Because fandom feels are real, too.
Loss of a Beloved Character
(or Little Brother Replaces Granddad)
My recently found appreciation for Woody Harrelson as an actor (and raw vegan!) got me to finally start watching Cheers. (Although I’d seen advertisements nearly my whole life, knew the theme song, and was familiar with the characters, I’d never actually watched an entire episode.) This was right before Christmas holiday, and I only saw about 5-10 episodes before we left. However, I quickly learned that it would be a while before I saw the characters portrayed by Kelsey Grammer, Woody Harrelson, and Kirstie Alley, and that the guy who played Coach (Nicholas Colasanto) would die in 1985 at the young age of 61.
After returning from holiday and continuing to watch, I quickly grew fond of Coach and got sadder and sadder as time went on, knowing his time drew near. I started to think that Woody Harrelson’s character would show up after Coach was gone, and for once I would be sad to see him. I was right, at least about the first half. One day Woody Boyd walks into Cheers looking for Coach and Sam tells him that Coach passed away a couple of months prior. Woody is then hired on to take Coach’s place as a bartender. I wasn’t upset by that at all; in real life one would have to hire someone to replace a deceased employee. Despite the fact that the two characters share a similar off-knowledge sort of humour (Woody’s being innocent and Coach’s more absent-minded), I don’t believe Woody is supposed to truly replace Coach.
For a few episodes, I was super sad any time I thought about Coach, even sometimes just seeing Woody and knowing Coach would have been standing there. It didn’t take long, however, to realise how adorable Woody is and it really helps soften the blow of the loss.
I don’t really know how to give this a good conclusion, but writing about it was nicely therapeutic.