I’m feeling a little empty today.
Well the reason is a bit silly-I have for the second time (through the power of Netflix), finished viewing all eleven seasons of Frasier, the Emmy Award winning television sit-com that is the spin-off of Cheers. For the longest time Cheers was indeed my favorite sit-com. However, Frasier has definitely stepped up to at least equal.
Why do I like Frasier so much?
Frasier (obviously the main character) is a doctor of psychiatry, and I’ve had an interest in that practice since Psych 101 in high school. The root to this interest is of course trying to figure out the enigma that is myself.
Frasier, the show, takes place chronologically after the Cheers finale. After finalizing his divorce with his wife, Lilith (also a psychiatrist), and his private practice heading south, Frasier decided to leave Boston to return to his home town of Seattle, Washington and start over-As a talk-radio psychiatrist. There we’re introduced to his brother-Niles Crane (yet also a psychiatrist), his father, the ex-police detective-Martin Crane (whom Frasier has little in common with), Martin’s in-home physical therapist-Daphne Moon, and Frasier’s radio producer-Roz Doyle.
Now what is it that I like so much?
First of all the cast is brilliant, they are very versatile, very able to pull off not only comedy and physical comedy, but pure drama when it’s called for. Even the side characters and guest stars were also well casted.
The writing of course definitely brought the best out of each actor with some ridiculous but believable situations. Frasier and Niles (and even Frasier’s ex-wife, Lilith) are extremely pompous and pretentious upperclassman, highly regarded psychiatrists, and yet both seem to suffer to some great degree from varying neuroses. Their style, their socialite gravitas continually clashed with their father’s down to earth everyman persona-It’s often just comedy gold.
I’ve mentioned it before in a Facebook post, but one of my favorite dialogues from the show is:
Er, Roz, listen, I’m going to the opera tonight. You didn’t
happen to remember to bring my…
Oh, your opera glasses! I’m so sorry, they completely
slipped my mind.
I wouldn’t really mind, if you hadn’t borrowed them to ogle
that bodybuilder that moved in across the street.
Hey, just once or twice. It’s not like I copied his name off
his mailbox, so I could look up his number and call him while
he was in the shower, so I could watch him cross the room naked
to answer the phone in front of the picture window. That would
Look, I want them back. I refuse to squint through Pagliacci
while you’re trying to watch The Magic Flute!
Frasier and his sneckin metaphors-Smart, clever, edgy, annoying to just about everyone else in the cast-Love it! I do admittedly seem to share much of the Crane brothers taste in music, theater, and literature, and that definitely helps me identify with them.
On more personal matters-I definitely identify with the Crane brothers relationship to their patriarch, Martin, who lives with Frasier due to his handicap from a bullet to his hip, which had forced him into retirement from the police force. As I’ve stated, they have virtually nothing in common aside from their name and blood.
In the early seasons it is established that they don’t get along very well-Walking on eggshells, so to speak. It is very similar to my current relationship with my father. I can only hope it doesn’t take 11 years for acceptance.
I also do share Frasier’s lack of luck finding a suitable mate, or rather one that lasts-And it’s usually his fault for messing it up.
The show ends with Frasier transitioning to a new life and career in San Francisco after seeing that both his brother and father have successfully gotten married. He must have felt that his job was done, his presence wasn’t immediately needed, and so it was time to move off on his own-To seek the completeness that his brother and father have acquired.
The final scene shows his plane landing not in San Francisco, but in Chicago where he hopes to re-establish a relationship with a woman who left him in course of her own transition to start over.
It felt empty indeed-Especially in the fact that we’ll never know what will become of Frasier. And yet as the camera faded to black, his confident smile radiated and he does seem hopeful.
As for me… It’s time to roll television back 20 years and start over again.