Frasier S9 E01 – Still good

Most people seem to think that Frasier jumped the shark when Niles and Daphne got together but I’ve never felt that way. Sure, there were some definite weaknesses in Season 8 – the whole Daphne and the fat farm debacle was depressing. But Frasier was consistently funny for 11 years, the only sitcom I can think of that lasted that long with quality. The characters never became caricatures, partly because Niles and Frasier basically started out as caricatures of course, but never mind. I’m not saying that Frasier didn’t have flaws, and there’s definitely stuff that is annoying. But if you watch season 2 of Friends and then season 10 the difference is amazing, whereas the same experiment with Frasier is much less distressing.

This episode is awesome. It’s still one of my favourites of the whole series. I love the way Frasier interacts with the imaginary women, the internal dialogue is great. Frasier’s quandary over Clare or Lana is irritating as hell, his constant whining about relationships is ridiculous and he keeps dating insanely hot women who are great and he always screws it up by being an idiot. It would be nice to think that this episode would help with that, but sadly I’ve seen the rest of the series and I know it isn’t true. As always, the show is mostly carried by the other characters. The greatness of Daphne and Roz shows how much poorer female characters are in the majority of TV shows. They’re always underused, but part of their brilliance is the way they can do a lot with so little.

I also love David Hyde Pierce and his performance. Niles is such a great character and played to perfection. Martin is brilliant too and the family relationship between the three Crane men is what keeps the series so good the whole way through. Island Niles is hilarious in this episode and actually far from detracting from the series one of the things I love most about the later seasons of Frasier is the Niles and Daphne relationship. The fact that they care about each other so much and make each other so happy just makes me smile every time I watch it. I also think Daphne is pretty hot, so it makes me quite jealous too.

I’ve been collecting all the old seasons of Frasier on DVD, and I like watching them ‘cause they’re short and funny. So I’ll probably be posting quite a bit more about Frasier soon. I really need to watch some BSG and some Lost as well, but they always seem to require more time and more attention than Frasier, and I just don’t get round to doing it, whereas putting on a Frasier DVD, or perhaps some My Name is Earl, is relaxing. My posting took a break, we’ll see how it goes from here, and I make no promises about which shows will be the subject.