InsidePulse DVD Review – Frasier: The Complete Seventh Season


(Credit: Amazon.com)

Created by:
David Angell
Peter Casey
David Lee

Cast:
Kelsey Grammer …. Dr. Frasier Winslow Crane
David Hyde Pierce …. Dr. Niles Crane
Jane Leeves …. Daphne Moon/Crane
Peri Gilpin …. Roz Doyle
John Mahoney …. Martin Crane
Saul Rubinek …. Donny Douglas
Jane Adams …. Dr. Mel Karnofsky

The Show
Ah Frasier, one of the longest running characters in TV history who consistently remained funny throughout his run on the airwaves. Now while a description of the show may be redundant for 99% of those reading this, I’ll write up a small paragraph for the select few who have apparently been living under a rock for the past 20 or so years.

Frasier Crane is a phsychiatrist who has his own morning talk show to help his fellow seatalites deal with their problems yet when it comes to his own personal dilemmas, things seem to get hazy when he’s looking for a solution. His father Martin who’s an ex-cop lives with him in his apartment, along with Martin’s physical therapist Daphne Moon. Frasier’s brother Niles who is also a phsychiatrist manages to get caught up in hilarious situations with his brother each and every week, shows what a phd is worth.

Season seven was probably the pinnacle of the series as the season before it didn’t do as well as the first five and most long time fans began to worry the show may be heading downhill. But once season seven started everything began to click again and once things started rolling it all culminated in what could quite possibly be the shows best season in its eleven year run.

During season six Niles spent most of his time depressed watching Daphne and Donny trot around swooning for one another anouncing their engament to everyone while he still had his secret love for Daphne that he couldn’t let out. While it was a nice twist for the evolution of the characters, it was slightly too depressing for a sitcom which is generally known to make people laugh and not feel sad. Now with that season over and the wedding still on, it was hard coming in for some fans wondering how things would pan out in the shows seventh year.

Things start out with Frasier inadvertently gives Donny and Daphne the impression that he’ll pay for their wedding which I’m sure most people would agree is a forehead slapping moment. When attempting to blow out his birthday muffin Frasier hurts his back and while on pain killers he accidentally spills the beans and tells Daphne all about Niles affection towards her. All three guys (Frasier, Martin and Niles) find themselves celebrating the new millennium together in a Winnebago when all of their plans are thrown in to disarray. When trying to deal with the Daphne and Donnie situation, Niles meets and begins a relationship with Mel, his ex-wifes former plastic surgeon.

All in all, the good greatly outweighs the bad with this season of the critically acclaimed sitcom. The writers and produces deserve a nice pat on the back for the work they have done with this collection of episodes, not once do they put out a bad show and only add to the plethora of memorable moments, including one of the best cliff hanger season finales in recent memory. The cast also finds themselves in top form with most notably David Hyde Pierce stepping up his game adding a new layer to the lovable loser character of Niles Crane.

The best things the writers did was do a complete alteration with the Daphne/Niles story and put her in his shoes having to watch on as Niles and his new girlfriend walked around while she had to deal with knowing he had feelings for her all this time. Which left her with the feeling that she may never have a chance to be with the one she was meant to and lose Niles forever. The tension built up over the 23 episodes is done wonderfully and when the final minutes of the show play out you’ll be jumping for joy.

The only real disappointment is while the stories are all entertaining some characters find themselves pushed to the wayside. That actually tightens up the show bringing it back to its roots focusing on only Frasier, Niles, Martin and Daphne but all the others who have grown on us sort of just drift away, like the majority of the KACL family. Donny and Mel, the later introduced during this season are left unused, the writers did however rectify that in the next season.

The episode lineup is as follows:

Disc One: Momma Mia, Father of the Bride, Radio Wars, Everyone’s A Critic, The Dog That Rocks The Cradle, Rivals

Disc Two: A Tsar Is Born, The Late Dr. Crane, The Apparent Trap, Back Talk, The Fight Before Christmas, Rdwrer

Disc Three: They’re Playing Our Song, Big Crane on Campus, Out With Dad, Something About Dr. Mary, Whine Club, Hot Pursuit

Disc Four: Morning Becomes Entertainment, To Thine Old Self Be True, The Three Faces of Frasier, Dark Side of the Moon, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

Score: 7.5/10

The Video
(Presented in 1.33:1 Fullscreen)
Equal to that of its original network run the video is what you would expect, average. There does appear to be some noticeable grain during some episodes but it’s kept to a minimum. It’s a bit of a disapointment that these episodes aren’t pristine considering how relatively new they are.

The Audio
(English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
The DVD set puts the speakers to good use, but this is a sitcom with a 2.0 stereo mix and it does its job the best it can. Dialogue comes out clear and the witty writing that comes through the speakers is all that really matters anyway.

The Extras
With the exception of a few trailers for other Paramount TV on DVD collections on disc one there isn’t a single bonus feature in the entire package. Only the first few sets had anything to watch, which is the exact same thing Paramount did with the Cheers DVD collections. How they can put out these box sets for one of the all-time best sitcoms as barebone releases is mind boggling. No “making of” piece, no retrospective discussion with the cast to talk about the season, there aren’t even any cast commentary tracks on any of the episodes.

Score: 1/10