Monday, October 25, 2010

S1 E7 "Call me Irresponsible"

Frasier: This is killing me! You think I don't want to pick you up right now, carry you over to that Eames classic and show you why it's the best-engineered chair in the world?!


I watched this one on the Megabus as I headed home for depressing reasons, so I am grateful it wasn’t quite as dreary and sad as the first few episodes of Season One. “Call me Irresponsible” starts with a call from Bruno Kirby, (initially I thought he was Joe Pesci) who is debating whether he should break up with his commitment-hungry long-term girlfriend. Kirby explains that he doesn’t want to commit for fear that someone better will come along. The good doctor counsels Bruno to break up with her for both of their sakes, and, like anyone who is having a difficult time making a decision, Kirby immediately does as he’s told.

Sometime later Kirby’s dumpee shows up to the station to confront Frasier about him causing the end of her relationship, and she promptly delivers the classic line: “oh you radio psychiatrists!” Then she accuses Frasier of giving this advice as an attempt to chase ratings. I love this, as if there are so many radio shrinks and they’re all the same, always chasing those numbers! …Good one Frasier-bot.

For some reason Frasier buys her peanut eminems (correct spelling) and they talk about relationships. Boy is it unique too! She complains about repetitive small talk on first dates, then he complains about having to pay for dinner, then she eats an eminem of his hand in a seductive (?) way and their whirlwind romance begins.

I’m not going to describe the sexy peanut eminem consumption because I want you to imagine it for yourself, either try to figure out how a person could possibly inhale a piece of candy from Kelsey Grammer’s hand in a sexy way, or imagine K-Gramms presenting Marshall’s Slim Shady for a woman to eat. Either way it’s a gross image. Product Placement!

The Scot and the dad and Eddie are only in this thing for 2 minutes, and it’s even more proof of my Frasier is written by a machine theory. The “subplot,” if you can call it that, is one scene in which Daf sets up a Christmas card photo shoot on October 21. The show of course recognizes that this is odd, and mines all the comedy gold it possibly can from the situation, but what Frasier bot fails to explain is why this is happening. It makes absolutely no sense and is obviously thrown into the middle of the episode just to put the dad in a silly hat and have Eddie wear antlers. I think it shows a surprising lack of patience from the computer that it couldn’t just wait another two months to get both of these things and more. If you’re going to do this Niles should have been dressed in an elf costume in a desperate attempt to win Daphne’s heart. I can’t do your job, 17 years after the fact, for you Frasier machine!

This is the picture they ended up using for the card. I'll let you decide if the Dad is Rob Thomas or Usher. It's obvious Beibs is Eddie.

Back to the plot, this is a Frasier learns a lesson while embarrassing himself in front of a beautiful woman ep. As a setup Niles informs us that Frasier throws up when he faces a breach of ethics. So just as he’s about to show the eminem slurper why the Eames Lounge is the best engineered chair in the world (his words) Frasier starts making a ridiculous gagging sound. Thank goodness the show didn’t stick to this contrivance because the plot of literally every Frasier episode to follow is about radio-doc breaching his ethics. Think about how much vomit would be underneath the beds and in the closets of Frasier’s world if they had kept this tic. The show ends with a shirtless Fras breaking up with Bruno’s babe because she makes him want to throw up. Frasier is harrier than Robin Williams’ hands.

7.7/10 Points for this beautiful woman being legitimately beautiful, the disembodied voice of Bruno Kirby does not fuck around with ugly chicks.

P.S. I watched about a third of an episode last week after coming home gin-drunk. Gin is the getting busy drink and I got basic cable busy. Anyway I don’t remember enough to write a review proper, but I would like to share with you the notes I took that night (something I never do), which were nearly illegible.

-Reading parade banter on the couch.
-Hillbilly buffet.
-Frasier hates black lady.
-Malcolm in the middle mom.
-“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than denial” True?
-Color contacts
-[illegible] cowboy hat
-Managua Nicaragua riff – amazing
-rival radio psychiatrist
-punches santa
-McNulty’s wife?

Fuck it I should just write a review based on the notes.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

S4 E16 "The Unnatural"

Frasier [to Frederick]: You're going to see me play softball today, and I'm not going to play very well. The truth is, I'm not a good softball player.

Frederick: Why are you called Bulldog?
Bulldog: I don't know - people just call me that.
Frederick: But why?


The first line up there is all me, I took notes on this episode. Journalism.

The second quote though is from a fan site recap of the episode, and seriously what the fuck? These sort of things are my inspiration for living, the fact that there is someone out there, at least one person, who thinks that exchange is either funny or somehow remarkable just drives me mad with desire. I cannot stop thinking about it. I want to meet this person and explore his mind. That is one of the "episode highlights" according to Frasier Online, and commentor on the site who gave the episode a 79% (cool) called that exchange between Frasier-seed and Bulldog a "very funny little moment."

It is possibly the least interesting thing the Frasier-machine has ever created.

Also from Frasier Online (a British site by the way, what is it with the Brits and American mediocrity? Is it just to make them feel better about the war and Mike Skinner?) is this tidbit from Norm Jr. of California: this episode's "completely uninvolving premise" is "mostly excusable" for the chance to get a visit from Beast's son Frederick "worked in." Again, who are you? I want to spend my whole life with you.

Imagine what a great time you could have with someone who gets excited about a "Frederick" episode in Frasier! What does Norm do when something even marginally cool happens? (Green light!) Nothing against young Fred but on the scale of things that could happen, watching an episode of Frasier in which his son appears registers as kind of a bummer. At best it's neutral. And Norm is super stoked! Hanging out with Norm would be like hanging out with a baby. I haven't even explored the "completely uninvolving premise" line, I'm not sure I have the room in my heart to do so! This means J.R. finds most Frasier premises involving! How so Norm? How so?

Like all things in life, maintaining Frasier fanhood requires that we lie. What is inexcusable is that it forces us to lie to ourselves. The editor of Frasier Online, and Norm and all those beautiful souls like him, is forced to pretend that an excruciating segment between Young Windbag and Bulldog is an episode highlight, how else to continue on but to grin and laugh when the track does? Admitting that nothing in this episode gets above being mildly perturbing would be to admit that Frasier-bot is not the dream machine we imagined and no episode has truly fulfilled us. Surely the emmy voters watched the Crane's sipping wine, heard Daphne's accent and felt multi-syllabic words bounce through their heads and told themselves something smart had happened. Just as Academy members hear the word holocaust and start handing out awards, just as Decemberists fans hear excruciatingly boring music and are sure there is genius in the monotony. We enjoy things in a context, and for these fine folks that context involves a web site devoted to Frasier. As does mine.

And so in that context I searched madly for something to grab a hold of. Some thread to pull me back from the abyss of a sentimental Frasier episode.

Leave it to Mr. 79% to root out the needle in the haystack: Niles and Frederick competing for Daphne's affection. Shit is real disgusting. It seriously had me pining for those beautiful days when the creepy sexuality was emanating from the dad's over-used loins and Frasier's oedipus complex. In The Unnatural (such a clever title too!) Freddy has a crush on the Scot that would be gross on its own. The over-fed, over-smug child keeps eliciting hugs from Daf and mugging for the camera. It's fucking weird. Kid's aren't sexual like this, predatory and sneaky. Forcing this sort of under-handed flirting into the mouth of a child is a sin, imagine how weird it would be if Niles' pathetic swooning was done by a chess club 10-year-old, gross right?

And then the machine just makes it worse, as Niles looks on with seething jealousy at Freddy's every advance. There is something really distasteful about a grown man feeling genuine jealousy toward a child for receiving a hug from his dad's nurse. And yet the bot just keeps milking the premise for gross laughs, never once considering the ramifications. The only legitimate highlight of the episode is K-Gramm's big ass head in a softball helmet. It is pretty cool actually.

Yes, the plot involves softball, the set-up is too boring and simple to explain here, but the crux of the episode is the anticipation of the moment Frederick will realize his dad isn't perfect. Frasier-bot was not the first or the last to trot out this trope, and its prevalence in our culture makes me wonder if I'm missing something. I certainly don't remember any watershed moment, when my father fell from Zeus to Hercules. I'm sure my feelings towards Poppa Smid weren't always a reasonable, aware admiration, but I don't remember when I realized my father was a man to emulate and not one to worship. To me my father's fallibility was something known once memory began. Just as I don't remember learning to speak, I don't remember when I viewed the error of man on display. It seems like the memory would be an eerie one, who remembers being that innocent? Does this happen in real life?

In the world of mediocre fiction it does, again and again and again. Frasier's moment came when he realized his dad couldn't do math in his head (elitist!), and Freddy's is supposed to be when he realizes the doctor is a klutz, imagine when he finds out Frasier can't ride a bike! Of course one cliche deserves another so we get Frederick as the wise beyond his years child, and the episode closes with a reveal, Freddie already knew his dad was imperfect! Oh the egg on Frasier's face!

79 out of 100, because why the hell not. Only one Roz is a slut/lush joke, in which Roz describes to Fras- how much she wants to grab some guy's butt, but then freddy comes in and she covers for it. Also, the fact that Roz was stalked and harassed to the point of being unable to come out of her house is played for laughs. Domestic violence! Aaaand, my friend told me recently that Roz totally "likes it rude boy." Couldn't agree more.

Shout out to Norm Jr:

"The episode, though, belongs to Frederick's crush on Daphne with everyone except Niles seeing it as harmless. Frederick knows Niles has feelings for Daphne too and sets out to rub his nose in it at every opportunity. Indeed, the episode ends with Daphne giving a depressed Frederick a hug, with Frederick giving Niles a 'Bet you wish this was you' smile - great stuff."

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Frasier leaves Lilith for Daphne sound-alike!

Stewardess' Friend: Kayte is a great girl, Kelsey is besotted with her, they are spending all their time together.

Stewardess' Dad: I'm a big fan of Cheers and Frasier


Stars, they're just like us!

They get lumpy-butt british "air hoestesses" knocked up (thats right I said HOEstess)!

The chicks that they get pregnant look super dissapointed to be with them!

They constantly try to prove that they're a full head taller than their jump-offs!

Their girlfriends' dads are totally into Frasier and Cheers!

They get besotted!

They wear New Balance sneakers! (Actually this makes him exactly like my dad.)

They apparently cheat on their wives with whatever lame piece of british ass serves them cocktails on Jet Blue Airlines!

So, the voice of Beast from "X-Men: The Last Stand" got some mediocre-looking british flight attendant pregnant.

The producer of "Girlfriends" is the dad-jam equivalent of Shawn Kemp apparently. Five babies with three women? Who the hell are these women who want to have sex with Frasier Crane so badly? It would make sense to me if they were as old as he is, like they grew up with a bad-comedy fetish and always wanted some sort of hackneyed night of hijinks and passion (probably an equal amount of hijinks and passion constantly alternating between the two. Like, oh Frasier's underneath the bed, now hes pulled you down to the floor and is having his way with you! Or, oh Frasier almost got caught taking a Viagra but pretended it was a tic-tac and then you asked for one and he said he couldn't give you one and you asked why and he said it was because he loved the way your mouth tasted au naturale and then you just licked the inside of eachother's mouths! Or, oh Frasier took a call from his wife while you two were doing the beast with two backs (get it beast) and you asked who it was and he said it was his mother but then you overheard his conversation and you heard him say he missed her body on the phone and you asked him what it was about and he said it was a Freudian theory that children should tell their mothers they missed being inside of their bodies as often as possible as a way of mother-son bonding, and then you two did it! Too much?), but these women are all in their 20s. What is it? A way to get closer to your father? Are all of these chicks really into the emmys?

Actually, Seattle's number one radio psychiatrist may be the dad-jam equivalent of T-Pain. The women he's hooked up with are: his dance instructor, a stripper, his make-up artist and now a flight attendant. Much like Teddy Penderass, Frasier is super into women who are required to be nice to him as part of their profession.

Three things I learned from this british gossip magazine article that are more interesting than the republican candidate from "Swing Vote's" sex-life:

The British use the word besotted all the time. It's in this piece like 6 times! What the fuck does besotted mean? I refuse to look it up.

Limeys call first class on an airplane, "upper class" this just seems so much more honest. I think coach should be called proletariat seating. Like, are you in business? No, I'm sittin in prole.

The british think Kelsey Grammer is a celebrity worthy of an entire article with multiple pictures. I think he's a weirdo worthy of a 600-word blog posting. Prolix!

3 out of 8 stars. Its cool that K Gramms has the same taste in women as T-Pain, and the same taste in shoes as my dad. But its not cool to cheat on your wife, especially not with a busted wanker, and it is definetely not cool to get said wanker pregnant.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

S10 E21 "The Devil and Dr. Phil"

Dr Phil mentions that he has had a new agent for a year now:
Dr Phil: Speak of the devil - here she comes.
[Bebe Glazer joins Dr Phil !!]

Dr. Phil is in this episode.

I kinda don't want to do this review. It's very hard to admit when something you've been dreaming about for so long (well, since I saw the ad for it a couple days ago) is actually a bit of a let down. But, I watched the episode, and watched a more boring episode the day before, and if i don't write something about it, then I'm just a white male who spends his evenings watching reruns of Frasier by himself...fuck.

But this ep is not just a bit of a let down, it's an enormous let down, a catastrophic let down. It is just absolutely mind boggling to me that the machine that creates Frasier could fuck up such an ingenious premise. To be fair, it isn't all the Frasier-bot's fault. Dr. Phil is a terrible person, err actor I mean, and he makes the few moments in which he appears even worse than most Frasier scenes.

But it is mostly the machine's fault. Frasier is a pompous windbag, Dr. Phil is too, just program fake therapist vs. fake therapist conflicts one over another, forget any sub plots or anything else and let these two fake morons go at it. It is so easy.

Instead we get very little Fras- and Phil action, and a lot of Frasier and his former devil-agent Bebe going at it in some horribly disgusting flirtatious back and forth. The woman who plays Frasier's ex-agent is absolutely terrible to look at, so terrible that the show doesn't even try to pretend she's a "beautiful woman" and if the Frasier machine won't call you beautiful you must be a real hose-hound.

So of course Frasier keeps almost having sex with her. And its gross. And the dad works nights now and he is old and tired and unbelievably confused, and Niles and Daphne keep spying on an old couple that is having an affair and Frasier thinks Dr. Phil owes him $200, but he doesn't, its just that Frasier doesn't understand poker, because he's an elitist or something.

There, thats the plot. Does that sound like too much to cram into 22 minutes while still leaving room for some tough talk from the DOCTOR. Well, it is. and so we get nothing worthwhile from the texan at all and it totally fucking sucks.

There are no Roz is a slut/lush jokes in this episode, instead Roz is given a story line where she loves Phil, which doesn't fit with her character at all since the DOCTOR is a total moralistic phony and Roz is a down to earth chick who is a drunken whore.


Also, I watched a Dr. Phil once where a 40-year old woman said of a 13-year-old boy: "he come on to me, okay?"

And according to the DOCTOR's website "Dr. Phil has galvanized millions of people to 'get real.'"

ummm ok.