Frasier Finale

26 December, 2004 at 22:11 Leave a comment

adapted from –, et al.

Posing for posterity, one last time, is the cast of “Frasier,” from left to right: David Hyde Pierce, Kelsey Grammer, Peri Gilpin, John Mahoney, and Jane Leeves.  (Photo: AP)

On July this year the sitcom “Frasier” bid adieu to millions of viewers worldwide after an amazing run of 11 years. I’ve got to say this is one of the best teleseries ever. The humour in Frasier is not just of the slapstick variety but of the truly witty kind. The series’ many writers have done a tremendous job in maintaining the high standards of the sitcom throughout the decade. This complemented by the top-notch performances from the illustrious cast led to the show bagging Emmys year after year. For the record, Mr.Gammar essayed this character for a record-equalling 20 years (starting with “Cheers”) and that is achievement. Anyways, it was a cute little ending. It starts on a plane with Frasier telling and recounting to a fellow shrink his last few hectic weeks –
First, he had endured the departure of his latest true love, Charlotte (Laura Linney). They shared a quiet dinner and tender moments – the ending is especially so romantic (cliched like the Ross-Rachel episode on “Friends” and the you-forgot-to-take-your-car-keys snippet in “Theres Something About Mary” but this Frasier one was a lot warmer and which I will use in one of my stories) – and off she went to Chicago. The drama takes place at the airport where Charlotte is leaving. Then she comes running back to take her scarf. Then she comes running back to take her cell-phone. But then she leaves and we feel for Frasier.
Second, as Frasier’s brother Niles (David Hyde Pierce) and Niles’ wife Daphne (Jane Leeves) awaited the arrival of their first child, the brothers took it upon themselves to orchestrate the wedding of their father, Martin (John Mahoney), to his betrothed, Ronee (Wendie Malick) at short notice because Martin gives a wrong date to the hotel. There is some physical comedy like air-conditioning not working and Martin’s dog, Eddie, swallowing the wedding ring. Then, after Niles and Daphne rushed the pooch to the vet (Jason Biggs) while the wedding party waited. There, Daphne who is pregnant, gets the motions and gives birth.
Scoring one of the hour’s biggest laughs, Niles, the proud new dad, greeted Frasier, Martin and Ronee at the vet’s office cradling a monkey with a bottle.
“Don’t stare,” Martin scolded Frasier. “You were no prize at that age, either!”
With the ring retrieved from Eddie, the wedding went forward right there in the vet’s operating room, with Daphne still on the table with her newborn son. All these are shown wth great camera angles and soft music. The technical crew was the best I have seen in a TV series.
Smart, goofy and droll: Just another chapter in Frasier’s life.
Last (but not you-know-what-word), Frasier made a big decision and accepted an offer to move his radio-advice show to San Francisco. But his announcement to family and friends that he was leaving was first mistaken by them as awful news that he had a terminal illness.
“Cry if you must,” said Frasier as they bawled, “but I assure you, when I pass through that Golden Gate, I will be smiling.”
And then, returning to the present, there was Frasier on the plane. Headed to San Francisco? No! In a delicious twist, he was landing in Chicago, determined to win back Charlotte. I wonder if most people caught this. “Wish me luck,” he said to the woman beside him. And every viewer will.
Befitting the NBC series’ 11 seasons, the finale was sweet, chaotic and free of sentimental pandering. It was truly touching, blending closure and a question: Will Frasier and Charlotte reunite? The way endings should be and without any Freudian psychobabble or intellectual expound on Grand Opera or Limoges China as most people expected. The show was full of kindred if competitive spirits, they shared a highbrow worldview at once pompous and relatable: Like anybody, they just wanted the best. And this show was one of the best too with shaky un-perfect and hence, endearing and identifiable characters. And like any caring person, Frasier only wanted to help those less fortunate: the less refined world that surrounded him.
I really did like the finale. It was subtle and the sound and camerawork and lighting was brilliant. This scene has to be watched but you all know I will ramble on –
“For 11 years,” Dr. Crane told his radio audience on his final broadcast, “you’ve heard me say, ‘I’m listening.’ Well, you were listening, too, and I’m eternally grateful. Goodnight, Seattle.”
Millions of “Frasier” fans were saying “goodnight” back. As a tribute to the show (and more for memory), here are some quotes selected from WWW. Enjoy!


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