blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Frasier (1993) s02e19 – Someone to Watch Over Me

I figured I’d have remembered Don Seigel’s name from last season, if only for it confusing spell check, but I didn’t. I should have. His episode last season was great. This one’s pretty great too; it’s another SeaBea Awards episode, with Kelsey Grammer and Peri Gilpin sure they’ve got a chance this year if only Grammer’s stalker (Renée Lippin does the calls) lets them get to the podium to accept.

Much like last episode, this one is yet another good “Frasier” exemplar, but from an irregular writer (Seigel didn’t do anymore). They’ve got James Burrows directing, which is great—he does an excellent job managing Grammer’s manic stress in the finale, as he races around the hotel (where the awards show is being held) trying to escape fate. Meanwhile Gilpin’s got a big zit on her nose, which isn’t quite a subplot but does provide everyone something to talk about while they’re trying to decide whether or not Grammer’s in any actual danger.

Dad John Mahoney is conservative about it, but Grammer freaks out and hires a personal bodyguard anyway, which complicates the evening in its own ways.

But the big SeaBeas finish comes after the great build-up, starting with John Lithgow’s call in to the station (I was way too proud of myself for recognizing him) and then moving into Lippin as the too enthusiastic fan who starts scaring Grammer. That plot builds on its own, with the SeaBeas coming in as a subplot—it’s not for sure Grammer’s going to survive long enough to get there, even with a bodyguard—and Seigel gives lots of material to the cast. David Hyde Pierce and Jane Leeves technically get the least, but Seigel makes sure they have some solid contributions. It’s a very strong script.

And the end credits sequel is absolutely hilarious, getting a much different laugh then the episode initially closes on.

Good, good, good stuff.

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