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Speaking of Frasier

Published Friday, October 13, 2023 @ 5:38 PM EDT
Oct 13 2023

Another iteration of the legendary sitcom Frasier debuted on Paramount+ this week. Think of it as Frasier: The Next Generation.

The show begins about 20 years after the original NBC series ended its run in 2004. I'll not bore you with the details of the new outing. Unlike the recent, uninspired Night Court revival, the first two episodes of Frasier (2023) manage to recapture the tone and ambience of its predecessor, even with the absence of most of the original ensemble cast. I'm optimistic about its potential, and there have been few shows as of late that have engendered that feeling.

Whether the current iteration can manage to equal its antecedent can't be determined at this point. There's a lot of new character development yet to be constructed, and beating the original's total of 37 Primetime Emmy Awards over its 11 season, 266 show legacy is mathematically impossible given how few episodes are produced for streaming services.


Though he might guest star at some point, the absence of David Hyde Pierce's Niles Crane character is certainly felt. Pierce won a well-deserved best supporting actor Emmy for this sixth season episode, directed by Kelsey Grammer. In a show noted for its sophisticated dialogue, Pierce knocks it out of the park with a display of pure physical comedy not seen since the likes of Jerry Lewis or Lucille Ball. Grammer's direction to Pierce was "I think that Niles, at no time, doubts that it's all going to work out just fine." Pierce said, "You don't play the panic. You solve each thing as it comes up. You let the audience see the crisis build and think, "You're in trouble, little man," while Niles goes about thinking, "Oh, I just need to solve this one little problem over here."

The cherry on top is Eddie, the show's wire-hair Jack Russell Terrier, who calmly watches as the pandemonium consuming Niles escalates, and the canine gets the last word, so to speak.

Clip - Frasier 0614 Three Valentines - Segment1(00 00 04.279-00 06 48.709) from plastic on Vimeo.

Categories: David Hyde Pierce, Frasier, Kelsey Grammer


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