Saturday, October 8, 2022

The "Frasier" Reboot/Relaunch/Revival/Resurgence/Regurgitation/Resurrection/Revamp/Return

I'm gonna let you in on little secret that I feel has been out there for quite a while and some of you probably had assumptions about, if you were paying attention. Now I'm sure there might be some of you who are a bit shocked by this but I'm doing this because times have changed and what might have been a bit taboo when I was a teenager, has become a lot more socially acceptable now.
If this concerns you, I just ask that you understand and try to see past the label we go.

I'm...a huge nerd.

See, back in 2004 when everyone was talking about the series finale of Friends and how it was going to be this enormous moment in television history...I couldn't even be bothered to pretend to give a rat's ass about it.
I've tried watching that show and all I see are six high-functioning lobotomy patients living in the most segregated version of New York City even Elijah Muhammad couldn't dream of.

Instead, I was more interested in the series finale of Frasier. I was truly interested in how they were going to wrap of this series of high-functioning neurotics living in the most segregated version of...oh, wait, the show took place in Seattle; of course all you're going to see is white people.

Ever notice how this theme always sounds like the generic jazz music you hear in Starbucks?

I really liked the series finale "Goodnight, Seattle", and would put it up there among the best finales of all time. I thought it did everything right in wrapping up the series and it did the two things that a final episode should do:

1. It should make you say, "What a great way to go out."

2. It also makes you say, "Based on how great that episode was...I was they were making more."

Believe it or not, that was all the way back in 2004 and I was close to graduating high school.

There had been talks of Kelsey Grammer doing a sequel series/reboot/revival for years but it wasn't until last week that Paramount announced that whatever you want to call it...Fraser's coming back.

As someone who's a fan of the show I do you do this to where we feel like we're building on what's previously been established? We don't want this to be like Star Trek: Picard, we want fans to actually enjoy it. How do you honor the old series while at the same time having it be different?

First we have to remember where we left our main & supporting characters when the show ended. 
-Frasier was moving to San Francisco to start a job in television...or was he? The final moments of the show revealed that Frasier instead went to Chicago, where his new girlfriend, Charlotte, had moved to.

-Daphne and Niles, happily married had welcomed their first child, a boy named David.

-Martin had gotten married to his girlfriend, Ronnee.

-Roz had been promoted as KACL's new station manager.

First off, with the passing of John Mahoney back in 2018, you can't recast the role of Martin and it would only make sense to have the character be deceased as well.
We would say that perhaps he died five years to the day that Eddie finally passed away.
Remember Eddie?

This dog made more money in five seasons than most of us put together.

And not to be insensitive but that brings to me to the remaining cast. They played these characters for 11 years and that started back in 1993.

I don't think there's a lot of humor there when it's all these older people. You do need that dynamic of the old and the young, it was there in the first episode of Frasier. To that end, we would have two (Possibly three?) new characters in the cast.

One would be Frasier's son Frederick and the other is his younger cousin, David, Niles & Daphne's son.

OK...why is Frasier back in Seattle?
Sadly, like Martin before him, Frasier now knows the pain of losing a wife. We'll establish that he married Charlotte after the finale (A year at best) and they were married for 15 wonder years until she tragically passed away.

In his suffering, the weight of depression has nearly crushed this once bright star of radio and television. He decides to go back to his hometown of Seattle to be with the only family he has left.

There he's offered a chance by his former producer-now station manager-Roz, to restart his  once acclaimed radio show. And Roz needs all the help she can get as radio is getting their ass handed to them by podcasts and KACL is getting into the streaming business as well.

Frasier is also uncomfortable with the idea of a live-feed camera on him during broadcasts.

"Roz, why is there a camera pointed at me?"

"Its a webcam. You know, for people who are watching the livestream or watch it later on the station's YouTube channel."

"But...WHY are they watching a radio show?"

"Oh, get with the times, Fras!"

"I am with the times, Roz! Do you know what you call a show that you have see in order to get full enjoyment out of it?"

"I don't know, what?"


Things made are not made easier as Frasier now has to compete with his son's growing popularity. Frederick followed Frasier & his mother, Lilith, into the field of psychology and is a rising star thanks to his new self-help book, "I Feel You, Bro".

Frasier is not as impressed as the rest of the world is with Frederick Crane and even less so when he finds that his brother, Niles, owns a copy.
"Oh for God's sake, Niles, you actually own a copy?"

"Well, I'm...just being a good uncle and supporting my nephew."

"Daphne told me you waited nearly two hours in line at a bookstore just to get yours autographed!"

"It was actually three! People got quite excited when they found out Frederick and I are related. I hadn't had that many eyes on me since that botched surprise party I threw for Marris' birthday! But this time it was in a good way!

"Niles, I cannot believe that you would even entertain such patronizing...Pablum aimed at post-pubescent...PANSIES!"

But Niles isn't just owning Frederick's book due to family loyalty but because of some problems with his own life. He once thought that his son, David, was like him. A chip off the old block, into fine art, history, classic films etc etc.

But over the last few year or two he's noticed some changes in David. And then he makes a shocking discovery that be brings to Frasier's attention.
"I was passing by David's room and...I saw something sticking out from under the mattress."

"What was it?"

"A magazine, Frasier! I couldn't believe David would hide such a thing."

"Niles, don't pretend that the inside of a Playboy magazine is something that you never looked at when you were his age!"

"For the record, I did want to read that interview with Truman Capote!"

"Oh for God's sake, Niles!!!"

" was Sports Illustrated!"


"I had the same reaction. What's worse...there was a year's worth there as well. A subscription, Frasier. My son has a subscription to Sports Illustrated! Where did I go WRONG!?"

Yes, it turns out that David is not the child his father thought he was as Niles has done some more snooping and made even more frightening discoveries.

"Niles...perhaps, it's just...harmless experimenting."

"I thought so, too, Frasier. But then I found the...Dirty movies."


"Yes, Frasier. All five of Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry movies. I never knew he made more than one!"

"I feel dizzy, Niles."

"Only last week we were discussing 'Dr. Zhivago' and how it was-at the time-an underappreciated masterpiece. How do you go from David Lean to Dirty Harry?

Frasier nearly faints when he finds out David has also lied about attending after-school geopolitical debates and is instead joining friends at...a gym! He can't help Niles find out  what "wicked gains" means but suggests that he talk to his son about this.

So Niles speaks to David and wants to know just what is going on. David confesses that he does like the art, music and culture that his father's exposed him to...but he also discovered that he loves the action, violence and mayhem that his grandfather, Martin, secretly showed him whenever he would babysit.

"Don't worry, Dad, Grandpa didn't let me watch Taxi Driver until I was 13," David will tell him. He'll also tell Niles that he doesn't want to go into psychology but rather wants to study to become a film director.

Niles is beside himself and speaks to Daphne. It turns out that she knew about this shortly after Martin died and kept it from him. She also has some advice for her husband.

"He's found something he loves and wants to spend his life doing that. Is it any stranger than the son of a policeman going to Harvard to become a psychologist?"

"Well...I suppose not. I just can't believe he's as much like Dad as he is like me."

"Think of it this way: Would you rather he be like your father...or my brothers?"

After making quick confirmation that David does indeed enjoy Dr. Zhivago, Niles decides to bond with his son by watching Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven.

But back to Frasier himself. He's not doing well and his depression is worse than anyone knows. One night Frederick gets a call from his father in tears. He goes to the apartment to find Frasier in a horrid state. Frasier's survival guilt over Charlotte has him thinking he's not meant to be happy and almost waiting to die.

Deciding that his father can't live alone at this time, Frederick decides to have Frasier move into his apartment. So much like how in the pilot episode, where Martin moved in with Frasier, Frasier is now moving in with his son.

Frasier accepts but at the same time can't help dwelling on the wife he lost and the father he misses. Things change however when Frederick brings in something special to help Frasier. 

Frasier will be astonished as he assumed it had been thrown away after Martin died but it turns out Frederick kept it in storage all those years.

Frasier is hesitant to sit in it but after some pleading from Frederick ("I promise, Dad, you can't even smell the dog urine now!"), he does and slowly...he starts to enjoy it.

The episode will end with Frasier coming into work ready to start anew, feeling revived, reinvigorated and not just help others but also help himself.

"You know, it's strange, Roz. I don't feel 100% better but I I'm getting better."

"That's wonderful, Frasier. Frederick's going to be your guest for the first hour to discuss his book. Also, Lilith has been on hold for the past hour, waiting to call in."

Full disclosure, I'm not a professional writer but that was just an idea I had about how I (Y'know, the writer of this blog) would do a Frasier return/revival. I think sometimes you need to return to what made the show work and what worked was that these two psychologist brothers (Who everyone went to for their problems) needed a shrink more than anyone else. 

Also, and this is just my opinion, I think it's kinda funny. If it's not, well that would explain why I'm not a professional writer.

No comments:

Behind the Scenes

It almost sounds a bit strange for me to actually say it out loud but for the past year, I've been making comics. Certainly not on a pro...