The Blog Formerly Known as Rebel Prince

Cult TV, Gen Y rants, and endless opera.

Archive for the ‘TV Reviews’ Category

25 best, 25 worst “Frasier” episodes

Posted by therebelprince on July 13, 2017

Frasier is one of the great sitcoms of the 1990s – and certainly the greatest spin-off of them all. Transplanting Kelsey Grammer‘s Dr. Frasier Crane – now divorced – from his lengthy run on Cheers across to Seattle, where he is reunited with his uptight brother Niles (David Hyde Pierce) and his down-to-earth curmudgeon of a father (John Mahoney) was perhaps not that original, but the series proved its genius very early on. Like all of the best sitcoms, the series could wear multiple masks – family comedy, workplace sitcom, grand farce, character analysis – and reveled in luxury guest stars. Today, I wanted to explore the series’ 25 best and 25 worst episodes.

Readers of my writing, here and elsewhere, know that I’m usually a “redemptive” reviewer. It’s very hard to write 22-24 episodes a season, and sometimes an idea just doesn’t land, or the timing just runs out and an episode gets made. What’s remarkable about Frasier is that any one of its 264 episodes carries some charm, and I’d only consider perhaps 5 of them to be truly lamentable. This was a series that respected its audience, both in its consistent wittiness and its faith in character. All of which is to say: many episodes that didn’t make it into the Top 25 are still remarkable. And even some of those on my Bottom 25 are quite good by average sitcom standards. But this isn’t an average sitcom. This is Frasier.

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In Defence of the Sitcom

Posted by therebelprince on October 29, 2016

#Throwback to one of my late night rants – see the sidebar for more.

The Blog Formerly Known as Rebel Prince

Khandi Alexander, Dave Foley, and Phil Hartman in “NewsRadio”

I have a lot of free time at the moment. I could use this to write, to go to the gym, to work on those thousand paper cranes that I’ve been meaning to get around to… Instead, I watch classic sitcoms. And all this time spent in front of the idiot box has got me thinking about laugh tracks: they’re something most older audiences took for granted, but which far too many people my age are willing to write off as “dated”, “fake”, “patronising”, and what have you. These can all be true (anyone who ever watched travesties like Less Than Perfect or According to Jim can attest), but it’s by no means universal. The laugh track is a vital part of sitcom history, and I think it’s more important than many would like to believe.

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My favourite TV of 2014

Posted by therebelprince on December 31, 2014

New GirlDisclaimer: Yes, I hate “year-end” lists as much as the next guy but, guess what? I’m doing it anyway.

Second disclaimer: I realise the above wasn’t really a ‘disclaimer’ in the technical sense, but so what?

Well, here we are. It’s actually been a busy year, and I’ve not been on top of the hip new shows as much as I usually am, but nevertheless, I thought I’d briefly shout out to the 10 shows  I enjoyed the most in 2014, and also to a few that tried their darndest.

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Review – Marple: “Greenshaw’s Folly”

Posted by therebelprince on July 7, 2013

The Agatha Christie Reader

Welcome back, as we continue with the second of this year’s Marple mysteries: Greenshaw’s Folly.

“Everyone here’s a bit weird, aren’t they?”
— Archie Oxley

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Review – Marple: “A Caribbean Mystery”

Posted by therebelprince on June 26, 2013

The Agatha Christie Reader

Julia McKenzie is back for three new films as spinster detective Jane Marple. First cab off the rank: A Caribbean Mystery.

“Ave, Caesar, morituri te salutant.”

 — Jason Rafiel

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Review: Poirot: “Elephants Can Remember”

Posted by therebelprince on June 13, 2013

Over at my other blog, The Agatha Christie Reader, things are heating up again after a lonely year without Christie adaptations on our screens…

The Agatha Christie Reader

Welcome back, dear readers.  David Suchet has returned for the final series of Poirot films, which will be released infrequently over the next several months. Let’s take a look at the first of the five, Elephants Can Remember.

“And love it may usually turn to hate. And it is easier to hate where you have once loved than to remain indifferent.”

— Hercule Poirot

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Arrested Development: 4.15 “Blockheads”

Posted by therebelprince on June 9, 2013

Cindy the OstrichWelcome back as we finish up our examination of Arrested Development‘s fourth season, and find out just who’s out of the movie…

“You’re out of the movie!” — Michael Bluth

Please note this review contains spoilers for the entire fourth season of the show.

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Arrested Development: 4.14 “Off the Hook”

Posted by therebelprince on June 9, 2013

Buster BluthWe hustle toward the climax of Arrested Development‘s fourth season, finally checking in on the least prominent character of the fourth season: Byron “Buster” Bluth. It’s a hot mess.

“What happens when you stick your head in the sand?”

Don’t be surprised if someone uses you as a footstool.”

— Balding, Bespectacled Ostrich and Curvy, Older Brunette on addictive juice box.

Please note this review contains spoilers for the entire fourth season of the show.

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Arrested Development: 4.13 “It Gets Better”

Posted by therebelprince on June 8, 2013

It Gets Better 1Coming up: a look at Arrested Development‘s boy wonder, and the show’s only possible hope for humanity. But does the season’s structure bear itself out?

“Is George Michael here?” — Rebel Alley

Please note this review contains spoilers for the entire fourth season of the show.

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Arrested Development: 4.12 “Señoritis”

Posted by therebelprince on June 8, 2013

MaebyToday, Arrested Development knocks one out of the park, with the best look yet at Maeby Fünke. Not to mention answering that lingering question of what Mort Meyers has been up to in the last five years…

“Gotta tell you, I think movies are dead. Maybe it’s a TV show.” — Maeby Fünke

Please note this review contains spoilers for the entire fourth season of the series.

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