34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Frasier: Season 8 (DVD)
Before you read this review, you must understand that there is NO greater fan of this sitcom than I. The whole show has always made me split my sides, and I love the show more than any other. Believe me, it is my favorite sitcom.
That was why Season Eight so seriously disappointed me. The magic was gone from the cast this season, and I think that the choices made by the writers and producers were huge mistakes. Frasier has a "mid-life crisis" during which he questions his career choice; every episode from then on shows a Frasier who is completely downtrodden and has no spark. One commonly-cited flaw about this season was how the writers chose to deal with Jane Leeves' real-life pregnancy: they had Daphne gaining incalculable weight, going off to "fat-camp," and then coming back only to blame the whole escapade on Niles' love for her. Needless to say, this put a damper on the comedic quality of all the Niles/Daphne humor. 'Bulldog' Briscoe was wholly absent from this season, as was Frasier's producer Bebe Glazer - and the void was glaring. Martin and Roz were almost non-entities, blending into the background and not really bolstering the floundering humor.
The reason I am still able to love the show, despite this uncharacteristically poor season, is because I have seen what followed Season Eight. The Final Season (11) is wonderful again, so I know that the show turned around eventually. Hopefully Season Nine is again brilliant, and finds the characters having broken out of their individual funks. While the show Frasier is amazing, and my personal favorite, Season Eight was the most disappointing of all thus far. If you are a die-hard Frasier fan, you obviously need to own all the seasons, as I do. If, however, you just have an interest in seeing some funny Frasier episodes (but don't necessarily need to see them all), this is NOT the season for you.
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Initial post: Mar 13, 2007 3:28:14 PM PDT
I agree with you. It was an extremely disappointing season. I am a huge fan of Frasier and I just couldn't believe what I was watching throughout most of this season. I felt the dialogue was weak (and often cringe-worthy) and I hated the way they tried to hide Jane Leeves pregnancy. It was blatantly obvious she was pregnant and the way they tried to hide it, often with her wearing a baggy top, was just awful. I felt it was very unfair to Niles character (the way they blamed her weight gain on him). It made me cringe to see the Valentine's Day episode when Niles and Daphne do the whole spaghetti thing like on Lady and the Tramp. Ugh! How stupid. I feel that most of the episodes storylines were very weak and nothing like the previous seasons.
Posted on Aug 8, 2010 7:08:09 PM PDT
Peter Andronas says:
since you are a big fan; please read my review and see season eight 8 again:
The season starts off with a bang; betrayal, frustration, carefully timed divorce proceedings, a new, young, hip radio station owner who needs a mentor and a pompous ass who takes on a butler, while Mel finally gets her unplanned moment of being dumped by Niles during Frasier's snooty pre-opera party! The series gets a shake down and shapes up for more hilarity! The fun continues when Dr. Mary, the bubbly radio show host returns to KACL and joins Frasier for the Christmas parade banter, live on TV but the icing on the cake is Daphne getting ever so large while Niles nor she seem to notice, instead they both blame the dry cleaners for shrinking her clothes and in a moment of truth when Daphne trips no one Crane alone can lift her off the floor but three, not to mention spending Valentine's Day with Daphne and Niles smooching sauce off each other; very funny and charming. Other highlights include `Frasier's Edge', where Frasier's self-analysis tortures him and shakes him up....a lot; the only episode in Frasier history not to end on a high note but a sombre one, also `Cranes Unplugged' where frustrated Frasier tries to desperately bond with his teenage son and a very frustrated Roz tries to hitch a drop-dead gorgeous surgeon who has a voice like a Greek God! The `pieces de resistence' are when Frasier and Niles decide to coast through a mechanics course with hilarious results and when John Glenn joins the cast for space exploration and everyone goes overboard and the episode where Martin insists that Niles let Frasier back into the wine club; Martin's line `are you going to let your brother play?' repeated over and over till he gets results is comedy heaven! Also a very touching episode when Daphne returns from the fat farm. The season also hosts a well-written role for Jean Smart who returns in the role of Lana; in the vein of the season's tendency to develop characters we witness a very interesting relationship between her and Frasier as well as one of the most understated and creative episodes in the series' history is the touching `A Day in May', which beautifully tells the stories of three relationships; a sweet one, a challenging but charming one with a touch of realism and a sad and devastating one.
Meanwhile Bulldog and the rest of the supporting cast are unplugged for most of the season, except for Kenny who pulls a few punches on the show; the stories center mostly with the lead cast.
This season is formidable, epic in its approach and extremely entertaining; definitely one of the best in the series and a strong contender for the ultimate Frasier experience; it surpasses the sitcom standard. This season goes through many changes and emotions with fantastic character development. I only have one frustration; the writers present the best woman Frasier has ever met on one of the final episodes but choose to let her slip through his hands once again, it is a quite a torture they have put us through with Frasier constantly missing great opportunities...Season Eight is a true to form classic!
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2011 12:50:59 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 20, 2011 1:22:54 AM PST
I agree with Justin Smith for the most part. Season 8 was a disappointment but I would still recommend all seasons for fans of this show and even the unitiated. Even at its weakest, it's still better than most. It just doesn't live up to its own standard(set during 1-7) during Seasons 8-10.
Even though the show was called Frasier, Niles was still a "co-main character" and anytime a long-running sitcom finally has the guy get the girl, or the obligatory marriage or new child happens, it hurts the show because it loses the tension and hilarity that the chase and pining provided. When Niles finally got Daphne, you abruptly lost one major source of comedy in this show and they had a hard time bouncing back and finding a replacement angle. As much as I love this show, with the exception of the "here and there" episode in 8-10, it didn't bounce back until Season 11. Even then, nothing can touch the peak form this show was in for Seasons 1-7.
Think back to Cheers. As great as that show was with Sam and Diane, if Shelly Long had not left, the show would not have carried on for six more seasons like it did. Not because of her performance, which was terrific. It was because the chase and romance and break-ups and reunions had run their course by Season 5. The two characters either had to marry, have the typical boring kid, or split up until the end of the series. If they had married, that sexual tension was dead. Bringing in Kirstie Alley changed the focus of the show. Sam wanted her but it also opened up the show for other characters to have more lines and for Frasier to emerge even moreso.
Think of Niles and Daphne in Season 8 in that respect. The chase is over. He's got her. No more great humor and quips relating to his pursuit of her and his pining for her. It's gone and it hurt the show and the season.
On the other hand, even the weakened "Frasier" of Seasons 8-10 was better than 99% of the garbage that passes for television today. I'll gladly take that because my IQ is not low enough to enjoy "reality" shows, Kardashians, "Bad Girls", Housewives, Idols, sitcoms of today, 2 1/2 Men, and cookie-cutter crime shows. Today's shows are so devoid of creative talent that every second is a rauchy sex joke, has shocking dialogue, insults, put-downs, or resorts to frank sexual talk to try and generate laughs or attention. Look at shows like 2 1/2 Men and Big Bang Theory. Every other line is about sex. TV today is pathetic. In other words, they're dumb and only appeal to the most base of instincts. Shows like Frasier could integrate sexuality in a classy, intelligent, and funny manner that didn't make you wince, shake your head, or send the kids out of the room. Or better yet, change the channel. I'm glad DVD will allow it to live on forever.
Even with its flaws, I would still recommend Season 8 and onward to fans and new viewers.
Posted on Jan 5, 2012 7:34:38 AM PST
THIS is a great review. Thank you for your insights. This is my all-time favorite sitcom as well. And I have not seen all of Season 8. I appreciate your preview and will still (nervously) purchase it. I love the show so much I can't bear to not see it!
Posted on Mar 27, 2014 12:45:06 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 27, 2014 12:46:32 PM PDT
Johnny Walker says:
I couldn't have written this better myself. Thanks for capturing what was wrong with this season. (There's even a story where Martin attends the parole hearing of the guy who shot him -- not a single laugh in it. I love drama, I like dramedy, but Martin miserably attending a parole hearing is not "Frasier" -- or at least it wasn't until this season.)
What did you make of Season 9, Justin?
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