'Frasier' First Episode: THR's 1993 Review

Frasier S01 Still - H 2015
Courtesy of Everett Collection

Frasier S01 Still - H 2015

It's "a series that constructs its characters and situations with care and skill."

In fall 1993, NBC introduced Fraiser as a stand-alone half-hour comedy on Sept. 16. The Hollywood Reporter's original review is below:

Cheers for NBC's Frasier, the new primetime comedy that has plucked Dr. Frasier Crane from the bygone Cheers and set him up in business on his own weekly series. 

Emmy winner Kelsey Grammer vigorously returns as the head shrink doc, bringing to the role the understated acerbic bite that made his character a standout on his former weekly program. However, rather than keep Frasier in Beantown, the new series places him in his hometown of Seattle. And here he finds himself in the position of working as a talk-show host dispensing advice to callers. 

All would seem paradise, or at least a touch of Elysian, for the relocated Frasier, who has left a failed marriage back East to start fresh in his new environs. However, matters are not to stay so tranquil. For his younger brother, the fussy Niles (David Hyde Pierce), also a psychiatrist, informs him that their curmudgeonly pop (John Mahoney), an ex-cop who was injured while on the job, would be better served if he didn't live alone. And so Frasier reluctantly "volunteers" to let Dad stay with him, also hesitatingly agreeing to permit his dog Eddie (Moose) to board as well. A dubious slice of salvation then comes in the guise of a health-care worker originally from England (Jane Leeves), who is hired to help tend to Dad's needs. 

As might be expected, this new setup puts a real kink in Frasier's post-Boston scenario, now having to room and deal with his contentious father and an askew caregiver. 

As demonstrated by Frasier's launch, the show looks like one of the brighter entities in the incoming freshman sitcom class, a series that constructs its characters and situations with care and skill from the start rather than relying on seeking to confirm expectations. — Miles Beller

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