by Ali Burden |
This classic series, which aired for the first time in 1993, is definitely worth enjoying time and time again—stream Frasier on Amazon Prime Instant Video right now.
Kelsey Grammer absolutely shines as the sophisticated and uptight Dr. Frasier Crane—fans of Cheers may remember him as a successful Boston therapist and bar regular. But when Cheers came to a close, fans wanted more—and thus Frasier, Grammer’s standalone series, was born.
Episode one, titled The Good Son, introduces a slew of new and lovable characters as the stage is set. Frasier, now a radio psychiatrist for KACL780 talk radio, explains to his listeners that he had just moved from Boston back to his hometown of Seattle, and was, initially, full of hope.
Then Frasier’s new life is turned upside-down—while having coffee with his brother, Niles (the beloved David Hyde Pierce), Frasier discovers that his father, Martin (John Mahoney) a retired cop with mobility issues thanks to an old injury, has fallen in his home again. After a short debate about which one of them should take Martin (and his little dog, Eddie) in, Frasier agrees it should be him, and dubs himself “the good son”.
And so it begins—with Martin eventually comes Daphne (Jane Leeves), a quirky and eccentric English rose who serves as Martin’s healthcare worker. With her spunky attitude and “psychic” abilities, she’s an absolute riot—an amazing addition to the show from start to finish.
The series follows not only Frasier’s career—which is riddled with twists and turns, crazy agents, other radio personalities like Bob “Bulldog” Briscoe (Dan Butler), sassy producers like Roz Doyle (Peri Gilpin) and much more—but also his relationship with his family. He and Niles banter in their signature quick-witted way, and are locked in endless competition. Martin throws a wrench into Frasier’s life at every turn with his beer-drinking, poker-playing, blue-collar, overall unrefined mannerisms.
Bebe Neuwirth reprises her role as Lilith Sternin—Frasier’s icy ex-wife and mother to his son, Fredrick. Their relationship is still rocky, ranging from arguments to passionate flings throughout the series.
From the very beginning, Niles falls for Daphne, despite his own somewhat troubled marriage to the never-seen Maris Crane—a wealthy ladder-climbing socialite. While the marriage breaks down gradually over the years, eventually ending in divorce, Niles doesn’t admit his feelings for Daphne until the seventh season. Ironically, Niles’s private psychiatry practice focuses heavily on marriage and family therapy.
Avid watchers of Cheers will remember Frasier claiming that his father was a deceased scientist—comments that are brought to light in an episode of Frasier in which Sam Malone (Ted Danson, star of Cheers) makes an appearance. Martin, being the stark opposite of his pretentious, refined sons, creates a hilarious, oftentimes endearing parallel to his boys, reminding them of their roots and occasionally dragging them into situations they wouldn’t find themselves in normally.
At age sixty-two, Martin was shot in the left hip, forcing him to walk with a cane and a limp for the rest of his life, and forced him to retire two years yearly. Even still, in his free time, Martin works on The Weeping Lotus case—an unsolved murder from decades before. John Mahoney brings this character to life beautifully, making him a lovable and invaluable addition to Frasier.
Over Frasier’s whopping eleven seasons, viewers can enjoy watching Frasier get closer with his brother and father, as well as his eventual sister-in-law Daphne and his best friend and producer, Roz. It’s a beautiful exercise in healing, the importance of family, and how one decision can change your life forever.
Frasier garnered three golden globes, countless primetime emmy awards and much much more—but one doesn’t need that to know that Frasier is an unforgettable heartwarming experience worth binging on again and again. Hands down, one of the best shows on Amazon Prime.
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