Sorry for the late posting today but my life has been taken over by writing! When I’m not working on my book I have an itch to get back to it and when writing is going as well as it is now it’s impossible not to get completely wrapped up in it.
Yesterday I took a break to watch Frasier, for me one of the most consistently well written, reliably hilarious and clever shows ever to grace TV screens. Having had no television in my last house, one of the things I like about living in my Dad’s is the fact that Comedy Central show it practically every day so there’s a chance to revisit one of my favourite series. The writing and the pitch perfect ensemble cast put Frasier in a different league to most other comedy shows. (Plus it stars the cutest dog of all time, veteran canine actor Moose, as Eddie.)
Perhaps one of the most brilliant devices on the show is Niles’ wife Maris who never appears onscreen. Maris is described as neurotic, emaciated, has a large number of very specific allergies, is incapable of producing saliva, and has a slight webbing of her hands. In the series first episode Frasier describes her as “…like the sun… except without the warmth.” The fact that we never see Maris becomes irrelevant as the viewer builds up a vivid and complex portrait of her from the other characters’ descriptions.
Frasier ran for eleven seasons and during this time garnered many awards, including numerous Emmys for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series. With quotes like this you can see why:
Niles: I really must run. I’m due at my sexual addiction group, and I don’t like to leave them alone for too long.
Niles: I have a session with my multiple personality. Not to worry: if I’m late, he can just talk amongst himself.
Niles: Are you quite finished undressing him with your eyes?
Roz: Oh, please. I’m already looking for my stockings and trying to remember where I parked my car.
Roz: I just hate how this arbitrary point on the calendar has become so significant. And as far as my hangover went, it was worth it; I partied my ass off like a brain-damaged test monkey.
Frasier: God, I hate lawyers.
Niles: Me, too. But they make wonderful patients. They have excellent health insurance and they never get better.
Niles: [about Maris] She’s been afraid to fly since her harrowing incident.
Daphne: Oh, dear… Did a plane almost crash?
Niles: No, she was bumped from first class. She still wakes up screaming.
Frasier: Niles, I would shave my head for you.
Niles: A gesture which becomes less significant with each passing year.
Frasier (on the phone to a caller): Roger, at Cornell University they have an incredible piece of scientific equipment known as the Tunneling Electron Microscope. Now, this microscope is so powerful that by firing electrons you can actually see images of the atom, the infinitesimally minute building blocks of our universe. Roger, if I were using that microscope right now, I still wouldn’t be able to locate my interest in your problem.
When I move out of my Dad’s in a few months I might just buy the boxset so I can always have Frasier to hand as it’s the perfect thing to watch when taking a break from writing. Last night I fell apart laughing at the scene below where the Cranes cry. Enjoy!