Now more than ever, nostalgic tv shows and films have been dominating our screens. I think it’s because these shows bring us joy and comfort and take us back to a time and place where we laughed endlessly. And that’s exactly what I did at the premiere of the Frasier reboot which is now streaming on Paramount+. Now I will admit, growing up, I didn’t really care for Frasier. I think it was because I thought, as a kid, that it was too adult for me, not in that it was raunchy or rude but that it was not going to be…well…funny. But when I became an adult, I realized that Frasier is actually hilarious. It is a wonderful show and I think it deserves to be rebooted. The first thing I noticed was that the only person so far who is returning from the original cast is Kelsey Grammer as Frasier. Now, why any of the other cast members who are still alive and well don’t want to Join the new cast is a big question that was rattling through my brain, but the new cast does appear to already gel well and have good chemistry despite it only being the pilot episode. I will admit this pilot is not the most amazing thing plot-wise (mainly because it has to lay down all the foundation for the entire series) but I had a great time watching it.
We start by seeing Doctor Frasier Crane arrive at the Boston airport where he is going to be conducting a lecture at Harvard. The radio DJ we’ve known so well and grew to love has now become a TV personality, hosting a talk show, but now taking a break from the screen. We meet his best friend Alan and his nephew, David, son of Niles and Daphne. In addition to hosting the lecture, doctor Crane takes the opportunity to visit his son Freddy.
From what I remember growing up, we never actually see Freddy. I could be very wrong about that. But at the same time, I truly felt like he almost was just an idea, an invisible character, so it’s going to be interesting to see their dynamic build.
Freddy has given up his father’s dreams for his son of higher education to become a firefighter, which he loves even though doesn’t make a lot of money, but his father appears to agree with his choices. Freddy lives with a woman whom Frasier Crane believes to be Freddy’s girlfriend, but we learn very quickly, she’s not.
The story is presented in chapters with titles just like the original series. But in our case, there are 3 storylines. The first is Alan and Olivia, head of psychology at Harvard trying to convince Doctor Frasier Crane to stay at Harvard and become a professor, the second has to do with Eve’s baby (and whether or not it’s also Freddy’s) and the relationship that Frasier and Freddie have, especially torn apart after the death of Doctor Crane’s father. After a classic heartfelt moment between father and son, we find out that Doctor Crane is, in fact, going to stay in Boston. In fact, Frasier has moved very close to Freddie, and has basically insisted that Freddie moved in with him, thus creating the complex that we loved in the original Frasier.
I know there are die-hard Frasier fans who may not love this first episode, but I encourage you to keep watching. Again, the pilot has to establish the story. It has to be able to set the viewers on the right track for the entire show, so even though it may be a little dry, I do feel like we will start getting the original wonderfulness of Frasier.
Paramount+ did a really good job in getting us excited for the new show as well, hosting a kickoff party at the Scotland Yard pub in downtown Toronto, complete with a live Jazz band singing songs like Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs and playing Trivia with facts from the original show and the new show.
I think that Frasier fans will love it in the long run, and I truly hope that in the very near future, we start seeing cameos from the original cast members to really make the show feel complete. I am excited to watch future episodes of the Frasier reboot on Paramount+, and I hope you will join me on that journey.
Paramount + releases Frasier On October 12, Exclusively on Paramount+
[Review by Shan Fernando]