Frasier – The DVDfever Review – Paramount+ – Kelsey Grammer

Frasier Frasier is back in the building, and while repeats of the original 11-season run continue daily on Channel 4, this return to our screens is only on Paramount+

I have to say that I was sceptical, given that the original thrives on its interplay between our titular lead (played by Kelsey GrammerTransformers: Age of Extinction), with Daphne, Niles, Roz, and Frasier’s father, Martin. Sadly, John Mahoney died in 2018, and Eddie the dog, played by Moose, passed away in 2006, but even though the action (well, you get the idea) has moved to Seattle, surely family and friends would visit? Then again, why would anyone up-sticks so late in life?

Okay, so he’s back in Boston, home of the Cheers bar, but even still, you wouldn’t instantly return.

However, firstly, it’s good to see they’ve instantly addressed the passing of Mr Mahoney, by beginning with coming back from his funeral, and coming into the titular lead’s life is his nephew, David (Anders Keith) – son of Niles and Daphne, plus his own son, Freddy (Jack Cutmore-ScottThe Go-Between). However, there’s a complete lack of Niles and Daphner, themselves. If IMDB is to be believed – and I’ve only seen the first two episodes so far – IMDB does list Roz (Peri Gilpin) as appearing in one episode. But, yes, if IMDB is to be believed, since sometimes, it’s about as reliable as Wikipedia, as it can be updated by anyone.

Meanwhile, Jess Salgueiro takes the role of Freddy’s wife, Eve. As for Freddy’s status of employment, he dropped out of Harvard, and is now a firefighter, since he wanted to get straight into work (Why? Carry on being a student and drinking a lot!)

For non-related characters, Alan Cornwall (Nicholas LyndhurstGoodnight Sweetheart) is a lecturer and an old friend from Oxford – although while I haven’t seen every episode, for any time I have seen them, it’s weird that Nick is meant to be an old friend, yet has never been mentioned before. Plus, Olivia Finch (Toks OlagundoyeBeavis and Butthead Do The Universe) is the head of his the dept. Alan doesn’t like her, but she wants Frasier to teach for them, after he gives a single lecture (which we don’t see).

So far, the continuation of Frasier has the same style, with titles at the start of each segment of an episode, and to me, one big plus, is that because Paramount+ is a streaming service, there’s no continuity clown to chunter all over the dialogue-free credits, where Channel 4 would completely destroy the atmosphere of the final scene that played out during Frasier’s tune.

On the downside, the comedy doesn’t quite hit the mark – at least as of yet, with some cringe comedy at the start as our lead tries to get luggage on a trolley; and later, when everyone’s having dinner together, and they’re asked if they have allergies. David is angsty to the point of having all his allergies on a laminated card. I guess you could say that’s the kind of thing Niles would do, but it doesn’t feel like it works from someone else.

Maybe it’ll take time to grow on me, but in part, it does hang together better than I thought it would. It’s also weird to see new characters say they’ll miss Martin, when they’ve never been in it before.

Plus, how come Frasier is apparently massive rich, yet still lives in an apartment, rather than an actual house?

Also, given how there’s ‘audience laughter’ on this, as there used to be, but given the secrecy of plot elements and the usual review emargoes – given that this show has returned after almost 20 years away – I presume they’re canned laughter… unless the audience is real, and they’re temporarily being locked up in the Big Brother house until the individual episodes are aired.

Thanks to our friends at Paramount+ for the screener prior to release.

Frasier is not available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD, but is on Paramount+ from Friday October 13th, with two episodes available at launch, and more added weekly.

Frasier – Official Trailer – Paramount+

Detailed specs:

Running time: 25 minutes per episode (10 episodes)
Release date: October 13th 2023
Studio: Paramount+
Format: 1.78:1

Series Directors: James Burrows, Victor Gonzalez, Kelly Park
Orignal creators: David Angell, Peter Casey, David Lee
Characters: Glen Charles, Les Charles
Writers: Joe Cristalli, Joe Cristalli, Chris Harris, Farhan Arshad, Robb Chavis, Bob Daily, Lauren Houseman, Janene Lin, Stephen Lloyd, Jenna Martin, Naima Pearce, Sasha Stroman, Miles Woods
Music: Bruce Miller, Jason Miller

Dr. Frasier Crane: Kelsey Grammer
Alan Cornwall: Nicholas Lyndhurst
Olivia Finch: Toks Olagundoye
Freddy Crane: Jack Cutmore-Scott
Eve: Jess Salgueiro
David Crane: Anders Keith
Dev Sharma: Parvesh Cheena
Moose: Jimmy Dunn
Smokey: Renee Pezzotta
Saara: Cheyenne Perez
Tiny: Kevin Daniels
Roger: John Bucy
Roz Doyle: Peri Gilpin
Jenee Chao: Danice Cabanela
Nathan: Jack Noble
Lauren: Monique Edwards