Go watch the pilot for Cheers. Right now and then return. The pilot of Cheers is frequently referred to as one of the greatest pilots ever. for a valid reason.
In addition, I will keep referring to it in subsequent sections. I think it is still available on Netflix. However, I want to talk about how it builds character right now.
Cheers quickly establishes both its protagonist and its world. Sam Malone is a former ball player and a recovering alcoholic. He immediately reveals himself to be a trustworthy individual who values his bar, his staff, and his patrons.
He is also a hound dog and a little bit of a ladies man, but he is not a creep and he does not take advantage of anyone. We continue to learn more about Sam throughout the entirety of the episode through jokes, plot points, and the manner in which other people react to him. In that manner, the pilot as a whole is focused like a laser beam. Norm, Coach, Carla, and Cliff all get their own moments of introduction, but unlike Sam, they are not really fleshed out.
Because they are not required to be at this point. We only see Cliff Clavin in a few beats as an arrogant know-it-all, but now we know his character. When Carla comes charging in,
We are aware of everything we need to know about Carla at this point, despite our complaints and zingers.
Diane, the show’s second lead or deuteragonist, is the other character who receives a lot of screen time in the pilot. Like Cheers, many shows have two leads.
Cheers, on the other hand, leans more toward Sam than Diane when it comes to story importance. Their relationship is the show’s primary conflict in Cheers and most other shows with two leads. Therefore, the pilot serves Sam and Diane well because their relationship fuels the overall plot as well as the individual episodic stories for the remainder of the season and the majority of the show’s runtime.
They get into a bit of a fight even in their first interaction, which sets the stage for their subsequent relationship. Diane answers the phone when one of Sam’s lovers calls to inquire about him.
Sam tries to come up with a reason for Diane not to tell the woman, but Diane has had enough and won’t cooperate.
The show uses comedy in this initial interaction to introduce these characters, establish their relationship, and demonstrate their obvious chemistry. The audience understands the central conflict and dynamic of Cheers simply from the amount of time spent with these characters.
Sam wants to be with Diane as well as run a successful bar. Even though she gives a ridiculous response about studying people from the working class, Diane takes the job at Cheers because she quickly falls in love with the people there and also because her attraction to Sam is undeniable. Additionally, as I mentioned in the series’ first episode, the show pairs them because they are opposites.
That is also the source of their chemistry and conflict. The story of the show is about two people who want to be together but won’t say so. The show then spends the remainder of the season and series putting them in more and more danger.
Anthropomorphic antagonists—people who prevent your protagonist from achieving his or her objectives—are uncommon in situation comedies. Typically, the conflict arises from a disagreement between two cast members that can ultimately be resolved or from an external source. However, returning to Haunted Bakery, the antagonists are the ghosts. The ghosts’ opposition to the baker will account for the majority of the show’s conflict.
Therefore, the ghosts would receive priority over other characters in your pilot, just like the main character. Your antagonist must have objectives that are comparable to and distinct from those of your protagonist. The ghosts’ objective is to scare the baker away and force her out of business, while the baker’s objective is to open a successful bakery. Which reasons do they have? What are they?
The pilot must at least address these and other questions if they are not answered.
The relationship between the protagonist and each supporting character will determine their identity.
The selection of characters will be based on how well they advance the protagonist’s story or hinder it.