"That would be my Testicle 2000"

January 28th, 2004

I drifted away from Frasier a couple of seasons ago, after the writers made the Moonlighting mistake with Niles and Daphne. It so happens that I caught the start of season 11 as I was ejecting a videotape earlier this evening and I think I'm hooked again. Perhaps it's just that I haven't seen the show for a couple of years and I've been subconsciously missing all the things the show does so well, but I really enjoyed tonight's episode. It helped that the first episode gave Roz a a bit more to do; I felt the show's other big mistake was to push her into the background as it spent less time at KACL and more on the Daphne and Niles romance.

Anyway, the second episode is on in a minute, so I'll post this and see if it maintains the improvement. Right now, it feels good to have an old friend back.

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6 Responses to “"That would be my Testicle 2000"”

  1. Gary Farber Says:

    I've only ever watched Frasier in first run here extremely sporadically, even rarely, at best, one reason being that although I generally enjoy it well enough, it doesn't knock my socks off, but mostly because I know it will be around in reruns the rest of my life, so I feel no urgency about rushing to see it on any given Thursday evening.

    But I'll just pass on the trivial gossipy news that, over here, the Friends last few episodes, leading to the May ending of the series, are being hyped like there's no tomorrow. NBC is almost literally putting in a promo at every single prime-time break, every day (February is a "sweeps" month, and then May is the next one).

    As part of these commercials, one a few days ago breathlessly declared that Friends was "the greatest comedy of all time!"

    Understandably, a somewhat irate Kelsey Grammar made clear to the press, and doubtless internally to NBC, that he was unimpressed, and said publically to reporters that he understood all the hype, etc., "even though we all know that isn't true," noting that Frasier had won (however many – 5?) Emmies as Best Comedy while Friends had won a mere 1. (Left unstated or unquestioned was the very questionable, to put it mildly, assumption that the Emmy was, in fact, some sort of objective of definitive measure of quality.)

    He does have a pretty good beef; the last Frasier will be the week after the last Friends, but I've yet to see the first commercial mentioning it, or a single promotion for his program for this month, yet.

    Of course, he doesn't have the sex appeal of Jennifer Anniston.

    In other tv trivia, I finally caught my first Angel in many months last night — the 99th episode, and was absolutely delighted that it had a cross-over with Andrew, who was absolutely delicious, and who had news of what all the other Buffy characters were up to. In short, supervising and training Slayers all over the world. Xander was in Africa, Buffy had moved to Europe, Nice, I think, and Willow and wosshername, oh, I forget just now, but they were all discussed. There was discussion with Spike that Buffy didn't know he was alive again, and how would that conversation go, and what should be done, and — I don't want to give any detailed spoilers unless someone asks — Stuff Like That, leading to a grand, and relevant to Buffy, conclusion.

    A wonderful set-up for next week's 100th episode, featuring the (guest) return of Cordelia.

    Hope that wasn't TMI.

  2. John Says:

    If Friends is the Greatest Comedy of All Time then clearly somebody is using a rather … novel … definition of the words "Greatest" and "Comedy".

    That Angel episode sounds really, really promising. Unfortunately Channel 5, who hold the terrestrial rights to the show over here, have given up on season 3 somewhat less than halfway through (after first relegating it to a late-night slot, which always helps a show gain a bigger audience!) and since both Channel 5 and Channel 4 have tried and failed to make the show work on terrestrial TV we're running out of channels to give it a try. (I doubt BBC2 will pick up the show; if they wouldn't/couldn't find room for it when they were running new episodes of Buffy they're hardly going to start now.) Happily, the Angel season 4 DVD box set is due out in the spring, so I'll be able to catch up a bit then.

    Incidentally, the second episode of Frasier was every bit as much fun as the first; I'd forgotten just how seriously good a comic actor David Hyde Pierce is. It'll be very interesting twenty years from now to see whether it's Kelsey Grammer of David Hyde Pierce who is remembered as the star of the show.

  3. Gary Farber Says:

    I forgot to mention that after that "greatest comedy of all time" incident, NBC announced that someone (unnamed) in the promotion department had gotten "a little carried away" and that that line had been used once and wouldn't be used again. Pretty much the only thing they could do, really (other than naming the person and firing him/her, which doesn't seem at all necessary).

    From what I read it seems that it's still entirely up in the air whether this will be the last season of Angel or not (5th? I've lost track, but I think that's right). Whedon has said that he'll wrap that story line (which I've really no grasp of, this being the first I've been able to see) and leave groundwork for a new one, as usual, and either way it will work.

    What was most long-term interesting about that 99th episode is that it completely solidified and confirmed that in the Buffyverse, there are now hundreds of Slayers running around, many of whom will now be at least semi-trained by the Buffsters. An army of Slayers, just as at the end of Buffy, but vastly larger. (And at risk of a bit of spoilage, we saw a hint of that at the end of this episode.) Definite change in the Buffyverse, all right. One thing not clarified is whether new Slayers will keep being born, or was Willow's spell a one-time-only event, just affecting the potential Slayers then alive. That would affect the truly long-term Buffyverse.

    Whatever, for decades to come, the vampire and demon population presumably is going to drop considerably, unless they find some way to compensate. (Perfectly conceivable; is there a Law of Conservation of Good And Evil in the Buffyverse?)

  4. John Says:

    The 'army of Slayers' doesn't jibe with the future Joss painted in Fray: the story a couple of hundred years down the line from now is that the vampires and demons were banished as a result of the efforts of a Slayer early in the 21st century (who may have had some form of mystical help). With no vampires or demons, it's said that no further Slayers were Called and the Watchers gradually became irrelevant and turned into a cult of unhinged fanatics. At any rate, that's the story that is related to Melaka Fray when she is Called in rather unusual circumstances.

    I suppose the best way to get there from here story-wise is to claim that Willow's spell created Slayers by mortgaging the future of the Slayer line, to the point where it took a long time for the mystical forces which create a Slayer to build to the point where another Slayer could be Called. Alternatively, perhaps the Law of Conservation of Good and Evil tilted against the Slayers, with more Slayers attracting more demons until it became clear that the only solution was a massive showdown which resulted in a major mystical convergence and banished the demons and Slayers alike for a couple of centuries. (The question of how exactly the demons found their way back is left open in the comics, the better to tantalise readers.)

  5. Gary Farber Says:

    I don't see the two as necessarily being contradictory. We still have another forty-odd years that could be described as "early in the 21st century." Long enough for all the contemporary Slayers to be wiped out (admittedly too soon for them to die of natural causes).

    Or your explanations, or some others, work. There's always a way, in fantasy, to Explain Things.

  6. John Says:

    Yeah, but how many Slayers get to die of natural causes?

    Or of course it could simply be that the being who related that story to Melaka Fray was mistaken.

    As you say, there's always a way.