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Frasier: Season 8

4.7 out of 5 stars 321 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Emmy® Award-winner Kelsey Grammer is Frasier – the hilarious psychiatrist first seen on TV’s Cheers and subsequently the star of this smash-hit comedy series. In Season 8, wedding bells chime a sour note when Daphne (Jane Leeves) flees her marriage ceremony to run off with Niles (David Hyde Pierce), and the two lovebirds – as well as a hapless Frasier – ultimately find themselves embroiled in a lawsuit as a result of the marital mayhem! Frasier also seeks the wisdom and advice of an old college professor, whom Frasier drafts as his "professional mentor." And new-puppy training quickly goes to the dogs when Roz (Peri Gilpin) brings home a new Dalmation and Martin (John Mahoney) takes command as the puppy’s official trainer. It’s 22 cupfuls of Seattle’s funniest most flavorful blend – FRASIER: THE COMPLETE EIGHTH SEASON!

Seemingly not content to win all those Emmys for Outstanding Comedy Series, Frasier made a convincing bid in its eighth season for Best Drama. Make no mistake, Frasier still serves up its unique blend of sophisticated wit and farce with the usual panache. But season 8 finds Frasier (Kelsey Grammer) in a contemplative mood and mid-life crisis mode. The episode "Frasier's Edge" resonates throughout the season, as a lifetime achievement award and a suspect (only to Frasier) congratulatory note from a mentor sends him into a characteristic tailspin. "Thank you for honoring my life," a subdued Frasier remarks at the awards ceremony. "I just wish I knew what to do with the rest of it." It is just one of several powerful moments on which many of the season's best episodes fade out. In the season finale, Frasier finds himself torn between a new, "perfect" woman in his life, Claire (Patricia Clarkson), and the tempestuous Lana (Jean Smart reprising her Emmy-winning role, and winning her second consecutive statuette). In an affectionate phone call with Lilith (Bebe Neuwirth), he asks, "Do you think I know how to be happy?" In the cleverly constructed "Sliding Frasiers," which takes its cue from the film Sliding Doors, parallel Valentines Day storylines illustrate how "the tiniest decision can change your whole destiny." In "Cranes Unplugged," Frasier feels like he and his son Freddy are growing apart, but on a predictably disastrous camping trip, they manage to share "a golden moment." John Mahoney, too, gives an Emmy-worthy performance in "A Day in May," as Martin attends a parole board hearing for the man who shot him.

But it's not all sturm and drang. "The Show Must Go Off" features an Emmy-winning performance by Derek Jacobi as a former Shakespearean actor Frasier rediscovers at a sci-fi convention and mounts a one-man show, only to discover that he is a talentless ham. In "Motor Skills," Niles (David Hyde Pierce) and Frasier enroll in an automobile repair class and take on unaccustomed roles as the class bad boys. This season also resolves all the obstacles keeping Niles and Daphne (Jane Leeves) apart, including a lawsuit by jilted groom Donny (Saul Rubinek), the vindictive schemes of Niles's jilted fiancée, Mel (Jane Adams), and Niles and Daphne's own illusions about each other. For longtime viewers with an emotional investment in Frasier and company, this is a richly satisfying season worthy of this gold-standard series. --Donald Liebenson

Special Features

  • 22 episodes from the 2000-2001 season on four discs

Product Details

  • Actors: Kelsey Grammer, Jane Leeves, David Hyde Pierce, Peri Gilpin, John Mahoney
  • Directors: Kelsey Grammer, David Lee, Katy Garretson, Pamela Fryman, Robert H. Egan
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: June 13, 2006
  • Run Time: 521 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (321 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,747 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Frasier: Season 8" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Season 8 marked a pivotal moment in the history of TV's most acclaimed sitcom. Following the sensational ratings glory of season 7 finale `Something Borrowed, Someone Blue (when Niles and Daphne finally got together) expectations were understandably high. There was unprecedented anticipation for this season, but that soon became an albatross weighing around the neck of season 8. The departure of two of the series' longest serving and most influential writers (showrunners Joe Keenan and Christopher Lloyd) added to the considerable pressure the production team faced this year. Jane Leeves (Daphne) also dropped a bombshell pre-production by announcing her pregnancy which forced some hasty re-writing. Many considered Daphne's weight gain storyline in poor taste but it's difficult to imagine how else the writers could have dealt with this without introducing a baby into Niles and Daphne's fledgling relationship. New showrunners Mark Reisman and Dan O'Shannon (whose previous work included `Cheers') certainly had their work cut out. On top of that the show's star Kelsey Grammer also requested that the show become more `Frasier' centred, the previous season having focused mainly on Niles and Daphne's characters. It was a reasonable request, but sadly it led to some extremely dull character-based episodes like `Frasier's Edge', which had one wondering if this was the same show responsible for the fast-paced high quality episodes of yore.

It's not all bad news. There are some genuinely entertaining episodes this year, including the hugely anticipated season opener `And The Dish Ran Away With The Spoon'.
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After ending season seven with a fan-pleasing twist, Frasier returned in its eighth iteration to fulfill it. This is the season that Niles and Daphne begin to date, and even though this development did take a lot of tension out of the series, it is possible that the writers felt they had nowhere else to go. Frasier proved an oddity while on the air: most sitcoms peak in their first two seasons and go steadily downhill after that, but while Frasier certainly had a strong opening, it had several renaissances during its run. This season was one of them, as it brought several surprises: Frasier having an existential crisis, Niles becoming a sports celebrity, as well as some others. In short, this was hardly a weak season and has more than its share of laughs.

Frasier's crisis manifests itself in "Frasier's Edge", which has Frasier reuniting with his old mentor (Rene Auberjonois of Boston Legal and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) and coming to grips with a feeling of emptiness. Funnier still is the subplot in which food critic Gil is primarily happy about being nominated for an award so as to avoid going to the annual awards show his wife throws when he's not nominated. The episode also starts off the joke about Daphne growing fatter in order to disguise Jane Leeves' real-life pregnancy. In "Hooping Cranes", Niles (almost magically) sinks a half-court charity shot at a basketball game and becomes a local hero, which, of course, causes Frasier to become jealous. The final showdown takes place over an arcade-style basketball machine and unfolds much as would be expected. Perhaps the best episode of the season is "The Show Must Go Off", in which Niles and Frasier are reacquainted with an aging Shakespearean actor (Derek Jacobi) who inspired them in their childhoods to delve into the Bard.
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Format: 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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