Frasier Crane is back and ready to listen. But can the continuation of the classic sitcom hold a candle to the original? Let’s find out.
More of a continuation than a straight reboot, FRASIER returns to his old stomping ground of Boston after his father’s death to do a guest lecture for his old Oxford roommate, Alan, who is a professor at Harvard. When he tries to reconnect with his now-grown son, Frederick, things don’t go so well. The two are polar opposites and make it clear they don’t understand one another. But when Frasier decides to stay and take a position at Harvard as a professor and take the opportunity to attempt to heal his fraught relationship with Freddy, hilarity ensues.
THE CRANE MEN
Frasier is the same insufferable stuck-up as ever. Freddy has rejected everything his stuck-up, overly-educated parents wanted for him by becoming a firefighter and taking after Marty. The tables have turned as Frasier becomes the father and Freddy the estranged son. When the two attempt to move in together, the show calls back to the original series as Frasier bristles under his son’s more everyday belongings and sports memorabilia. What’s more, in a move that calls back to Cheers, Freddy lies to his firefighting buddies telling them his father is dead. Just like Frasier telling his buddies Marty was dead. But the two have a hilarious heart-to-heart complete with a “Fredrick Crane, I am your Father!” line. But despite their differences, their love for one another shines through. It’s obvious their relationship will mirror that of Marty and Frasier’s in the original.
We are also introduced to David, Niles, and Daphne’s young son, who is a student at Harvard. Even if we hadn’t been told Frasier was waiting for him, his opening scene makes it obvious to long-time fans like myself who he is. This kid screams Niles. He’s gangly, clumsy, and has a laminated card with all his allergies. While it’s not stated if Niles and Daphne will be making an appearance, David is set to steal the show as the next generation of that branch of the Crane family tree.
TOSSED SALADS AND SCRAMBLED EGGS
The rest of the cast is rounded out by Frasier’s old college friend Alan Cornwall, Olivia the dean of the psychology department, and Eve. A friend and roommate of Freddy’s who is a single mother after her firefighter boyfriend (and Freddy’s best friend) died in a fire. Alan brings the snark in much the same way Niles did. His English accent elevates his snobbishness. Olivia is a successful, ambitious woman and reminds me a bit of Roz in that aspect. She trades quips with Alan much in the same way Niles and Roz did in the early seasons of the original. Eve could be seen as taking the place of Daphne. But going in a new direction with her storyline. At the moment it seems her relationship with Freddy is purely platonic. But I can see it having the potential to change as the series progresses.
A WORTHY CONTINUATION?
I was too young to watch the original series when it premiered. Instead, I saw it in reruns in college just a few years after it ended and quickly became a fan. I loved the culture clash between the working-class everyman father and the more cultured and educated sons. Its comedy was always a little more high-brow than other sitcoms relying more on the wordplay and banter. Which as a lit major is my jam. So as a fan of the original, I’m a bit apprehensive about this continuation. Can it be as good as the original with only one returning cast member? It’s hard to tell after only two episodes.
While it is retreading old ground in a way, Frasier is now the position Marty was in. In that way, he’s now having to learn to be “The Good Father” as the premier episode title implies instead of “The Good Son” of the original series pilot title. This makes the two series more of a generational story of the Frasier Men. Especially as history repeats itself here as it often does in real-life families. The foundations of a good story as Frasier learns from his past mistakes with Freddy and becomes the father he always wanted to be and Freddy needs. At its heart, Frasier was always about fathers and sons after all.
Does this continuation hold up to the original? It’s too soon to tell for me. It was funny and engaging. There’s plenty here for long-time fans to laugh over and see the parallels between Frasier classically misreading a situation during a failed dinner party to him replacing a Coco Chanel couch with Christian Lacroix pillows. At the same time, it serves as a good entry point for those who have never seen the original. There’s just enough nostalgia for this old fan while remaining new and fresh. I’ll be tuning in every week for sure.
The premiere episodes of Frasier are streaming on Paramount+ now. Be sure to hit that subscribe button at the top of the homepage and get the latest news and reviews delivered straight into your inbox! You’ll never miss a thing with Future of the Force.
I’m Mina, the Jedi Librarian. I’m a Program Specialist Librarian, lover of all the books, and a lifelong Star Wars fan. I’m also secretly a Jedi.