Check the comments section from last Friday’s post. Even the great Steven Moffat (SHERLOCK, DR. WHO, COUPLING) weighed in with a CHEERS-related opinion.
Quick aside: Steven’s sitcom, COUPLING, is my all-time favorite British sitcom. And you know how much I love FAWLTY TOWERS and BLACK ADDER.
Others felt that wasn’t realistic, and that for whatever love and lust Sam & Diane had for each other they still were not a good match.
The final episode was conceived and written by Glen & Les Charles. I remember discussions in the room about how to resolve the Sam & Diane relationship and if memory serves, there was never any intention of getting them together at the end.
And I must say, I agreed with that decision then and still do. (Sorry Diane D.)
Sam & Diane were so different. Their relationship (for comic and dramatic purposes) was fraught with conflict. Most of our time was spent devising new, funny, and fresh complications for them. Projecting forward, I believe they would driven each other insane had they gone off hand-in-hand – each with the best intentions, but ending with restraining orders.
A major research company conducted a survey just before the airing of the final episode. Only 21% felt Sam should marry Diane. (19% said he should marry Rebecca, which is just idiotic.) And 48% said Sam should stay single. At the time of this survey no one on staff had read it or even heard about it. Not that that would have made any difference.
I loved how bittersweet the ending was. Has there ever been someone in your life you long for but deep down in your heart-of-hearts you know they’re wrong for you?
But the truth is, in whatever direction the Charles Brothers chose there was going to be a large segment of fans who would be unhappy. The safe move was to just not have Diane return at all. But that really would have been cheating. I applaud Glen & Les for taking a stand (and writing a beautiful script).
And even though breaking up was heartbreaking for Sam & Diane, I’d like to think that over time they’d each be happier with someone else. But it would piss each other off that they were.
What do you think? Let the debate continue!