Cheers: Season Four

It seems like with every season of Cheers came a memorable moment that somehow changed the show. Season four begins on a tragic note, as Ernie Pantusso (Nicholas Colasanto), better known as Coach, passed away in between seasons. The show benefited from such timing however, and even though it was a devastating loss, it brought a dumb, young bumpkin from Indiana in as the new bartender. Woody Boyd (Woody Harrelson) comes into the big city of Boston in the first episode as a friend of Coach. New characters don't always gel upon first introductions, but Woody did with the no brain mentality and childlike innocence. Another key moment is the continuation of season three's finale, where Sam ran off to Italy to stop Frasier from marrying Diane. Returning home to find out that Frasier was left at the altar, everything returns to normal, with the exception of Frasier and his unstable mindset. As the season builds, Frasier becomes more of a mainstay on the show and even develops a love life with the pasty faced Lilith Sternin (played by a magnificently austere Bebe Neuwirth). And Sam and Diane, well, they fight their urges once more, cracking jokes and resisting the sexual chemistry of their sordid past, resulting in many funny moments. Everything comes to a boil in the three-part finale where Sam dates an important politician, much to Diane's disapproval. Of course, it was Rhea Perlman who shined in this season, winning the Emmy for outstanding actress in a comedy series, but for a character so consistently bitter and hilarious throughout every year, it's hard to pinpoint what she did differently to win. Dating back 20 years, the show features many excellent and fun to spot guest appearances from Sherilyn Fenn, Jennifer Tilly, Dan Hedaya and David Paymer. Easily the best-written sitcom of the '80s, Cheers' fourth season is another welcome addition to any fan's collection, even without any extra footage. (Paramount)