on July 18, 2007
"Frasier" remains one of the most best-acted and literate shows to ever air on the small screen. With the pivotal cast of Kelsey Grammer ("Frasier"), David Hyde Pierce ("Niles"), Jane Leeves ("Daphne"), Peri Gilpin ("Roz"), John Mahoney ("Martin"), and the irreplaceable Moose and Onzo ("Eddie"), the show was never condescending to the audience, requiring that viewers step up to the plate to enjoy some of the wittiest repartee to be found in the history of television. Of course, the show had its share of truly funny sight gags but these never overshadowed the delicious dialog and, for that, the excellent writing staff received well-earned honors in the forms of its numerous Emmys and Golden Globes.
This eleventh and final season has to be considered one of its best, not only in resolving character issues but in overall humor. The writing staff and the cast were magnificent, dolling out consistently funny and poignant tales. When other shows resulted in "stunt casting" to boost ratings, "Frasier's" roster of guest performers were the best for the part and elevated the show to a level that others only wish they could attain. Patrick Stewart, Laura Linney, Aaron Eckhart, Julia Sweeney, Felicity Huffman, Penny Johnson, Jennifer Tilly, Laurie Metcalf, Estelle Parsons, and Rosie Perez were just some of the talented guest stars that popped into the life of the fictional Seattle radio psychologist.
And the show would not be complete without the return of recurring characters Lilith (Bebe Neuwirth), Kenny (Tom McGowan), Bebe (Harriet Sansom Evans), Simon (Anthony LaPaglia), Wendie Malick (Ronnie), Bulldog (Dan Butler), Gil (Edward Hibbert), and Frasier's son Frederick (Trevor Einhorn).
There is nary a bad show in the bunch and this is indeed a necessary purchase for those that enjoy comedy that is timeless, thought-provoking, and perfectly acted.
The bonus features are equally as well done, providing some closure to a character, that began on "Cheers", that became a television staple for twenty years.
"Dr. Frasier Crane" will be sorely missed!
on July 8, 2006
Recapturing at least some of the magic of the first seven seasons, "Frasier" goes out in a blaze of glory with this final, wonderful 23 episode season.
Not hard to believe since some of "Frasier's" best writers come back into the fold like Joe Keenan with his contrabution, "The Doctor is Out". An instant classic in the mold of the second season farce, "The Matchmaker", this one has a great performance by Patrick Stewart and begs the question "would you change your lifestyle for three weeks on Capri in Bertalluci's villa?"
Other delights include the return of Maris in a very funny two parter ("Maris Returns" & "Murder Most Maris") along with "Boo!" when Frasier, tired of being scared by his father, manages to spook Martin to the point of a "cardiac event" (wearing a very creepy and disturbing clown makeup & suit). "Caught in the Act" brings back "Nanny G", Frasier's first wife (as seen previously in a "Cheers" episode) played by a very randy Laurie Metcalf.
"Match Game" introduces Laura Linney who goes on to become Frasier's love. And the awesome finale "Goodnight Seattle" which brings back the wonderful Anthony Lapaglia as Daphne's wayward brother Simon along with Frasier's agent, Bebe. Oh, and Daphne & Niles have a baby, too.
Not every episode is a gem, however. The ones with Lilith (Guns 'n Neuroses) and Frederick (High Holidays) falls a bit flat. As well as the final outing of the KACL staff in "Frasier Lite". "Freudian Sleep" ventures into the dreams of the characters which seems very similar to another, better episode from 3rd Rock From The Sun's 3-D spectacular "Nightmare on Dick Street".
"Crock Tales", a very ambitious episode where Frasier remembers events from the previous 11 years is nearly derailed by some of the terrible wigs/hairpieces that Jane Leeves, Peri Gilpin, & David Hyde Pierce had to wear.
But these are minor nits, especially when compared to the previous three seasons when "Frasier" certainly lost some of its edge.
This DVD collection includes two "specials" which document the final episodes of "Frasier" and include interviews with cast & the writing staff. They are somewhat short, but interesting. It would've been nice to include the special "Analyzing the Laughter" which ran before the final episode "Goodnight Seattle", but given the lack of extras on the DVD sets since season 4, I shouldn't complain too much...well, maybe a little.
It was certainly great that "Frasier" managed to go out on a high note and this DVD set does a wonderful job of presenting
the final season of one of the great sitcoms of all time.
- I love the promo photos used on the DVD box cover and insides (the one on the back with Kelsey, David, & John fawning on Jane Leeves is very warm & funny). But it's interesting to note that the inside photo of David Hyde Pierce, Jane Leeves, & John Mahoney together is clearly reversed, you can tell by the parts in their hair.
- Martin's dream in "Freudian Sleep" has John Mahoney dancing without a cane, one of the few if only times we see his character fully mobile.
- Do you remember the original "Nanny G" from "Cheers"? That was Emma Thompson.
- Rosie Perez makes an appearence in "Crock Tales", she was one of the candidates for the physical therapist role until Jane Leeves was picked. Also, she "phoned in" a performance in the second season classic "Roz in the Doghouse".
- In "Goodnight Seattle", most of the patrons watching Frasier's final radio broadcast from the hallway are the writing staff of the show.
- I still have the original airing of "Goodnight Seattle" on tape which has no "official" end credits (just the tiny ones used during a commercial break). On the DVD, we get the "Thanks for Calling" and publicity photos which includes Helen Mirren, the very LAST caller of the Frasier series.
on November 18, 2004
First of all, I would like to say that I came late to the Frasier game. I started watching it after syndication. What always impressed me about Frasier is that the show seemed to have hit the ground running. Most TV shows need to warm up in the first season before they get really good, but Frasier was excellent from the very first episode. I was rarely able to catch the show during its normal time slot and when it wasn't being shown on the other channels as much, I stopped watching.
However, I was able to get a hold of Seasons 1 - 3 on DVD and fell in love with the show again. And I have now seen the shows of this final season (which I never saw when they first aired). The shows of this season were great and I found myself cracking up like I did when watching the older episodes. Episodes that stood out for me were "Murder Most Maris", "High Holidays", "Boo!", "The Doctor is Out", "Maris Returns", "No Sex Please, We're Skittish", and "Caught in the Act". However, I found something was lacking here that I had seen in the earlier episodes. I can't put my finger on it, but it seemed that the show had fallen into a rut. You could tell that there are only so many ideas that TV writers could come up with. It was a wise move to end the series now before it got stale and unwatchable. I'm sure many probably think that the show by season 11 was already unwatchable, but I disagree.
In my opinion, Season 11 is definitely not Frasier's best, but it's pretty darn good and it provides excellent closure for all of the characters. It's definitely a season that every Frasier fan should see and own. However, I am more anxious for Seasons 4 - 7 to be released. I'm rather mystified by Paramount's decision to release the final season now and keep us waiting for older shows that many consider to be better than more recent episodes.
And for those you who don't already know, Paramount will be releasing the other season at an accelerated pace with Season 4 being released in early 2005. So, be patient, it will be here before you know. However, I think season 11 is entertaining enough to pass the time until that happens. But, I can't help but feel that Seasons 1 - 3 are a bit better.
on October 26, 2004
Frasier's final year ended this May, and this set collects all of the final episodes of the show. I can't say that this season was the best (or the worst), but it had more than a few standouts and resolved the saga of a character that was 20 years in the making. It's a worthy buy.
Things certainly start out strong: the season opener features Felicity Huffman at her acerbic best as radio newswoman Julia Wilcox. Also, Patrick Stewart makes a guest appearance as an actor with designs on Frasier in "The Doctor is Out", the funniest show of the season. Other highlights include an appearance by Lilith (Bebe Neuwirth, fantastic as always), another round of "Seabee Jeebies", the sentimental Crock Tales, Laura Linney's guest appearance as a matchmaker who hooks Frasier, and the hilarious (and touching) series finale.
Granted, some of the episodes were less than Emmy-worthy (Freudian Sleep was particularly bad) and some went over the top (Detour) in search of laughs. By and large, though, the result was good, and this set should make a welcome memory for fans of the show.
on August 4, 2006
I didn't realize until after I had purchased the final season that I was missing two seasons. Why on earth would they put out the final season and here we are still waiting on seasons 9 & 10? I knew when I put in that first disc that a couple of years had passed! What a dissappointment. I couldn't wait to see the final episode, but I'll wait until the other two are out. By the way, I could tell when the original writers had left. Season 7 was the end of an era, although there were still some funny moments. Season eight just seemed to lack the originality and also there seemed to be a change in the actor's demeanor. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it was definitely there. A Day in May was just weird and out-of-place. Maybe it was the lack of canned laughter in the park. Niles and Daphne seemed to have to work on their "in-love" moments.
on November 11, 2004
Ok - I admit it - I'm an absolute Frasier addict and have even gone so far as to introduce family members and friends to the DVDs of the first three seasons, thereby ensuring their addiction as well.
BUT WHERE THE HECK ARE SEASONS 4 - 10??
"Ham Radio" (from the fourth season) is, without question, the 30 funniest minutes of TV I have ever seen. Ever! And there's an episode in the sixth season - I believe the title is "Merry Christmas Mrs. Feingold" which comes in a very close second.
More seasons. Please. Quickly.
on February 23, 2005
The final season of Frasier, in my opinion, was "classic" Frasier! While I found all seasons to rank among the best shows on television, the comedy dipped (just slightly) in the latter years. The final season once again put the show on top as the funniest series on the air. I will greatly miss my weekly dose of the doc!
on June 4, 2007
Frasier fan? Buy it. Sort of a Frasier fan? You probably should still buy it. Personally I thought season 8 and 9 were the "slowest" seasons, though they are all very much worthwhile to own for any true-blue Frasier fan, and still better than most television that I've watched in the last 30 years. But Season 11 IS very good.
However, I agree with others on the release of season 11 so early...and there's more. As of this review's date, every season is available but season 10. This is very frustrating because <spoiler -- if you're waiting to see season 9 and really don't know much about the story line, don't read the rest of this paragraph > at the very last episode of season 9 we see Daphne tell Niles she wants to get married...immediately. Off they go and...that's it, leave it to you're imagination because there's no season 10 yet! Another budding story line that I waited the first 9 years to see was Frasier and Roz, where, ahem, stuff happens near the end of season 9, and then...sorry, no season 10. You'll just have to wait. But you CAN jump to season 11. And what do we get but the first episode (No Sex Please, We're Skittish) is part 2 of a two-parter, of which part 1 is apparently the last episode of currently-unavailable season 10! What a bonehead move. Worse, this episode involves said matter involving Fraze and Roz, which to me makes it a must see in its entirety. Who knows, maybe they mixed up just my set, but I doubt it.
I, and most people out there I think, try to be mature, and understand business, and marketing, and merchandising, but it's precisely this kind of bizarre tactic by Paramount/CBS Video that has turned me off television. Seriously...I have no TV or cable in my home anymore. That's why I bought Frasier. If the SuperBowl is on, I connect up the yagi, otherwise, it's just DVD's that I own, and I -- I'm not just saying this -- I don't miss it. Truly. Your mind clears up. But I digress. After years of working in customer service, I am just stunned at the stupidity that oils the television machine. If any other business operated this way, they would be out of business.
If anyone out there works for Paramount/CBS Video, fill us in so that we know you aren't all certified morons. Strangely, the major networks don't get it. They wonder why Neilson ratings show people tuning-out in droves, thinking that the 45 year old rating system is at fault. Any real-life Frasier's out there like to take a stab at diagnosing that one? I think the term is "cognitive dissonance" -- sometimes referred to as denial. Sorry for the editorial, but if we all want more Frasier quality TV, we gotta speak up.
Back to the review.
I have watched, and recommend watching, ep's 1 thru 9 in order, as there are references to characters and plots from earlier episodes that will cause you to miss the full importance or the humour behind the dialogue. Like so many other fans, I couldn't always catch Frasier episodes in order during it's run, and it was quite a revelation to see them in order for the first time. I think this is why many new Frasier fans didn't watch when it was on, as there's too much to become familiar with when watching episodes piece-meal.
Just one more thing...there's very few extras included in the whole series of DVD's, and no subtitles, somewhat unfortunate because of the almost literal Byzantine references that are made in certain jokes. The actors do a great job of annunciation, but sometimes it would be nice to see the lines that are being spoken. It's hard to sound-out Golda Meir.
on February 12, 2005
I must admit that i saw very little of this season as it was being first broadcast on NBC. The show had seemed to have lost its edge in the later seasons and other things seemed to take priority whatever night it was airing. I recently saw some of the final season episodes in late night syndication and something struck me THESE EPISODES ARE GREAT! The great writing is there with too many laugh out loud moments to count. Some of the embarasing farcial moments are there but without the contrived feel that had creeped into such plot twists in recent years. The focus is on the characters and how their relationships continue to evolve. We've lived with these characters for over a decade and it was sad to see it end. There seems to be a huge vacuum in the tv world for well written character driven comedy. I hope another show can come along to fill that void. Hello Hollywood, read my lips (or at least my digital musings) Frasier -- the movie. No made for tv cheapie but a big screen monster. Don't wait for the principals to get old, die, or simply lose interest. Get busy
on October 26, 2004
I recently read an article stating that seasons 4-7 will be released next year YAY, I can't wait for them and Season 11 Frasier Rocks