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The Penultimate Season To Complete Your Collection...
on August 30, 2007
The release of "Frasier: Season 10" is a pleasure in itself simply because it allows the "Frasier" fan to complete their collection. Despite being only the penultimate season of the show, its successor season 11 was released before several of its forerunners - most probably due to the hype at the time that it was to be the last ever year of "Frasier".
Season 10 is yet another ingenious run of episodes. It is the season in which the show-makers pick up the pace again after slightly flatter 8th and 9th years. The anticipation that washed consistently throughout seasons 1-7, charting the saga of Daphne and Niles, which finally came to a head in the season 7 finale/8 opening, left the "Frasier" audience satisfied to see the pair together at last; and although it was different, interesting and enjoyable to watch the couple glide into their newfound relationship, the show lost a touch of its sparkle.
The 10th season steps things up again, as "Frasier" heads towards the looming climax, just 2 years away. It concentrates on being funny above all else and allows itself several one-off stories that only need to last the duration of a single episode but which are brilliant in themselves: "Enemy At The Gate" sees Frasier stand up for his rights, when he refuses to pay the $2 fee that is incurred when he enters a parking garage only to change his mind and attempt to exit again; "We Two Kings", the Christmas episode, sees the Crane brothers battle it out over who should host the holidays, resulting in Martin making the decision to work on Christmas Day; "Door Jam" is the wonderful episode in which Niles and Frasier join a ridiculously decadent health spa, only to become obsessed with their desire to enjoy the privileges of the most exclusive members; "Roe To Perdition" is another "Door Jam-esque" encounter, with its carefree Frasier/Niles craziness (this time, they get involved in the distribution of illegally imported caviar); "Daphne Does Dinner" sees Daphne and Frasier's attempts to muster up an event in which Niles plans to unveil a newly acquired painting, which, unbeknown to him, Alice has drawn on; and "Fathers And Sons" witnesses Roz convinced that Frasier and Niles' mother's ex-colleague is actually their real father.
Season 10 has its steadier continual plots too - each equally as entertaining. It begins with Niles and Daphne finally tying the knot - three times! In order to have the wedding they want, the couple get married in secret, only to have to act out a second marriage to please Frasier and Martin (who express that they would be distraught if the pair were ever to get married without them there to see it). However, when Daphne's mother insists that her daughter be wed in a church, a third fake-wedding must be performed.
Other plots involve the slightly more serious situation in which Niles has to undergo heart surgery, and Frasier's love/hate interest of the season, Julia (played perfectly by Felicity Huffman), whose presence causes a sexual harassment case at KACL, scandal with Frasier's accountant and a blazing dispute between Frasier and Roz, culminating in Roz demanding Frasier to choose between her and Julia in the Season Finale.
And this is where Season 10 leaves us...but fortunately we have Season 11 to go to immediately, as the release of "Frasier: Season 10" marks the final part of the collection to be made available on DVD.
Proving to be a nice run-up to the forthcoming end of "Frasier", the 10th season combines, as usual, witty writing with superb acting. It brings along new characters, provoking enjoyable stories, whilst developing the established regulars even further than its previous 9 years has done already. Daphne and Niles' relationship evolves even more, both endearingly and humorously, whilst we witness more of Frasier's unvarying closeness to his brother, and the difficulty he faces when a contemptible lover clashes with his best friend. Ever-constant is the comedy, provided largely by classic "Frasier" ingredients - misunderstanding, the continuous Frasier/Niles battle to be elite, and the exaggeration of the characters' already extravagant and embellished personalities...including the ever-winning Eddie the dog.
Despite not being the final season, season 10 is an enchanting finishing piece of the "Frasier" puzzle, flawlessly embodying the nature of an established, intelligent and successful sitcom in its golden years.