Thursday, December 20, 2007
Frasier - The Tenth Season DVD Review
Written by General Jabbo
For over 20 years, Emmy Award-winner Kelsey Grammer played the character of Dr. Frasier Crane, first on Cheers, then on his own spin-off show, Frasier. During that time, Fraiser's snobby exploits always remained funny and the fact the character never "jumped the shark" is a testament to the excellent writing on the show.
In the tenth season, we are treated to more of the same. The season opens with Frasier's brother Niles (Played by David Hyde Pierce) and his girlfriend Daphne (played by Jane Leeves) eloping in Las Vegas. They plan to tell Frasier and his father (played by John Mahoney), but don't say anything when they learn that both Frasier and his father would have been crushed not to have been there. Next, the couple tries to get married before a judge, only to have Daphne's mother Gertrude (played by Millicent Martin) object as the wedding was not performed by a minister. As she storms off, the couple decides to get married without her present, only to have her regret telling them what to do, so a third wedding is planned where the couple finally tells everyone when the actual wedding took place.
Another episode finds Frasier defying a parking garage attendant. When he drives into the garage only to change his mind about parking there, he tries to pull out and leave, only to find out he has to pay the $2 parking fee. Outraged since he hadn't actually parked, Frasier refuses to pay and sits in his car at the gate, causing a traffic jam and many irate people. Frasier pleads with them that he is doing this for their own good, but they aren't having it. The attendant tells Frasier he can't open the gate unless he pays, so Frasier decides to get his $2 worth and sits in his car for the full 20 minutes. When he argues that all of this could have been avoided, he goes over the time limit and ends up getting charged $4.
Roz's (played by Peri Gilpin) cousin Jen comes to visit in one episode. She is pushy and opinionated and irritates everyone in her path - except for Frasier's boss Kenny (played by Tom McGowan). She appreciates Kenny for taking her seriously when she announces she wants to visit Vietnam as Americans haven't discovered it yet and encourages him to break out of his own rut. Kenny had not unpacked any of his belongings, including his awards, as every time he did, he had gotten fired from that job and he expected the same at this job. Meanwhile, Jen's main goal in life is to party every night with Roz, which eventually wears Roz out. Roz gives one of Frasier's callers a lecture about growing up and appreciating your age. Kenny hears the speech and takes it to heart, unpacking his photos and awards.
Frasier's ex-wife and ex-Cheers castmate Lilith (played by Bebe Neuwirth), shows up unexpectedly and announces to Frasier she wants to have another child - with Frasier. She tries to get Frasier to donate his sperm to the cause, appealing to him by talking about the good times they had together with their first son Frederick, but Frasier eventually decides he can't do it because he'd be doing it for the wrong reasons. Meanwhile, Niles notices a close-up shot of a nipple in a roll of film that he first mistakes for a flying saucer, but later thinks is Daphne trying to take an erotic photo for him. Turns out he was wrong on both counts as the nipple in the picture belonged to his father.
Not all is fun and games though as Niles has to go in for open heart surgery in a three-part episode that reminds the viewer that no one knows when their time is up and that they should cherish every moment they have with their loved ones. Each character's life passes before them in a series of vignettes that show the entire cycle of life taking place in a hospital.
There is no commentary or bonus features of any kind on the DVD, which would have been the thing to make a good DVD set great, but the quality of the episodes still makes this set worthwhile.
Frasier ran one more season after this one. After numerous awards and nominations, Frasier left us with many laughs and good stories. The tenth season, like all the others, was a winner and belongs in the hands of all fans of the show.