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February 27, 2024, 08:26:54 PM

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Frasier 2: Tossed Plonkers and Scrambled Horses

Started by JamesTC, January 13, 2023, 07:26:21 PM

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Tiggles

Loved the
Spoiler alert
Lilith
[close]
one. Genuinely laugh-out-loud funny for me.

neveragain

Quote from: Famous Mortimer on December 05, 2023, 08:20:31 PMEpisode 8, "The B Story".

Ahh right, need to rewatch. Some drink had been imbibed and, since it seemed like a more David and Freddy-focused episode, I must have zoned out.

Gulftastic

Bloody awful
Spoiler alert
dementia gag in this week's. Just lazy shite
[close]

Otherwise, I'm still enjoying it.

neveragain

Not just one gag. Loads of them. And none as funny as the original series would have made them.

Tiggles

It felt very beneath them. Clanger after clanger. They can't even justify it by saying Frasier was the butt of the joke, because he wasn't, really.

They have dropped a couple of weird jokes into this season that I can't believe someone didn't spot and go "nah" before they made it into the final script. The yak one in episode too made me pause, it was so out of place - as in, 2023 and a Frasier revival.

neveragain

Yak one?

A gag I really feel didn't fit was David saying to Freddy they didn't get much sleep when he stayed over because they "were banging away all night", before hastily adding that he was referring to the printer.

Tiggles

Quote from: neveragain on December 05, 2023, 10:52:02 PMYak one?

He was describing the bed being stuffed with wool from Khangai yaks, and comments "once you go yak, you never go back". It's most likely me being over-sensitive, but I winced.

Yeah that banging one didn't land with the studio audience either! Might have been about delivery, I was very fond of rubbish innuendos in Frasier.

Am enjoying this revival a lot, though!

neveragain

Quote from: Tiggles on December 05, 2023, 11:24:21 PMHe was describing the bed being stuffed with wool from Khangai yaks, and comments "once you go yak, you never go back". It's most likely me being over-sensitive, but I winced.

Yeah that banging one didn't land with the studio audience either! Might have been about delivery, I was very fond of rubbish innuendos in Frasier.

Am enjoying this revival a lot, though!

That's fair enough, bit of a crass line. Yeah, I'm enjoying it enough to stick with it.

Famous Mortimer

Quote from: Tiggles on December 05, 2023, 11:24:21 PMHe was describing the bed being stuffed with wool from Khangai yaks, and comments "once you go yak, you never go back". It's most likely me being over-sensitive, but I winced.

It is the sort of joke an out-of-touch old man might make, though.

Rolf Lundgren

Really enjoyed the Christmas episode and
Spoiler alert
got surprisingly emotional over Roz's return. Loved that she was the voice of reason for Frasier again and you realise that's what this series has been missing.
[close]

I still struggle with Freddy's character, he's just too bland and doesn't add enough to it. David however is winning me over and Eve, Olivia and Alan are all solid supporting characters. There's enough groundwork put in now to kick on for series 2.

Speaking of which, no news on that so far but hopefully the numbers are good enough for Paramount to do it.

neveragain

It wasn't a bad episode really but the farcical aspects were very half-baked. "I've booked the Boston Orchestra (or whatever it was)" then "Oh no, I've booked the Boston Elementary School Orchestra!" There's nothing in the first one that leads to the second.

There's a podcast available in which original Frasier writer Ken Levine dissects the show and makes a few good points. Shockingly it seems Kelsey Grammer was the one responsible for getting new writers instead of those responsible for the older, better show.

In fact, here it is:
https://www.podchaser.com/podcasts/hollywood-levine-241977/episodes/ep354-the-new-frasier-194211571

BritishHobo

Catching up on this. There was a little twinge of nostalgia at getting a Proper Farce episode, but then the farce felt uncanny, like somebody trying to replicate classic Frasier farce without really understanding it. The vague way Frasier, Freddy and June Diane Raphael were talking in her first scenes, the missing each other in the kitchen, the weird thing of June deciding she fancies Frasier more, but Frasier somehow appearing like the indecisive fool at the end. It's like they tried but just didn't quite get it.

Similarly it was a delight to see Lilith again - and Bebe Neuwirth slips straight back into character with an effortlessness that shows up a lot of the other characters - but their long and well-detailed history makes the characterisation in the rest of the show look much worse in comparison. I want that weight in Frasier and Freddy's relationship, I want to see the effects of their parenting on him, of Lilith's coldness and Frasier's absence, in the way you got with Martin and Hester in the original show. But it's not really there.

The big stinker though is how many jokes it leans on that feel really dated stylistically. Niles's son still feels like such a poorly-drawn character - it's unfair to the actor to give him a character that's always going to be in the shadow of the sitcom icon that is Niles Crane, and the show doesn't help matters by writing the character in such a broad, wacky way. Niles had a sensitivity and a dignity that they just can't be arsed to give to David. The subplot about him being bad with women was excruciating. Sub-Big-Bang-Theory. Then just little things like the idea that Freddie should be awkward and defensive about reading Little Women - or the joke about Alan's dad having cheated on his mum with other men. They feel straight out of Friends.

Also they often seem to forget about or sideline the new characters. Eve has a presence but is often an afterthought, Olivia struggles to get much airtime, and David continues to feel like they're adding his scenes in in post. Nobody ever seems to react to or engage with anything that he's doing. He's a fucking ghost. I am enjoying Nicholas Lyndhurst though.

Two episodes to go. Perhaps Roz can redeem it?

neveragain

Oh, that reminds me - there's a plot point in the last episode that is straight out of Friends.

Famous Mortimer

I wonder if I'm too old and unhappy to enjoy normal sitcoms anymore. All I could think about during the most recent episode was the weird lapses in logic with his party.

Like, how difficult would it be to book an elementary school string quartet, that were obviously terrible, and away from their families on Christmas eve? How do you think you're booking the famous one but get the other?

The trees were clearly dressed while they were in place. Did no-one, before this happened, think to question why they were delivering 24 trees to a normal-sized apartment? Did the company not double-check why he was just ordering one chair?

How difficult would it be to think you were ordering a (presumably pre-cooked) goose, but get a live one? Like, what company would even have both available?

It was nice that Roz turned up, but he worked on the TV show for longer than he was a radio therapist. Not a single co-worker from those days has even been mentioned. Obviously, that wasn't the point of the cameo, and I don't mind a bit of gentle fan service like that.

Presumably, the seasons-down-the-line plan is to have Freddy and Eve get together, so I understand why they're not doing much with them, although neither of them are all that interesting as characters. They're just there, and I hope they give them some interesting wrinkles if the show comes back.

The last episode gave a taste of what they could do with the rest of the characters next season, though. Moose and Olivia might be good fun, although that might be the least comfortable looking kiss I can remember seeing, and Alan and David seem to bounce off each other in an interesting way. Lyndhurst is so good, though, easily the series MVP and every bit the sitcom legend that Grammer is.

Fingers crossed they work out what their strengths are.


neveragain

Quote from: Famous Mortimer on December 11, 2023, 02:38:57 AM...the weird lapses in logic with his party...

Like, how difficult would it be to book an elementary school string quartet, that were obviously terrible, and away from their families on Christmas eve? How do you think you're booking the famous one but get the other?

The trees were clearly dressed while they were in place. Did no-one, before this happened, think to question why they were delivering 24 trees to a normal-sized apartment? Did the company not double-check why he was just ordering one chair?

How difficult would it be to think you were ordering a (presumably pre-cooked) goose, but get a live one? Like, what company would even have both available?

Yeah, it just made me think of (not even the original Frasier which was good with a certain type of farce, but) One Foot In The Grave and how well set up the myriad of misunderstandings and consequences were. They need more time and effort exerted in the planning stage, both fictionally and in the writer's room.

BritishHobo

Quote from: neveragain on December 09, 2023, 01:05:55 AMOh, that reminds me - there's a plot point in the last episode that is straight out of Friends.

Two parties? I thought the same. They didn't make it easy on themselves by having literally the exact same 'apartment across the hall' set up, and it suffered a bit because I remembered the Friends episode having some much funnier business with Ross diverting people in the corridors.

BritishHobo

That said, the finale did win me over after a couple of episodes that were fine, but just that - fine. Although the Roz return had been rumbled (undercutting the 'your present is on its way...' teases), I liked that they have broken with the old Frasier convention of every cameo being a 'The One Where So-and-so Comes Back' full episode. Agreed that it was lovely for Roz to sweep in as the emotional voice of reason. And it was really nice to get a classic example of Frasier having to be thoughtful and unpick his own daft emotional decisions. The threading-in of Martin's death here worked really well as well, giving Frasier the opportunity to reflect on his fatherhood. The whole episode was the closest it's felt to classic Frasier, with lots of little quiet moments here and there, and the general consideration as to whether the characters are dealing with their emotional circumstances well. The acknowledgment that Freddy is doing double-duty for his grieving dad and mate despite also grieving double was surprisingly affecting, as it wasn't something I'd really considered.

I like the Alan and David stuff as well. The worst bits of the show are when they reference Niles, because it inevitably reduces an all-time-great sitcom character full of depth and nuance to a few shallow character checkpoints. The idea that Niles would be really really angry at his son for getting a B just bummed me out. Although it did lead to a sweet moment with David and Freddie chatting about their upbringing. But either way, I like those turning points in the early days of sitcoms where the writers realise that two unconnected characters actually bounce off each other very well, and I hope they can mine a lot more from David and Alan. Nicholas Lyndhurst has been a joy, 'cos of course he has, it's Nicholas Lyndhurst. Moose (is this an intentional reference to the dog that played Eddie?) and Olivia seems properly out-of-left-field and maybe signifies they haven't quite figured out what to do with Olivia yet, so that could be another opportunity. Finally Eve and Freddie's friendship is lovely. It's obvious the writers whacked them in there to fill the Niles/Daphne will-they-won't-they hole if all the other stuff runs dry - but I hope they actually go in the other direction and keep them as platonic but very supportive friends, just like Roz and Frasier are for each other.

So, yeah. I think I've learned to stop comparing it quite so much to the original Frasier. I'm always a big proponent of letting something grow and figure out what it wants to be, and this more than any other sitcom is one that was always going to struggle at first to find itself in the shadow of (fittingly) its father.  Let's hope they get the opportunity to really do so.

Bad Ambassador

Lyndhurst cracking America in his 60s is hilarious and charming, and also reminiscent of lifelong amateur dramatist Buster Merryfield making it at about the same age.

famethrowa


Moj

Lyndhurst smashing his face in on a step at the Emmys countdown starts here

frajer

I have been enjoying this, it's got some good performances and decent lines, but it's also a bit crap and rudderless.

Grammer is great, as is Lyndhurst, and their interactions are the highlight for me. Feels like a real and well-lived dynamic. I'd happily watch a Kominsky Method-esque show with those two whip-smart old curmudgeons.

As was mentioned upthread, I'd say its main flaw is the supporting characters, who are paper-thin and just too bland to make an impact. Whenever Frasier isn't involved in the plot it feels like a generic US sitcom, complete with stock quippy interactions that don't have the care or personality which shone through in the original run.

I did like it as a pleasant half-hour of filler but have also forgotten most of it. Maybe over a 22-episode old style season it would have found firmer footing, but I'm also not sure I'll ever give much of a hoot about Frasier's dull son or wacky nephew.

BritishHobo

#771
I wondered that as well. This style of show is definitely much better suited to the full 22/24-episode season, giving lots of opportunity for all of the characters to mix and match a lot. Fully agree that Frasier and Lyndhurst are great together, and I find it a bit of a shame that we've not been able to see as much of that yet. Similar with Eve, who often seems to be relegated to a role that facilitates the plot. And David would definitely benefit from getting more time to explore him outside the tired geek archetype they've stuffed him into. If they do get a season 2 and nab some further cameos, I think a Daphne episode would be a lovely opportunity to give David a bit of depth. I'd like to see them explore how she was as a mother. Would be a bit more interesting than having Niles back, as that would A: over-emphasise how similar Niles and David are and how rubbish that is and B: run the very real risk of ruining Niles.

Actually if they really took their care with it, it would be genuinely incredible if they were able to get Anthony LaPaglia back as Simon, kind of contrasting how he and Frasier have been as uncles. If they did that the way they did it with Woody in the original Frasier, exploring a new dimension to the relationship, that could actually be quite good.

Rolf Lundgren

Would love to see them explore those family dynamics more. On the point of Daphne, I don't think she's been mentioned once while Niles has frequently. To understand that mother/son relationship would be interesting. The benefit they have is that people know these characters and have such a rich history to plug into which they should start to use the way Frasier did referring to Cheers.

I was thinking with original Frasier that even with the extended cast (Bulldog, Bebe, Gil, Noel, Kenny etc.) you could describe their personalities in a couple of words. You'd struggle to do that with any of the cast in this. Appreciate this also needs time and with a couple more seasons under its belt this could easily be achieved but I'd definitely like to see Olivia and especially Eve, who should be more involved in plots, have a better defined purpose.

BritishHobo

Definitely. There was a very clear thing in the original Frasier where you could get very excited by the idea of Sam Malone meeting Martin or Niles, because you could immediately imagine the fun in those dynamics. Whereas here, if you think about Niles meeting Eve, or Bebe meeting Olivia, there's not enough there.

LordMorgan

I thought this was utter fucking shit

I wasn't expecting it to reach anywhere near the heights of the original
But I thought it was downright fucking poor

The quirky girl across the hall is shit. And I felt as frustrated as Alan when Dave Clifton pops up in MMM and isn't sad enough
Considering eve lost her hubby in a fucking fire, she wasn't sad enough !!

The unmitigated shitness of both Freddy and David

David, an insult to the character of Niles
Freddy a charmless fucking cunt

Rodney Trotter is good tho

Some nice reminiscing about Martin as well

neveragain


BritishHobo

No news of a renewal yet, but Grammer is making positive noises, and has discussed wanting Diane to get a cameo.

I think that would be great. I think there's a lot of animosity towards that character sometimes, but in terms of people who are important to Frasier's history, she's well up there. I always liked the episode near the end of Frasier where he's driving with imaginary versions of all of his ex-wives in the car.

Famous Mortimer

Quote from: BritishHobo on January 10, 2024, 01:55:13 PMNo news of a renewal yet, but Grammer is making positive noises, and has discussed wanting Diane to get a cameo.

I think that would be great. I think there's a lot of animosity towards that character sometimes, but in terms of people who are important to Frasier's history, she's well up there. I always liked the episode near the end of Frasier where he's driving with imaginary versions of all of his ex-wives in the car.
She's still working and doesn't look super-busy, so she'd be available and would be great.

I hope this is a Parks & Rec season 1 situation, where it's being based on something greater (for P&R, the many mockumentaries; for this, two of the biggest multi-camera sitcoms of all time), and as soon as it figures out a way to...I don't know, move past those forebears?...it'll be alright.

BritishHobo

Definitely. Now that it's bedded in, I'd like to see them get a chance to find themselves a bit more, free of the weight of expectations.

Icehaven

We were trying to work out what was off about it and Mr. Haven suggested that it looks like Two and Half Men. I know what he means (although there's other sitcoms it looks like as well) but then it was never going to look like the original anyway.