The ‘Frasier’ revival is a fun, uninspired dud – Rolling Stone

There’s a joke in the fourth chapter of the Paramount+ revival Frazier It’s not all bad in this new installment about Kelsey Kramer’s legendary psychiatrist Frasier Crane, as there are unfortunately plenty of bad guys to choose from. But that points to the new show’s biggest problem.

Frasier teams up with his new Harvard colleagues Alan (Nicholas Lyndhurst) and Olivia (Dokes Olagundoye) on bar trivia, competing against a group of firefighters led by Frasier’s son Freddy (Jack Cudmore-Scott). At one point, Frazier was confused as to why everyone was mispronouncing “Celtics” when talking about Boston’s beloved NBA franchise. It’s a dumb punchline — but, then again, there’s plenty to go around here. Worse, though, it ignores it after its introduction in the third season Cheers, Frazier Crane spent a decade of his life hanging around the Boston sports bar. Celtics legend Kevin McHale once frequented the bar there, so he played on the Cheers basketball team against Gary’s Olde Town Tavern! Frasier attended a game! Woody Boyd lamented how much he hated Larry Bird because their respective Indiana towns were rivals! For that matter, Frazier’s best friend for years was former Boston Red Sox pitcher Sam Malone, so he understands why Bostonians consider socks a religion, yet the good doctor is completely baffled that one of Freddy’s most cherished possessions. A Lucite case of Fenway Park dirt!

It might sound like I’m over-fixing a couple of cakes. Except that those jokes represent this new way Frazier Struggles to cope with the extensive and familiar history of a man who has previously appeared in 20 seasons of television. It’s a quandary that doesn’t exist, as Kramer and new executive producers Chris Harris and Joe Cristali tease what Frazier will look like in 2023. This is because the title is a familiar IP and resides in the same streaming. A service that has both Cheers And original Frazier Run.

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When we last saw Dr. Crane, he had moved from his native Seattle to Chicago to follow his new girlfriend, Charlotte. The relationship didn’t last, we’re told, but Frasier found a new level of popularity in the Windy City. Dr. Phil-esque daytime talk show. Meanwhile, he is deeply estranged from Freddie. A once-ugly kid, like Grandpa Martin, has become a blue-collar first responder and has nothing in common with his scrappy, capable father. During a layover in Boston en route to Europe, Olivia offers Frasier a teaching position at his alma mater, and he takes it in an attempt to reconcile with Freddie.

It’s a clear attempt to flip the dynamics of the original Frazier Foreshadowing, Freddie is a son who can’t relate to his old man. But it doesn’t work due to many reasons. First of all, Jack Cudmore-Scott is incredibly bland in this role and doesn’t look like the character we last saw 20 years ago. Then it starred Trevor Einhorn — who is still a working actor (Maniac men, Magicians), and better equipped with humor than Cudmore-Scott – the young Frederick Crane was a curious nerd with multiple allergies. It’s not that he can’t grow into this person in the end, but the new episodes don’t admit to what Freddy used to be, how much this has changed, or what aspects of his old self he still retains. Nobody wants to know about them.

There is also a story in one episode where Freddy admits to telling the other firefighters that his father is dead. In theory this seems like a callback Frazier In the episode when Sam goes to Seattle, he discovers that Frasier told everyone at Sears that Martin was long dead. It is an obvious way to connect the Father and the Son, and connects the past with the present, but it does not come. To use a basketball metaphor that Frazier should understand, but this avatar doesn’t, it’s an easy setup the new show shouldn’t even think about trying.

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There is a lot of it. In the absence of David Hyde Pierce , the revival attempts to fill the Niles-shaped hole with both Alan and David, Niles and Daphne’s socially awkward son, a student in Frasier’s class. (Like David, Anders Keith leans so hard into a Pierce impression that random results can make him either the most attractive part of an episode or the least attractive.) Allen is shown as Frasier’s oldest and dearest friend, but Frasier Cheers Being a very lonely man, he spent that time hanging out with Sam and other people he couldn’t relate to. Where was Alan during those tragic years? Despite guest appearances by Sam, Woody, Carla, Norm and Cliff, Brazier talks about his Sears days as an embarrassing episode. Frazier

In various episodes, it was clear that he still had a deep affection for all of them. (Okay, maybe not Cliff.) Didn’t Frasier hang out with Allen in the eighties when the gang at Sears seemed to be the only ones with him? Why didn’t he mention the idea of ​​seeing Sam on this show? (Even if Ted Danson doesn’t want to reprise the role, it could be noted that Sam is retiring and Frasier has a less-than-ideal connection to his adopted town.)

This goes for the entire original supporting cast. John Mahoney died in 2018 and Jane Leeves did not return, as did Pearce. Perry Gilpin will guest star as Rose in one episode, but she’s not in any of the five sent to critics.

Jack Cudmore-Scott and Kelsey Kramer in ‘Frasier.’ Paramount+The whole endeavor feels like a very superficial reading of what made the character and the nineties version of it.

Frazier , work. There are several wacky misunderstandings, particularly involving Eve (Jess Salquero), the woman who lives with Freddy at the beginning of the series. And oh my, there are so many puns. When considering furniture options for her new apartment, Frazier says, “It’s a real sofa choice.” At one point, Olivia complains about her sister being made provost at Yale, repeating out loud the name of Harvard’s Ivy League rival several times, prompting Frasier to yell, “Don’t Yale me!” There was a lot of shouting in the original series, and it wouldn’t be if someone asked an extra question in a given conversation. But it worked because it had an all-time great ensemble with Kramer on the sidelines, because the relationships felt real and detailed, and because it had a Hall of Fame writing staff (including Future).

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Creators Steve Levitan and Christopher Lloyd) made sure that all the jokes, no matter how corny, were the best versions. Revival is built on the built-in affection we have for its title character and Kramer’s performance in the role.

There are moments that remind you of Kramer’s genius, like Frazier struggling to choose between being loyal to Allen or being let into an elite Boston club. Not nearly enough to make up for everything else, especially when the show takes such a pick-and-choose approach to everything we know about Frasier.

“The thing about me,” Frasier tells Allen in one episode, “I always wanted to fit in somewhere, you know? Even when I was back in Boston, I was a regular at a bar, and still…”

“Doesn’t anyone know your name?” Allen suggests. Trending

“Well, not exactly,” Frazier says. This being Frasier, it’s a meta joke in more ways than intended It just doesn’t feel quite like what we’ve come to know so well in his previous two series. The first two

Frasier episodes are now streaming on Paramount+, with additional episodes released weekly. I watched the first five.

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