Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Frasier Night

S3 E6 “Sleeping with the Enemy”/ S3 E7 “The Adventures of Bad Boy and Dirty Girl”

Kate: Why are you gunning for me?
Frasier: Gunning? For you? This isn't about you; it's about what you're doing to those people. It's the shame of Seattle.
Kate: No, no. This is about your ego, which is the size of Seattle!
Brian Turner: He and I are going to go back and watch Frasier at my place after this.
Various People at the Bar: Oh…okay.

A few weeks ago I, and the man who inspires me (some would perhaps call him my muse) had a Frasier night. This consisted entirely of drinking heavily at a bar while occasionally mentioning Frasier, then going back to Mr. Turner’s apartment and drinking heavily there while actually watching Frasier. As you might guess I don’t remember a lot of these episodes, but thanks to the still inexplicable existence of individual Wikipedia entries for every single Frasier episode ever I am able to perform this valuable service, in spite of the consumption of an unhealthy amount of Malort and PBR. (Speaking of the Frasier Wikipedia entries I have a list of dream features I would like to share with you: the first is an interview with the lonely soul who created each Wikipedia page for the Frasier eps because you know there is only one fucker on the whole interweb actually invested that much in middling format comedy and with that much time on his or her hands and I am certain that this person would be fucking advanced, second is a list of all of the reasons that people like Frasier (number one being that it is on at the same time that they happen to want to watch TV), third is a new segment in which I review every episode of the show Jesus Saves to the Uttermost on the Catholic station as a spin-off, in an attempt to appeal to our more devout readers.)

Perhaps because I’ve been watching the papist channel more often (especially that show with the pirate nun) or because, being an old-dad himself, God loves Frasier, the heavens smiled upon us and presented the only Frasier two-parter I have ever seen. The best thing about this duo of episodes is that the “To be Continued” was totally superfluous as there were absolutely no questions left unanswered or problems left unresolved by the ending of the first episode. The worst part is that the fucker doesn’t fit nicely into any of the already stated templates, it flirts with every single one but never settles, the damned subplots don’t even fit the templates for Christ’s sake, and I have a feeling that is why the whole thing ends up being such a disappointment.

The night started at The Green Mill in Uptown, it was mostly empty as it was 6:30 on a Wednesday, but there was an old fat lady who told me that the intersection of Woodward and Warren is not in Detroit and is “the suburbs,” I think she was missing a bunch of teeth but she may have just smelled bad. There was also a pseudo-biker who dressed like the Indian from the Village People but fat and with real bear-teeth hanging from his neck, and a sailing enthusiast Registered Nurse who told me her boyfriend had six-pack abs, and, briefly, a 30’s-ish couple that looked like they had stepped out of a Target commercial. Turner told me about the religion he followed based around an omniscient squid and the bartender kept giving us free shots of Malort because no one wants that shit, but she wouldn’t drink any with us because she was on antibiotics. As is appropriate we missed the first few minutes of the episode itself, but if you know how inconsequential the first few minutes are to a regular episode you can imagine how unimportant they are in a two-parter.

Even with the amount of drinks I had consumed, it was clear they were really stretching the “beautiful” definition in this piece. Mercedes Ruehl plays the new hard ass boss at the radio station and she refuses to give the non on-air talent their scheduled raise. As is to be expected this episode of Frasier deals with class warfare and also as is expected, the needs and rights of the working class are completely marginalized and insulted. Frasier is elected spokesperson for the low-wage workers because, I guess, all we Proles need is some wealthy intellectual white to speak for us. While the workers wait with baited breath outside of the boss’ door to find out if they will be paid fairly for the work they’ve done, the matter of actual importance is the tawdry love affair Frasier cultivates with their boss behind the closed door, while the working-class stands dumbly by, the bourgeousie are holed up in their offices, fucking each other. By the end of the first episode, Frasier and the boss have fucked, and the workers have gotten their raise, no one has discovered the pair fornicating and the boss and Frasier have agreed not to see each other romantically. Everything is resolved…to be continued.

In the second half, Frasier gets in Ms. Boss’ guts in the radio booth and (surprise!) they bump the on-air button and their session is broadcast to all of Seattle, causing Niles to crash his car. Then Ms. Boss comes by Frasier’s apartment building to break it all of and they end up being trapped in an elevator together and it seems like they will screw again and get caught and thus be exposed, instead they do not have sex, they do not get caught, and they are not exposed. Then the episode ends. The ending of the second half of this two-part storyline is much less satisfying and complete than the ending of the first half. My hypothesis is that someone messed up plugging the information into the template and things got out of order and since Frasier is directed by a computer, no one noticed until it was too late.

The only interesting thing about the second part is the totally odd concept of arousal and sexuality presented in it. By the end of the episode Frasier and Ms. Boss have decided to not pursue a relationship, they do not even seem attracted to each other. It is not the appeal of forbidden love or the harboring of lingering attraction that draws them to each other, rather it is just certain words or images which, if ever invoked drive them to arousal. The two are both like Pavlov’s dog, at the mere mention of “bad boy,” or at the smell of musk oil, or the viewing of a (barely) erotic painting they lunge for one another, displaying no sort of human emotion or reaction I have ever witnessed or felt, it is probably the worst depiction of lust ever attempted.

The subplot does center around the dad possibly getting his dick wet in some even older woman and there is a plethora of Roz is a slut jokes, but that’s where the goodness ends. If you’re going to have a two-part episode you should still make it so we only have to hear Kelsey Grammer sing that song at the end one time…7/10