Thanks to cognitive dissonance, I enjoy the show for a couple of reasons. On the surface, it has a unique personality— a sort of understated dignity. Beneath that, its tone and pacing are great brain candy for vegging out. I live in Seattle, so it’s also fun to pick out the things that they get wrong about the setting.
Beyond that, the beach-waves of audience laughter roll in at standard sitcom clip, as prompted by the characters’ reliable, mutual compulsions to overreact to things, set up unnecessary conflicts, and navigate those conflicts with what is supposed to be an endearing, troubled social clumsiness (OK, so for me it actually works! And I suppose you live free of guilty pleasures).
See what I did there, in the parenthesis? I’m making the same sort of joke that I’m talking about: First, I establish, unnecessarily, that the show has a certain negative trait, then I pretend to hastily freak out about it.
I stumbled on ‘Full House Reviewed’ a little while ago, and soon after discovered that reviewing entire runs of TV shows was, as the kids say these days with capital letters, “A Thing.” Give them all some love—they each take a unique approach to this curse.
(Family Matters Reviewed) (He-Man Reviewed) (Huxtable Hotness)
And, holy cats, as long as you’re surfing around, at least put a bookmark on a very comprehensive Frasier fansite:
Goodnight Seattle: The Unofficial Frasier Page
2. Why “Denied”?
At first I was going to follow suit with the other review sites and call it Frasier Reviewed, but “Frasier Denied” struck me as amusingly melodramatic—like the show itself. Also, part of what had made me want to do the blog was a recent, often distracted viewing of the majority of the best-rated and most-viewed mid-series episodes, during which I started to wonder whether the creators actually pulled off an entire series without letting the main character go to bed with anyone. In this second sense, “denied” comes off, again, as both melodramatic and amusing. You can also expand that further (isolation, rejection, self-defeat) to Frasier’s overall social life, which makes it the perfect way to title this blog.
TL;DR- “Have you ever watched the show?” 🙂
Fourthly, I am framing my treatment of the show as if the main narrative were intended as Niles and Daphne’s story, so, thanks to me, the character for whom the show is named is being what he might consider egregiously overlooked.
3. Were you a fan of the show when it originally aired?
I have to say that I wasn’t a regular viewer, but I did like it. I didn’t watch very much television during the ‘90s, and in the first half of the 20’aughts, it was pretty much limited to Fox on Sunday nights.
The strange thing is that I incorrectly remembered it being on Thursdays. I thought that “Must-See TV” was all about Friends and Frasier, whose runs were nearly entirely parallel, but it turns out that it was only the first (’93-94) and seventh (’99-00) seasons that Frasier was on Thursday, and for all the others it was on Tuesday.
This makes a lot more sense, since Friends and Seinfeld were holding down the Thursday schedule, and Frasier brought viewers in on another night.
4. What are your favorite TV shows?
(All-time favorites) Perfect Strangers, Arrested Development, 30 Rock
(Then there’s) It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, The Office (American), Modern Family, Portlandia, The Simpsons, Community, Mythbusters, Burn Notice, Conan, Seinfeld, Scrubs*, Weeds*, Mr. Bean, The Sopranos, Friends, Dead Like Me, King of the Hill, Penn & Teller: Bullshit!, Beavis And Butthead (both runs), The Twilight Zone (1950s run), You Can’t Do That on Television, Out of Control, Pushing Daisies, Party Down, 10 Items or Less, Family Guy (first 3 seasons mainly), Strangers With Candy, early MAD TV, SNL in the ‘90s,…
*I have to say that Weeds and Scrubs were only really on fire for about the first 3 seasons (Update: Alright, alright– Weeds was pretty fun all the way through). As I mentioned, the same goes for Family Guy. Dead Like Me got weak by the end of the second season as well, and the movie was straight crap. That entire sentence also applies directly to Strangers With Candy. I do not want to talk about the last season of Lost.