Creator: David Angell, Peter Casey, David Lee
Starting right where Cheers left off, we follow that show’s second best character for another 11 seasons. In fact Kelsey Grammar played Frasier for 20 years! That’s insane. I was skeptical of the show at first, as I felt Frasier Crane by himself wouldn’t make for that interesting of a show. Thankfully they did a bang up casting job and gave fuck all about continuity, giving Frasier a brother and father he never had while on Cheers. David Hyde Pierce is otherworldly good at Frasier’s younger brother and John Mahoney is excellent as the father. The joy all three had working together was obvious. The ladies are pretty good, too. Roz makes a great foil for Frasier as his producer. Daphne was a simple and annoying character at first, but she grew significantly during the show’s run as Niles’ love interest and eventual spouse.
While I don’t love every episode, Frasier is way more consistent than Cheers and doesn’t fall off nearly as much by the show’s end. There’s less reliance on one-liners and the writing is generally smarter. I’m glad they didn’t have too many episodes that bring back the Cheers gang, though every episode with Bebe Neuwirth was welcome.
Some highlights for me:
–The parrot that embarrasses everyone by repeating all of the nasty things they say about their party guests behind closed door
–The episode where Frasier accidentally goes into a gay bar. The double entendres in that episode are delightful as is Patrick Stewart
–Every time Daphne turns Niles on without realizing it
–Frasier ranting to Maris while she’s in the deprivation tank (or so he thinks) about her cheating on Niles.
So much good stuff.