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Adam Scott’s New Photoshoot as Sam Malone From ‘Cheers’ Has Broken Me

Adam Scott at an award show

When in doubt, there’s nothing like a good Adam Scott picture to lift my spirits. Recently, I’ve been blessed with a number of them because he’s been nominated for an Emmy for his work on the Apple TV+ series Severance and is doing interviews and talking with people about the show. Now though, he’s decided it’s time to completely derail my life, as he is wont to do, with a new photoshoot I haven’t stopped thinking about for days. (This is your general reminder that my cat is named after an Adam Scott character, so this is par for the course with me.)

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In a new profile for W Magazine, Scott posed as Sam Malone from Cheers for their TV Portfolio issue, and when I tell you that I felt my soul leave my body when I saw this picture, I mean it. Sam Malone was played by Ted Danson on the show and I, personally, didn’t realize my love for Sam ran as deep as it does until Danson pretended to be a bartender as Michael on The Good Place and did the Sam Malone towel flip, and I sobbed on my couch for hours. Scott he chose to pay homage to Sam Malone in his photoshoot, and that honestly just makes this so much worse for me.

Cheers was such a big deal when I was growing up in the ’80s. It was on Thursday nights at 9 p.m. It was very much an adult world,” Scott said. “And everybody looked great, with the New England culture they were replicating on the show. The rugby shirts, and the suit and tie after work going to the bar…that’s not really a West Coast thing, at least not in small-town Northern California. None of it was a part of my upbringing or my parents’ culture. My stepmother grew up on the East Coast, so we took a couple trips there when I was a kid and went to Boston. I got a Cheers sweatshirt and really had this fascination with that ‘East Coast, Cape Cod, prep school, people stopping by the watering hole after work’ world. For me, Cheers was more than just this sitcom. It was a tunnel into this other world that I aspired to. It was a really cool feathered-hair and rugby shirt era.”

The pictures have Scott in a bar and you know what? Someone chose violence!

The appeal of Sam Malone

Sam Malone is a sex symbol for a reason. There’s a connection to my sexual awakening somewhere in there, and I don’t want to unpack it, but know that little me went from watching this show at night with my dad to falling in love with Sam Malone somewhere along the line, and it’s informed a lot of the men I’m attracted to.

But Sam Malone was a mess. He didn’t know what he was doing a lot of the time, but he tried, and that’s what makes him so appealing to the audience. He’s not perfect and he doesn’t try to be, but he’s sorting his life out again and getting himself back on track, and maybe it’s the “I can fix him” cliché, but there’s just something about Sam that I personally still think about.

Mixed with the appeal of Adam Scott

Now pair that with Adam Scott’s ability to bring that level of connection to any of his characters and it’s a deadly combination. Ben Wyatt is my husband and no one can tell me he’s not real. I don’t care. I will find my own Ben Wyatt if it is the last thing I do. But it also extends to characters like Henry in Party Down and Ed in Big Little Lies. And now it’s part of Mark’s appeal in Severance.

I’m not saying that this photoshoot exists purely to ruin my week (in a good way), but I am saying that it has ruined my week (in a good way). I hope this is the season that Adam Scott’s brilliance and power is recognized and that he takes home the Emmy, but if not, at least we have more Severance and Party Down coming our way to keep the people praising him and his work.

(featured image: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Film Independent)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh.

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