Few spin-offs become bigger than the TV series they originated from. Frasier Crane was a character in Cheers, a sitcom from the 1980s. After Cheers ended, he got his own sitcom, but it was quite different from the series in which he was introduced. Frasier remained at the top for 11 seasons and will soon have a new follow-up. Frasier is still enjoyable because its stories and humor are timeless.

Simple, yet clever

On the surface, Frasier is about the life of a radio psychiatrist. But it actually delves into the well known issue of the generation gap. Frasier takes his father into his home after he is injured in an incident at work. Marty, Frasier’s father, needs more care, and of course, it’s difficult for him to give up some independence. But for Frasier, as an adult, it’s also strange to have his father living with him. Fortunately, that’s exactly why the series is so wonderful.

It’s not just about Frasier as a psychiatrist, but also about the conflicts and friendship he has with his younger brother Niles. And about Daphne from Manchester, who comes in as a live-in physical therapist for Martin. And that makes Niles quite restless in the most amusing way. Martin, being a former police officer, has a different outlook on life compared to Frasier and Niles. The brothers are highly educated and enormous snobs, while Martin finds happiness in simpler things in life.

Parents and children

The focus is on familiarity. The situation where parents and children go their own ways is normal. Maybe not as extreme as in Frasier, but it’s the exaggerations that make it enjoyable. Each character clashes in a certain way. Maybe Niles and Daphne are an exception, but they have their own storyline with secret admiration and unawareness (I told you: that’s just great fun).

Frasier may not always be the type you agree with 100%. His occasional foolishness and snobbish expectations, despite his high standards, make it entertaining. And you sometimes feel sympathy because not everything goes smoothly for him either. And despite the clashes between the characters, there is a lot of love between the father and his sons. I haven’t even mentioned the true star of the show: the dog Eddie. Eddie has the most perfect comedic timing.

Slapstick and farce

There are different types of humor. Slapstick and farce might not be the ones you’d associate with snobbery, but that contrast works very well. Simple humor juxtaposed with classical interests like opera and wine. One of the best episodes is about miscommunication in a mountain cabin, where Frasier thinks one of his guests has a crush on him, but it’s the ski instructor who actually has a thing for him. The various guest rooms where everyone flies in and out contribute to the confusion for the characters. While we, the audience, can see where it goes wrong!

We’ve had the series in a box set for a very long time. And for a while, I found it strange that this successful series was nowhere to be streamed. Fortunately, it’s now available through a streaming service. Because even though the series dates back to 1993 and lasted for 11 seasons, it’s still fairly timeless. There are no jokes that relied too much on recent events. And did I mention the dog? Eddie, played by Moose and later his son Enzo, is a delightful mischievous TV dog.

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