Frasier is one of the most successful sitcoms of the 1990s. It is a spin-off of another successful comedy that dominated american TV in the 80s – Cheers – and follows one of its characters, doctor Frasier Crane (played by Kelsey Grammer), as he moves back to his hometown of Seattle and becomes a radio host. The story revolves around Frasier’s efforts to reconstruct his life, and reconnect with his father, a retired policeman Martin Crane (played by John Mahoney). Other primary characters of the show include Frasier’s brother doctor Niles Crane (played by David Hyde Pierce), his producer Roz Doyle (played by Peri Gilpin), and his father’s physiotherapist Daphne Moon (played by Jane Leeves).
First of all, I should make it clear that I haven’t seen Cheers, but, considering that Frasier was written by completely different bunch of people (although James Burrows, one of Cheers‘ creators is a director here), I don’t see how that might be a problem. For what it’s worth, my perception may be clearer and less prejudiced without prior influences.
So, is this show worth watching? I think it is. I didn’t detect any falsity in any of the situations, or consistent lines of relationships. The actors are all pretty great, which might have helped a lot with that, but primarily it’s because of the writing, which was of good enough quality. I can’t say it’s amazing, or anything like it, but it’s quite good in general, and there are no silly or stupid solutions, like I feared, and also the humor is very good. Not hilarious, but really funny, – great jokes were present in every episode. Another important thing: there is no sag towards melodrama whatsoever, but emotional component is not at all abandoned. I’d say, the series, at least in this 1st season, is very well-balanced.
That being said, one should keep in mind that it’s the middle of the 90s, and TV developed a great deal since then, meaning the setting, the demeanor of the characters, as well as certain fundamentals of the environment (like the radio talk show) are somewhat outdated. If you can make peace with that, I think, you’d enjoy the show quite a lot, same as me.
Created by: David Angell, Peter Casey and David Lee
Directed by: James Burrows, David Lee, Andy Ackerman, Rick Beren
Written by: David Angell, Peter Casey, David Lee, Sy Dukane, Denise Moss, Anne Flett(-Giordano), Chuck Ranberg, Christopher Lloyd, Brad Hall, Leslie Eberhard, Lloyd Garver, Molly Newman, David Lloyd, Ken Levine, David Isaacs, Linda Morris, Vic Rauseo, Don Seigel, Jerry Perzigian
Performed by: Kelsey Grammer, Jane Leeves, David Hyde Pierce, Peri Gilpin, John Mahoney, Amanda Donohoe, John Glover, Bebe Neuwirth, Mako, Dr. Joyce Brothers, Dan Butler, Kathleen Noone, Harriet Sansom Harris, Claire Stansfield, Patrick Kerr, Edward Hibbert, Linda Hamilton, Griffin Dunne, Christopher Reeve, Patti LuPone, Judith Ivey, Joe Mantegna, Jeff Daniels, Robert Klein, Bruno Kirby, Eddie Van Halen, JoBeth Williams, Carl Reiner, Jay Leno, Mel Brooks, Rosemary Clooney, Dominick Dunne, Ben Stiller, Eric Stoltz, Piper Laurie, Henry Mancini, Elijah Wood, Timothy Leary, Malcolm McDowell, Reba McEntire, Christine Lahti, Mary Tyler Moore, Steve Lawrence, Eydie Gormé, Tommy Hilfiger, Gary Trudeau, Steve Young, Patricia Hearst
Time: 9h4m (a. 24 episodes)
Entertaining quality: 4+ out of 5
Art quality: 4+ out of 5
Links: (IMDB) | (wiki)