It all started with "The Summer of Cheers."
Earlier this year, my husband was accepted to a very prestigious grad school program in screenwriting and we realized that we were about to move to LA. The preparation for this very expensive, exhausting, and extremely crazy move was intense and sometimes we were ready to just stop everything hang it up. I was going to grad school full time for my MFA (still am, almost done) and working full time and I came home every day absolutely ready to drop. We lived in a hundred year old farm house out in BFE which... ok, I know this sounds idyllic but please trust me... between the inconceivable amounts of black mold and the territories (including neutral zones) we developed with the rather cocky mice... it was pretty fucking horrible. But, it was all made better by a single hour of tv.
We've always loved TV. And, if you've just looked down your nose at that statement, emitted a sarcastic snort, or if you just made that sort of surprised (TV isn't real art) face then you're in the wrong place because TV is amazing and I'm about to tell you why.
When I was a kid, my parents and I watched reruns of Star Trek. Then, we watched Next Gen when it was brand new and as soon as I saw Data (who was always an outsider and had a hard time handling his emotions) I was 100% in love. About a year later, my parents suddenly split up and I soon started leading the life of a miniature gypsy. I moved over and over, at least 13 times before high school, but everywhere I went... there was Star Trek. No matter how shitty my circumstances were, no matter how much I hated myself or the fact that I couldn't fit in, no matter how hard the days seemed there was still Picard and Geordi and Data. This one hour of tv in my life, one a week, or when it went into syndication, five times a week, became such a huge source of comfort to me that I feel I owe Gene Roddenberry a blood debt.
Anyway, one summer day, when the house was creaking from the incessant heat and we both felt totally defeated, we started watching an old re-run of Cheers. It was first season. There was Sam and Diane, Coach and Carla, Cliff and Norm... just like I'd remembered from my childhood (hey, Star Trek wasn't the only show on, even I know that) the jokes were great, the show had heart, the little half hour was a perfect slice of time at the end of my day. Then, another one came on and we realized that WGN was showing an hour block of Cheers every week day. That's how it started. After that, we vowed to have a "Summer of Cheers" and keep watching even if it ran through our awful packing (which it did) our awful drive across the country (which it did) and our awful adjustment time in LA (which it did.)
We watched Cheers when Coach died. When Woody replaced him. When Diane left but Frasier stayed. When Rebecca joined up. When Lilith came and went and came again. And finally, when Sam said the last words of the series, "Sorry, we're closed."
"Summer of Cheers" got us through something hard, even traumatic. And when it was over, and we started watching the Fall season, and began really studying all of our favorite shows since, well, writing TV is what we'd really like to do, I realized that I should start keeping track of this stuff. So here is it. This is my attempt to keep up with my TV friends.