Line(s) of the Day #Cheers

Sam Malone

Sam Malone: Ya’ see, matching a Corvette with the right owner, Dennis, is kind of like finding a home for an animal…
Dennis: OK, but I’m kind of pressed for time. I gotta’ get to my hair stylist.
Sam Malone: Good.. good. (Checks him out) Oh, very good, very good… Just a few multiple choice questions… Number one, it’s high noon you’re driving in Harvard Square, parking is limited. Do you: A, park in a handicap zone, B, park in a regular spot under a tree, C drive around until a space opens up.
Dennis:  C.
Sam Malone: (jumps up) What are you nuts??!! I can’t believe it man! It’s a trick question. You don’t drive this baby at high noon, man! Sun damage, bucko! What the hell is wrong with you?!! What do you want to do, oxidise the paint?!! Get outta’ here, you make me sick!

Proud but broke Corvette owner Sam Malone as played by Ted Danson (with Rob Moran) in the hugely popular and long-running Boston-themed sitcom Cheers (1982 – 1993). You can find other examples of Cheers here and here, more information about Sam’s famous on/off romance with Diane here and about his bachelor status here.

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Gr8at – On-Off Romances

As Shakespeare wrote in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, “the course of true love never did run smooth”, and in the world of television that seems even more true than ever. Below are eight examples of just how madcap some relationships are, and how love doesn’t always have to make sense.

Miranda

Miranda-and-Gary

A girl can’t always get what she wants. Especially if the girl, or “sir”, in question is over 6 foot tall, clumsy, frumpy, and has the nickname “Queen Kong”. And having a critical mother who is happy to stand around town with a “Marry my daughter” placard can’t help either. But one person who really does understand her, is Gary, an old friend from school who is hired as a chef at the restaurant next door. They soon become close friends and at times, an unlikely couple. But despite an undercurrent of attraction, their mutual insecurity keeps dragging them out of dating. Things are further complicated by Miranda’s discovery of Gary’s previous marriage, and her new boyfriend Michael. With the comedy’ s third series ending on the cliffhanger over which guy Miranda will choose to marry, viewers will have to wait until next year to find out what further twists are on the menu to this very sweet of romances.

Cheers

Sam and Diane

Former baseball player and teetotal bar owner Sam ‘Mayday’ Mallone would appreciate that old adage of ‘Women – Can’t live with them, can’t live without them”.  His relationship with the academic Diane Chambers was gloriously twisted, brimming with sexual tension, outrageous one line insults and character growth.  Joyously reminiscent of Spencer Tracey and Katherine Hepburn, the dynamic between the light hearted jock and the uptight do-gooder had more on and off moments than the proverbial light switch. With storylines including several marriage proposals, Diane getting engaged to Frasier Crane, Sam refusing to get rid of his ‘black book’ of former lovers and Diane’s first fiancée coming back onto the scene, the relationship was never boring. Though Cheers was always consistent during its 11 year run, it was arguably at its peak with the brilliantly written romance, which originally ended as poignantly as it deserved.  Forced between her literary career or marrying Sam, Diane thought she could follow her writing dreams before coming back to be with Sam.  Sam knew otherwise, but didn’t have the heart to tell her. Even at the end, though for the kindest of all reasons, they never could agree.

Friends

Ross and Rachel

Most of us had an unobtainable crush at school, but it’s not just anybody who bumps into her years later, when she has run away from her appending marriage ceremony. With Rachel arriving in her wedding dress, just after a wistful Ross has told his friends he wants to get married, the pilot episode of Friends showed this was never going to be a conventional romance. With Ross’s sister, Monica, soon becoming Rachel’s best friend, and with Ross’s close friend Chandler living opposite Rachel and Monica, things would get all kinds of complicated. And what glorious moments it led to. After Rachel finally succumbed to Ross’ shy, lengthy, pursuit, they were a great couple with genuine feelings for each other, but what drama! Complications included Joey dating Rachel, Rachel unexpectedly getting pregnant with Ross’ baby, Ross getting engaged to someone else, and Rachel discovering that Ross slept with the “Xerox girl”, the same night after they’d had a serious row. The latter of which led to Ross’ hilarious and often repeated defence of, “We were on a break!”

Scrubs

JD and Elliot

JD is already a bromance star, but being the quirky character he is, it’s no surprise to see him in the ‘on-off romance’ section too. With his efforts in trying to avoid the janitor’s pranks and his demanding work schedule, it’s impressive that he has time for an office romance, let alone a complex one. But if anyone could make it work, it was the wacky daydreamer himself. Instantly smitten by Elliot when they both arrive as interns at Sacred Heart Hospital, she was the one JD was happy to spend serious time with, though his fear of commitment was frequently a stumbling block. Both understood the other perhaps more than either would like to admit, what brought them together would also cause them to row and break things off. But JD and Elliot were always meant to be the happy ever after, even if took various attempts and all kinds of partners. On JD’s side that included getting a girlfriend pregnant, buying land with another and having ‘funeral sex’ with a widow. A relationship of a thousand steps can have some very peculiar diversions.

Gossip Girl

Chuck and Blair

What do you do if you love someone more passionately than you can ever hope to explain, but you feel she is better off without you? That one question lies at the heart of Chuck and Blair’s on-off romance that burns at intensity more reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet than a traditional Upper East Side courtship. In a world of chauffeur-driven limousines, high class balls and with more money in their bank accounts than we can only daydream of, it’s still impossible to take your eyes off their unusual relationship and wish they would get together.  With Chuck head of his late father’s business empire, and with Blair the society darling with a group of social underlings, both have far too much power at their disposal. Chuck’s self loathing is a big stumbling block, especially as he frequently underplays and denies his strong attachment. Blair’s love of travel, both having slept with others in the friendship group, and knowing whatever move they make will be published by the all -knowing Gossip Girl, also complicate things. The madness of them taking so long to stay together is best summed up when they decide to set each other up with someone else. They choose replicas of themselves, who in turn hit it off immediately. As friend Nate describes it, “Chuck and Blair, Blair and Chuck, they just go together”.

Grey’s Anatomy

Meredith and Derek

With life and death and the power to heal frequently in their hands, it’s no surprise that tensions and hormones run high at Seattle Grace Hospital.   With a strong emphasis on the personal lives of a strong, intelligent and competitive cast of characters, the relationships between them all can be as complicated as the procedures they carry out. But one relationship that seems to frame the show more than any other is achieved between Meredith Grey and “McDreamy” himself, Derek Shepherd. Beginning with a one night stand after meeting at a bar, both are shocked to discover they will be working alongside each other. They soon start dating, but Derek’s estranged wife sudden appearance, Meredith’s new boyfriend Finn, Meredith finding solace with Derek’s former best friend and Derek pressurising Meredith to make a stronger commitment are only half the story. Currently together, it may still end in madness.  After all, all’s fair in love and medicine.

 Sex and the City

Mr Big and Carrie

For a show that had plenty of style, it still had a pretty good share of substance too. Amidst the fashionable outfits, snappy dialogue and trendy New York scene, Sex and the City didn’t shy away from deeper storylines too. As well as later arcs including Samantha’s cancer scare and Charlotte’s struggle to adopt, the show tackled themes including race, STDs, homosexuality and promiscuity. And in the long running dating saga between Carrie and Mr Big, there was the perfect balance of humour and seriousness that the show was renowned for. Introduced in the first episode when he helps Carrie pick up her condoms and cosmetics after she is knocked over by a stranger, Mr Big was always more than just a casual love interest. Despite his commitment failings, and her many other admirers, he was always a big part of her life and who Carrie was meant to be with.

Homeland

Carrie and Brody

Not all bad boys come with a leather jacket, a motorbike, a bunch of cigarettes and a rebellious attitude to conventional authority. Even before CIA officer Carrie meets Nicholas Broady, she has a strong hunch he might be a terrorist with plans of a revenge attack against the US. Despite this, his marriage with two children and his deep scars from being tortured, she is drawn to him and things develop sexually. Her ethical dilemmas and her bi-polar condition means a conventional relationship is far from possible, especially as both characters know the relationship is professionally and morally wrong.  The intrigue continues as she finds herself falling deeper in love with him when she is still uncertain that he is completely on the United States’ side.

Line(s) of the Day

Cheers

Sam Malone: I could get out of prison after 12 years, serve on an all male ship for another four, and be dropped on a desert island for another three, eating nothing but raw oysters day after day, and if one day Diane Chambers walked out of the surf naked, all I’d want from her is the hockey scores.
Diane Chambers: And you wouldn’t even get that!

Ted Danson and Shelley Long in ‘Cheers’ (1982 – 1993)

 

Gr8at – Womanisers

Britney may have remained immune to a bad boy when she sang Womanizer but then again, she never met any of these modern day Don Juan’s. A look at eight artists of seduction, capable of charming any bird out of a tree before making them fly off the morning after…

CHARLIE HARPER – TWO AND A HALF MEN

Two and a Half Men

Charlie Sheen’s personal life is so scandalous it’s hard to know where his on screen persona ends and his personal life begins, making him a perfect choice for a wealthy playboy with no kids and a disposable attitude to women. For some, with his one night stand lifestyle, regular gambling, continuous drinking, and expensive sports cars, Harper lived the bachelor dream. As he himself said, “If I can’t eat it, bang it or bet on it, it’s not in my phone”. An endless carousel of bimbos would quickly succumb, falling for a mixture of his Hollywood looks, luxurious beach house, alcohol and idle promises of commitment. When he wanted things to move even faster, Harper was openly content to pay hookers. Proud of his lifestyle, the Malibu lothario always found it amusing that his twice divorced brother Alan rarely got any female attention and never even got close to matching his sexual prowess. The character was saved from being unlikeable by taking in rent-free his annoying cheapskate brother, his caring for his nephew Jake, several genuine attempts at serious relationships and a poor influence from his self-absorbed mother.

Sam Malone – Cheers

Sam Malone

The loveable rogue himself. A pitcher for the Boston Red Sox before alcoholism ravaged his career, Sam Malone seems to be born with womanising in his veins. A teetotal bar owner (and then just a barman when he lost all his money buying a boat which soon sank), Malone has few interests other than getting into a girl’s pants. Particularly successful with airline stewardesses in town for a short time, Malone is legendary in the Cheers bar for his exploits, with his prolific strike rate livening up the otherwise mundane lives of the regulars. So proud is he of his ladies man talents, and so confident in himself, that the former baseball star is happy to take on the toughest challenges of chatting up and sleeping with any attractive female who walks into the bar. Never hooking up with anyone married or emotionally vulnerable, Malone is still drawn to a challenge, with long pursuits of Diane Chambers and then his boss, Rebecca Howe. Though frustrated at long intervals with both, he refuses to quit, consoling himself about Diane: “She better be damn good in bed”. He may be far too obsessed with his hair (getting it insured!), used far too much Cologne and been a bit of a showman, but it was near impossible not to like him.

Barney Stinson – How I Met Your Mother

Barney Stinson

Michael Jackson wasn’t singing about Barney Stinson with his 1987 classic, but in the world of dating conmen, the How I Met Your Mother star is most definitely a Smooth Criminal. With his “Suit up” appearance and completely immoral dating techniques, Stinson is the ultimate sweet-talking salesman who will use any line to get a woman into bed. This temporarily comes back to haunt him in the legendary episode ‘The Bracket’, when Stinson has to work out which of the women he has had a one night stand with had the most reason to try to sabotage him. Before he was tamed in later series of the show, Barney was the ultimate lothario, even once managing the “Perfect Week” of sleeping with seven different women on consecutive nights. With his “Legendary” and “True story” anecdotes, his creation of the “Hot/Crazy” scale and constantly updated “Rule Number One”, he certainly has the gift of the gab. Even more remarkable then that Stinson started late to the game, being a syrupy lovestruck puppy in his early twenties until his girl dumped him for a successful guy in a suit.

Joey Tribbiani – Friends

Joey Tribiani

Not just any ladies man gets their own catchphrase, let alone one of just three words. But then “how you doin’?” seemed to almost sum up Joey Tribianni: unthreatening, irresistible and almost far too fun to turn down. The struggling actor may have trouble counting, reading and let’s be honest, acting, but Tribbiani had an effortless charm that seemed to work on any female. Even long time friends Rachel, Monica and Pheobe are temporarily smitten when he turns his attention on them. Though comfortable in any environment, he is particularly successful hitting on the interns at the Days of Our Lives studio where he works. Loyal, caring and endearingly honest, Tribbiani is an uncomplicated New Yorker who has two ultimate passions: sex and food. When put by Chandler if he would prefer the Xerox girl naked (represented by his right hand) or a tub of jam (represented by his other hand), Tribbiani replies with a knowing smile: “Put your hands together”. Even when seeing the others in the group settle down, the idea of married life or even a settled girlfriend never appealed. This Italian stallion was always set to roam free, even when not going ‘Commando’.

Don Draper – Mad Men

Don Draper

Slick, debonair, sophisticated, aloof, cynical, mysterious and the ultimate heartbreaker, there are seemingly an infinite number of ways to describe Sterling Cooper’s finest. The ad executive extraordinaire has a lethal combination of looks, wealth, style, a silent intensity and a detached air that make any female resistance futile. Quite simply, Draper has no need for lies, games or any form of manipulation. Though hiding a troubled past, Draper is the man most guys dream of being. Married to the beautiful Betty, but always being tempted through the attractive women he meets through work, Draper is able to pick and choose only the ones that capture his attention the most. So much so, that Draper can afford to go beyond looks, going for ladies who have an aura that meet his high standards. Rather than just connecting with them sexually, the ambitious New Yorker is able to get inside their head, making them fall for his spell and leaving them destroyed when walking away. For a man who can pretty much convince you to buy anything, he really doesn’t leave much behind.

Hank Moody – Californication

CALIFORNICATION (Season 4)

Not all rock stars end up on stage. With his liberal attitude to sex, drug use, swearing, authority and parental responsibility, Hank Moody is the New Yorker turned Californian who gets the groupies without even needing a band. He gets offered sex even as he is getting a vasectomy! A jaded and cynical author who writes with the colourful passion of Bukowski or Palahnuik, Moody could never work in a job that needed any kind of routine or responsibility. Though in an on again off again relationship with long-term girlfriend Karen with whom he has a daughter Becca, Moody seems to stumble into temptation without breaking sweat, usually with dramatic or comical results. His fearless attitude to any likely consequences to his casual romantic encounters adds to his laconic charm, but it hides a man struggling professionally and emotionally to deal with the world he lives in.

Chuck Bass – Gossip Girl

Chuck Bass

The Upper East Side’s Prince of Darkness, Chuck Bass is the bad boy that stands out even in a society where scandal, deceit and debauchery are a pre-requisite. Indeed, the man described as ‘the big bad wolf’ even has a private investigator on speed dial. The descendant of financial royalty, Bass’ wild antics actually help his father’s hotel gain the notoriety that drives business. Being a tortured soul is no publicity stunt though. Bass has a strained relationship with his father, his mother died giving birth to him, he sees nothing wrong with hiring multiple prostitutes at any one time and his only friend is the easy-going Nate. That is without mentioning the intense on-off relationship with Blair, who understands him better than anyone but who he feels would be happier without him. He may frequently lose control when drunk, use all kind of underhand tactics to get what he wants and be a discerning snob, but for all his many faults, he will go way out of his way to help those he cares about. He does have a heart of gold buried deep under there somewhere.

Dennis Reynolds – It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Dennis Reynolds

It isn’t just any ladies man who uses their first name as an acrostic system to seduce a woman, but then Dennis Reynolds is one of your more narcissistic types. Not beneath pretending to be disabled, manipulating a hot girl at her grandfather’s funeral or hitting on women at an abortion rally (both pro-choice and pro-life), Reynolds is a ruthless dating predator. His strength is in his complete lack of morals, being completely willing to sell anyone out for a chance of sex, especially his two best friends, Mac and Charlie, and his twin sister Dee. Vain to the point of taking his shirt off for the most tenuous of reasons, Reynolds has long convinced himself he is good looking though curiously that masks a strong insecurity of his looks when a particular feature is criticised. Arguably his lowest point was sleeping with Charlie’s dream girl before discarding her the morning after. Unsurprisingly regret was minimal and he was perfectly happy to lead her on again when it suited him. But then that would be forgetting he videotapes his bedroom exploits without asking their permission. And brags to his friends about it. And rates their performance too…