Wednesday, November 2, 2011

S2 E1 “Slow Tango in South Seattle”

Pompous Frasier Crane, a successful psychiatrist with a Seattle radio show, returns for another hilarious round of comedy that has him ice fishing with Marty and Niles and taking a girlfriend on an ill-fated trip to Bora Bora. Also this season, Frasier and Niles open a restaurant, and Frasier plays matchmaker for Daphne -- while the unhappily married Niles begins to lust after her. –Netflix description of Frasier season two.


Imagine for a second there was a book about your first sexual experience. This book described in overwrought detail your lovemaking prowess, your naked body, your sexual tics and unique appetite. How would your family respond to the existence of such a book? In my Catholic household I’m sure the topic would go forever unmentioned, the book avoided like a leper. Even if your family were less reserved than mine, I would assume they would politely decline the opportunity to read of your sexual exploits as a teenager.

The Cranes are not like your family or mine. Niles and The Dad, Frasier’s fucking dad, are both really excited to read a vivid account of Frasier’s first time making it Crane in the bed as an 18 year old. They are so excited that they clamor and crawl over one another to be the first to read the book revolving around KGramms sexual adventures.

This is totally fucking disgusting. It is even more disgusting when you put yourself in the place of The Dad or Niles, try to imagine being insanely excited about reading about your brother or sister fucking. So excited that you debase yourself to the level of a six year old lusting after another’s toy, clawing at your dad’s face and turning over a chair in a mad dash to read a description of your family member’s penis.

This book exists because at some point during Frasier’s stay in Boston, unseen by Cheers’ cameras, the good doctor helped J. Peterman overcome writer’s block over a few beers at the bar. He did this by telling him in minute detail, about his first love affair with his piano teacher, even explaining that as an 18 year old he called his chest hair a love rug. This seems a bizarre way to help someone overcome writer’s block, but who am I to judge Fras’s expertise? I have been in a bit of a rut lately, does anyone have any perfectly remembered spring-autumn relationships they could recount to me while we get drunk? I will pay for the beer.

Many years after Frasier told Peterman about his deflowering, the dastardly scribe wrote it down in a book that is now the talk of Seattle! And he didn’t even mention Frasier in his acknowledgments! Frasier is pissed and confronts the scam artist at the radio station and makes him cry. My friends at were not pleased with this plot, Norm Jr. complains that the ep “takes a few too many liberties. The first involves "Cheers" back story issues with this alleged cleansing of the soul with some random writer at the bar, followed by said writer ending up at Frasier's radio station years later.”

What is it like to be a Frasier fanatic (Franatic) and hate plot contrivances? This is the same Norm Jr. who fucking loved it when Frasier’s son showed up in a different episode. Norm just watches every episode of Frasier, cursing the ludicrous plot twists and unbelievable hi-jinks while waiting with bated breath for an appearance by young Freddie, screaming out, “worth it! All worth it!” when he finally appears, like a 13-year-old boy watching an Ashley Judd movie on HBO at 1:30 in the morning. “The rating screen said there was nudity!”

I’m going to give this 73% out of 100, just like Norm Jr.

A few episode highlights: After Frasier gets the writer to cry, his dad is just disgusted that he isn’t happier about it. “You get exactly what you want and you still aren’t happy.” What a weird thing to say. You humiliated this man until he was brought to tears WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT?

Also, there is an incredibly long zoom on Frasier while he is reading from Peterman’s book and it is awesome. Apparently Doc is very expressive while he is reading, nodding and frowning and laughing. I am not any good at any sort of computer stuff, so if you will indulge me, please click this link to a short video of him reading and watch it on mute. I think its worth it, I’ve watched it about 10 times and it keeps getting funnier.