blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Frasier (1993) s02e05 – Duke’s, We Hardly Knew Ye

Linda Morris and Vic Rauseo write this one, making it the first episode of the season to have season writers back (credited anyway), and they go in for the laughs from the start. We get Peri Gilpin on a chocolate hunt—leading to a fantastic rant about Raisinets—before David Hyde Pierce shows up to the studio to talk to Kelsey Grammer about an investment in a development company, but with Gilpin and Hyde Pierce banter. It’s constantly funny, like Morris and Rauseo had been stockpiling a bunch of good lines. Appropriately, a little later on, John Mahoney gets Jane Leeves with a British royalty-related zinger and even says he’d been saving it.

So all very funny.

Leeves has this subplot—which doesn’t age particularly well when you think about it for more than eight seconds—about going on a third date with a boyfriend and Grammer and Mahoney giving her knowing looks. Only she doesn’t know what they’re talking about because she wasn’t raised on American sitcoms in the eighties and nineties.

It’s funny—and Leeves—is good, but it’s kind of weird to hear in 2020.

The main plot has Mahoney finally inviting Grammer and Hyde Pierce to his favorite bar, where Mahoney’s never invited anyone, making Grammer and Hyde Pierce feel very honored. Turns out it’s because the bar’s closing. Because it’s being torn down. By Grammer and Hyde Pierce’s development company.

There’s a nice bit of family drama for Grammer and Mahoney eventually, but before that stage, there’s time for some more Gilpin and Hyde Pierce jabbing at each other (clearly Morris and Rauseo like that chemistry), and the episode’s got a fine close.

The episode’s a great showcase for the cast—it plays to all individual strengths (particularly the Mahoney and Grammer dynamic)—and probably an excellent “Frasier” sampler. The third date stuff aside.

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