The Blog Formerly Known as Rebel Prince

Cult TV, Gen Y rants, and endless opera.

Posts Tagged ‘Frasier’

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 April 11, 2012

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. Read the rest of this entry »

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