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It may have started life as a hopeful spin-off from 'Cheers', but right
from the very first episodes, 'Frasier' proved that it had enough style
and substance of its own to become a TV legend. Granted, it went on for
a couple of seasons too many, and toward the end was clearly starting
to suffer from a lack of fresh ideas, but for the most part this was a
hilarious, insightful and often very moving programme that my Friday
nights throughout the late 90s just wouldn't have been complete
without. After so many years of viewing, Frasier, Niles, Martin,
Daphne, Roz and Eddie feel like more than just TV characters - they're
like your very own neighbours, or even great friends.
Indeed, 'Frasier' worked so well throughout most of its run not just because of the sharp, intelligent scripting, but also due to the sheer depth of its central characters and the ongoing focus on their relationships with each other. The characterisation here was always so rich and meaningful, taking us right from Dr Frasier Crane himself, the highbrow, slightly arrogant but good-natured radio shrink, to his more laidback everyman father Martin (a retired police officer now living with his son), and prissy younger brother Niles, a fellow psychiatrist who fits two slots as both Frasier's best friend and his mortal enemy! A lot of the episodes revolved around their family troubles and clashes of interest, but were handled in a very meticulous way, and the morals always felt smooth and genuine. Though rarely quite able to see eye-to-eye with each other, you got a good sense over the course of the series that the Crane men were gradually learning to bond and grow closer together, in spite of their differences. And that's one of the aspects of 'Frasier' that roped me in head and shoulders above its other contemporary sitcoms - it was never afraid to mix heart and poignancy with its laugh-out-loud hilarity. Episodes like 'Martin does it his way', 'Our Father whose Art Ain't in Heaven' and 'Roz's Krantz and Gouldenstein are Dead' are classic examples.
Daphne Moon, Martin's amiable English physiotherapist, and Roz Doyle, Frasier's sassy producer, were also great characters who added their own unique streaks of humour and personality to the format. Even Maris, a personage who was never seen but talked about at many an ingenious moment, managed to make her mark - it's to the credit of those wily scriptwriters that they could always have you feeling her presence solely on the word-of-mouth of other characters. On the side, any episode featuring Bebe, Frasier's positively demonic agent, can almost guarantee a laugh-riot - she was utterly hilarious, and there was never another semi-regular character quite like her.
In terms of acting quality, the central cast was always strong, particularly Kelsey Grammar, at his utmost prime not just in fulfilling the role of our protagonist, but also in singing 'Tossed Salad and Scrambled Eggs' over the end-credits of every episode (who knew what those words were supposed to mean, but it was a great theme song! I still catch myself humming it from time to time).
I'll also come clean with my unswerving admiration for Moose, the canine performer who rounded off the Crane household in the role of Eddie, Martin's Jack Russell, for most of the series (before retiring and being replaced by his offspring Enzo for the final fifth). Seriously, he's got to be the most talented animal actor since that cat who played Tao in 'The Incredible Journey'. Those various antics of his amounted to a lot more than just a few dumb pet tricks to secure easy "aww" reactions from the audience - Eddie had easily as much personality as any of the human ensemble, a subtle and canny little dog who's good at getting what he wants and working his way round the no-nonsense Frasier.
As you've probably guessed by now, I loved this show and its cast of characters dearly, and was sorry to see it go in 2004, but at the same time I was pretty much aware that it had run its course. They were starting to rehash older concepts, like Frasier losing Martin's chair, which is always a bad sign. Also, too many OTT British accents from non-British guest actors had a few of us clenching our teeth this side of the Atlantic (Anthony LaPaglia, I'm looking mainly in your direction here!). But I digress, because the general history of this sitcom was just fantastic. Even if the latter-day episodes were a little weaker than the previous instalments, it's the truly great material that, in the end, really stays with you. And throughout the years there was so, so much of it.
Mark my words - this show is all set in time to go down as the classic US sitcom of the 90s. 'Friends' may have gotten the greater media coverage when it left its own building in the same year, but 'Frasier' will always be the superior show.
I love this TV show, and I try to watch it as much as possible! The humor
is intelligent unlike some TV shows that have humor that is stupid and
immature and predictable. You just have to laugh at all the situations
Niles and Frasier get into that could have been prevented in the first
if they weren't so concerned with appearances, hence the episode when they
wanted to see that actor's final stage performance but couldn't because
would not get cancellation tickets!
Jane Leeves' Daphne Moon is a wonderful character; she tries to offer
of advice to the Crane family that are sadly ignored most of the time.
Martin is funny as the dad who is clueless as to reasons why his sons
embrace the ordinary life(and I want a chair as comfy as his). I like how
Kelsey Grammer and David Hyde Pierce showcase their musical talents on the
show(and I can tell that isn't fake piano playing) quite often.
Roz is delicious, and you have to laugh at her dysfunctionally romantic life. I enjoy watching Bebe Glazer when she comes on, Lilith is a roll-over when she makes her presence, and of course, Bulldog and his stupid and immature attitude. Watch this show! You'll get a good laugh!
Simply one of the best sitcoms on tv ever! This series has a very good cast and script writers. I recommend this to everyone who likes intelligent comedies. Many of the sitcoms on tv are poor but this one really shines. Saturday nights wouldn´t be Saturday nights without it.
Rather like Friends and Seinfeld, Frasier is one of those sitcoms of the 90's with mass appeal. While it probably isn't as internationally famous as "Friends" it is every bit as good as it. Over the years, "Frasier" has remained a consistently entertaining and ultimately satisfying sitcom. It always has fresh, witty material and hopefully will continue for another few years. The cast all work perfectly together, the overall effect is very good. "Frasier" is one of the best sitcoms on television today.
I was pleased to see the Crane boys rewarded at the Emmys in 2004; a
fitting tribute to 11 years of highly entertaining TV, the like of
which I personally will miss terribly.
Reading some of the comments on this site prompted me to write that the characters created are all based on the premise that the two experts on life are constantly frustrated by their own shortcomings and are guided, ignorantly, by the other characters, who demonstrate that their own interpretations on how to run their lives supercede the tertiary-educated brothers.
I will sorely miss the interactions between all members of the cast and the ability of the show to hit the nail fairly and squarely on the head, when it comes to addressing the vagaries of interfamilial relationships. If you don't get this, you never will and you will never see the funny side of life.
I look forward to Australia receiving the most recent episodes, as we are still watching reruns from about 1998! Lucky us!
This sitcom is well above Cheers, right up there with Seinfeld, with
whom it shares the cynicism, great chemistry between cast members,
fast-paced and witty dialog. The characters are extremely well drawn,
and the exploration of comedy is complex. Very well written, extremely
well acted, and entertaining perhaps for a tad smaller audience than
Seinfeld, because it's a bit more intellectual in approach, it is
ultimately brilliant and original.
If Seinfeld was about "nothing", this one is about "everything", and in addition packed with great actors, and special guests.
P.S.- even the dog is brilliant
10* out of 10
This is a good show. Hilarious, in fact! I am sad to see it didn't get as much publicity as "Seinfeld" and "Friends" over the years, perhaps then it would have gotten a bigger fan base. This show's humour is refined and elegant, and it's always funny to see Frasier's ego grow.
I enjoy watching Seinfeld and Becker more than I enjoy watching
Frasier, but Frasier leaves them both behind in genuine sitcom quality.
The cast is brilliant and the writing is absolutely top-notch. The
first 5 seasons was probably the best display of American sitcom of all
time, if not international sitcom. Unfornunately the show ran out of
steam in the final few series when the energy seemed to slip away from
both the writing and acting.
Frasier is a real comedy lovers comedy. Even though it pokes fun at wine-loving snobs, it's upper-class feel may have kept some from experiencing the show. While it's not my all-time favourite show, Frasier is undoubtedly the most professional sitcom that I have ever seen.
Mainly it is a great show thanks to the cast. Everyone in the show does a good job. The thing that has made the show work from the beginning is the interplay between the characters. The two brothers, Niles and Frasier who are opera loving cultured type people, and their dad the sports loving everyman is great. Also, I can sort of relate to some of the characters as well. I am a sports fan who doesn't go into all that fancy stuff, but like Frasier I have trouble with women. The show rarely has episodes I don't care for, and I usually get a good laugh during every show. I have taped almost every episode from TV as well. Hopefully, this show will keep going for a long time, but I am afraid it is nearing the end.
This is one of the funniest shows on tv. Kelsey, David and the rest work so well together and are very funny. No wonder it's won the emmy for best comedy all those years in a row. I can't believe Ally McBeal beat it out this year. I don't think that show is half as funny as Frasier. What makes it even better is that the show has Peri Gilpin who is the daughter of the great Jim O'Brien who was a newscaster/weatherman for Philly news. I see where she gets her talent! Anyway Frasier is a great show that anyone would enjoy!
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