: Anonymous from Anytown, AT 55555

This episode is hilarious, not the best episode, but it is up there with my favorites

Rating: 95%


Nostalgia Ain't What It Used To Be, May 28, 2008

Reviewer: Alter Ego from London, UK

Yeah, done it again - great to see the old crew - if you knew the Cheers lot.

A welcome relief from the Moon family too!

Rating: 85%


Review of 'Cheerful Goodbyes', Jul 28, 2006

Reviewer: Beer Necessity from York, Engalnd

This rather unnecessary episode feels like little more than an excuse to crowbar all the remaining members of the former ‘Cheers’ cast into an episode of ‘Frasier’ (barring Scientologist Kirstie Alley, famously). There are some nice moments, such as Daphne finding Cliff’s stories utterly fascinating; and Norm’s predictably good relationship with Martin. These moments cannot save the episode however, and the generally flat feel must in part be blamed on the woeful set design. Why they couldn’t have set the episode in the ‘Cheers’ bar itself is a mystery. Presumably commissioning an exact mock-up of that famous set would have been too costly. Below average episode.

Rating: 63%


'Cheerful Goodbyes' review, Sep 22, 2005

Reviewer: Jocelyn from London, UK

Conceived for NBC's 75th anniversary celebrations, this is another in a long line of 'Cheers' reunion episodes and is written, appropriately enough, by one of that show's most prolific writers, Heide Perlman. It sees Frasier heading off to Boston intending to make a speech, only to have a chance meeting with Cliff Clavin at the airport, who invites Frasier and his family to his retirement party. With little in the way of plot, this is basically an excuse for Frasier to catch up with some of his old friends from the bar, with both Norm and Carla also in attendance at the party. There's some fun in seeing the 'Frasier' cast members interacting with those from the show's predecessor, with Niles and Daphne having to endure Cliff's seemingly endless array of boring facts and Martin finding a new drinking partner in Norm, although my favourite character here is the old man, Phil, who keeps referring to Cliff as a 'dumb son of a bitch!' On the downside, Rhea Perlman's performance becomes a bit annoying towards the end as Carla is left fuming when Cliff announces he will not be leaving for Florida as planned, while the episode itself seems to have been forced on the producers by NBC, giving it the feeling of having been produced to order. Overall, 'Cheerful Goodbyes' is a pleasant if unnecessary exercise; entertaining enough viewing when it's on but quickly fades from the memory once it's finished.

Rating: 73%