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Series / Frasier

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Ever wonder why he became a psychiatrist? Spend a day with his family.note 

"Hey baby, I hear the blues a-calling
Tossed salads and scrambled eggs
Mercy!/Oh, my!/Quite stylish...!
And maybe I seem a bit confused
Yeah, maybe—but I got you pegged!
But I don't know what to do
With those tossed salads and scrambled eggs....
They're calling again."

A Spin-Off of Cheers airing on NBC from 1993–2004, in which psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer) has moved back to his home town of Seattle to take a job as a radio shrink on KACL in order to put his life back together after divorcing his wife Lilith (Bebe Neuwirth).

In the pilot, Frasier's father Martin (John Mahoney), a down-to-earth, blue-collar, easygoing man as different from his pompous, stuffy, intellectual son as it is possible to be, is forced to move in with Frasier following his retirement from the Seattle police force after being shot in the hip, providing the setting for the rest of the show.

In addition to Frasier and Martin, the rest of the main cast includes Roz Doyle (Peri Gilpin), Frasier's sharp-tongued, upbeat producer, who is notorious for her healthy sex life and who soon becomes his best friend; Frasier's brother Niles (David Hyde Pierce), also a psychiatrist with a personality and line of interests very similar to those of his brother, with whom he shares a close-knit but intensely competitive relationship, who was a frequent visitor to the apartment and a companion in most of Frasier's complicated escapades; and Martin's physical therapist and housekeeper, cheerful, eccentric young Englishwoman Daphne Moon (Jane Leeves). Martin's deceptively intelligent Jack Russell terrier Eddie, Frasier's coworkers at KACL, and Niles's unseen but outlandish wife Maris were the final touches to the core cast, which remained intact and unchanged throughout all eleven seasons of the show's run. Dan Butler, who played Testosterone Poisoned sports show host Bob "Bulldog" Briscoe, was listed in the opening credits for seasons 4 through 6, but was billed as a guest star for all other appearances.

The series was able to run contrary to almost every other sitcom ever made by having two wealthy, snobbish milquetoasts as its main characters, who clash with the Average Joes and blue-collar slobs that make up the rest of the ensemble. The emphasis was on understatement and taste: the show used title cards in place of establishing shots, was one of the first sitcoms to completely dispose of the Sentimental Music Cue, had an opening themenote  only a few seconds long (with the cast credits running amid the opening sequence)note , and wasn't afraid to mix up highbrow wordplay and regular old humor. The show's brand of humor was wry and highly farcical, delighting in turning regular situations into ludicrously convoluted disasters while making hay out of the clash of inflexible opinions, class and cultural stereotypes, and strong, differing personalities. Also contributing to the show's enjoyability is that fact that many episodes end happily, with all confusion totally cleared up — although there are plenty of disastrous and bittersweet endings as well.

The show ran on Irony in all its forms, especially in the premise of a brilliant psychiatrist who can analyze and solve anyone's problems, but cannot for the life of him deal with his familial relationships, the bizarre situations he always gets himself into, or his own personal neuroses. For obvious reasons, psychological issues, mind games and behavioral patterns were major themes throughout the show and a source of much humor, as were the presence of family and the dynamics of parental and sibling relationships. The plots of the episodes usually revolved around Frasier or the other main characters accidentally overcomplicating their own or each other's crises, powered by a sitcom-standard mix-and-match of Snowball Lie, "Fawlty Towers" Plot, Contrived Coincidence, and the entire gamut of Mistaken for Index; but usually developed in a far more intricate, subtle and sophisticated manner than most sitcoms, frequently subverting the very tropes they made heavy use of.

Over the years, notable Character Development occurred for all five main characters. The cast became more understanding and close-knit, Frasier's relationship with Martin improved drastically after they started living together, Frasier started a quest for a meaningful relationship, Niles and Maris divorced, and Roz got pregnant and became a single mother halfway through the show. However, the most notable story arc was the drawn-out, heartfelt Will They or Won't They? between a blissfully Oblivious to Love Daphne and a shyly adoring Niles who carried a silent torch for her for seven years. They had to go through a whole cavalcade of complications and roadblocks before finally confessing their love for each other and getting together at the end of season 7.

The show won 37 Emmy Awards, a record bested only by Saturday Night Live (50) and Game of Thrones (38), and notably ran for a grand-slam eleven seasons, matching or exceeding its predecessor Cheers in length and acclaim. Other than Entertainment Tonight, Frasier was the last show produced by Paramount Television in production from when the studio's parent company was Paramount Communications, much like how its parent series was the last show other than ET from the "Blue Mountain" era still producing new episodes when it ended in 1993.

A sequel series, released October 13th, 2023 on Paramount+, has Frasier return to Boston and move in with his since-estranged son Frederick, now a down-to-earth, blue-collar, easygoing man who goes by Freddy (though he also frequently went by this name in both Cheers and the original run of Frasier). Grammer reprises his role, making him the only regular cast member to do so, though Bebe Neuwirth and Peri Gilpin have made guest appearances.

TV Tropes all over my face! What is a Troper to do?

"Frasier has left the building!"


Rodney Banks

Niles meets a look-alike in Rodney Banks, Daphne's new boyfriend.

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