There are a couple big “it was the nineties” moments in the episode. Though, I haven’t watched sitcoms regularly in over a decade so maybe they’re still doing whole main plots about men (in this case Kelsey Grammer) not being able to work for women (here his new station manager, Mercedes Ruehl). But I’m fairly sure there aren’t sitcoms with ex-cops (John Mahoney) talking about how civilians shouldn’t own firearms anymore.
The firearms thing is about the David Hyde Pierce subplot, where he’s going to get a gun to protect his wife and estate. It’s a really good subplot for Hyde Pierce and keeps the supporting cast busy for Grammer’s work main plot. See, things go so bad at his first meeting with Ruehl, she exiles he and Peri Gilpin to the overnight shift.
Ruehl had wanted Grammer to prioritize “juicier” calls (as Grammer describes them) and he, of course, refused. Third season opener of his own show, after ten years or whatever on “Cheers,” and Ruehl gets in this amazing dig at all the Harvard drops Grammer always makes. Immediately she’s a great foil for him. Makes you wonder if they auditioned anyone else or stopped after they saw how well Ruehl and Grammer yell at each other.
Lots of guest callers—Matthew Broderick, Carrie Fisher, Teri Garr, Tom Hulce—who I didn’t recognize (possibly) because there’s always accompanying drama. Or snoring. Might just not have my “Frasier” guest caller ears tuned.
It’s a great season opener, with some actual unexpected turns—especially for Grammer–and Ruehl’s off to an excellent start. Also, Gilpin’s great. She’s entirely support, but she’s always right on.