I thought the finale stayed true to who the characters were and it made sense . That is, except for Sam in one respect. The finale made it appear like Sam did not love Diane , maybe he no longer loved her like he did in Season 5 season finale but that needed more clarification for me. If you go back to that episode, he loved Diane enough to let her go to puruse her dreams when he really wanted to marry her. He knew she would not return but yet he was apparently so upset about her depature as we see in Seaon 6 that he sold his beloved Bar and set sail around the world. He only returned when his boat sank and he was out of cash and needed a job. That shows the man was clearly torn about losing Diane. Granted maybe he grew and changed in 6 years but then why bring Diane back at all in the Finale to have them just break up again? And some critics have said the one character who did not seem to mesh with the Diane that viewers knew and loved or hated was the Diane of the finale. She was almost unrecognizable except for her speech at the award ceremony. She had few interactions with anyone but Sam even though during her time on the show, Diane was always concerned about the other patrons and employees and was always reaching out to them and trying to help them. She seemed disconnected from them plus they were all very cold and not just Carla. Carla stayed true to form. But Woody had adored Miss Chambers but in the finale but was very matter of fact and he did not seem all that happy to see her. Norm and Cliff ignored her when she tried to talk to them.
I often wonder if some of this was done on purpose by the writers because they had begged Shelly to stay on the show and I read where they even offered her a half million dollar raise to stay but she wanted to move on. Interestingly during the 30th reunion party , Ted and Shelly were the ones doing the long interviews together. Ted said Shelly carried the show the first few seasons. He said there was never a character like Diane on TV before her. Most o what people remember from that show that are not ardent fans but more casual fans, after all these years is Sam and Diane. But Diane's role on the finale was over before the finale 20 minutes. Again, why bring back Shelly for this, I found little meaning in her return. I had waited six years for her return and I was disappointed. She and Sam did not need to stay together but once again, show that clip from Season 5 of Sam and Diane as old people dancing together to give us a hint that maybe these two find their way back to each other when elderly as many Sam and Diane fans I have talked to the past 20 years are very disappointed in anyway, I thought they wasted Shelly in the finale and that ending for them was lame. I wanted Diane to move back to Boston and leave it open ended for Sam and her but she could have said she was returning to get more inspiration and work there for a few years to get some story ideas as Carla inspired her award winning work. I wanted the entire cast in the bar at the end and then Sam part was fitting. But it seemed so off that Rebecca and Diane were not in the bar near the end where we saw both ladies first in Cheers.
But the scenes with Frasier, Carla, Woody, Cliff, Norm were perfection.
I think of Cheers as two separate Part Diane years and Cheers Part Rebecca years. I was also disappointed that Lilith was not in the was one of the only reasnos I watched once Diane for Lilith or Norm.