Take some middle-age barflies, a sex addict, a scrappy waitress, mix with beer and place in a Boston bar where “everybody knows your name.” The result: “Cheers,” a primetime sitcom staple that lasted 11 years and won 28 Emmys. While the four-disc set of “Cheers: Season Four” perfectly preserves this 1980s classic, it’s completely devoid of extras.

By the fourth year, “Cheers” had worked out any of its kinks and became a consistently successful sitcom. It’s funny and populated with lovable characters that make the show ideal for repeated viewings.

Sam Malone (Ted Danson) is a washed up baseball pitcher who runs the bar and hits on every woman he meets. Sam, undeniably an ’80s man, acts as father and brother to everyone who frequents Cheers. Diane Chambers (Shelley Long), a brainy waitress, spouts academia and pines for Sam, her ex-boyfriend. Their on again/off again relationship is the central conflict of which the show’s sparkling supporting cast surrounds.

The best members of the ensemble cast have to be barstool philosopher Cliff (John Ratzenberger) and his overweight straight man Norm (George Wendt).

The show remains a shining monument of formulaic ’80s sitcoms. Plus, it has simmered in syndication long enough that all the plotlines seem familiar. Sam and Diane go back and forth in their battle-of-the-sexes shtick to the point of redundancy. Thankfully, the predictability is made completely bearable by the acting and pitch-perfect writing.

With Dolby Digital Sound, the only thing lacking in “Cheers: Season Four” is the extras. For a show that lasted over a decade, it’s disappointing that the DVD doesn’t have a single feature. There’s no incentive to buy the DVD of a show that’s still on TV twice a day. With no extras and mediocre visuals and sound, it might be safer to just stay up late and catch the reruns.


Show: 4 out of 5 stars

Picture/Sound: 3 out of 5 stars

Extras: 0 out of 5 stars

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