blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Frasier (1993) s03e05 – Kisses Sweeter Than Wine

It’s an apartment episode, very much an apartment episode; such an apartment episode, the apartment plays a vital role in the plot.

The episode opens with the obligatory radio station scene, giving Peri Gilpin a chance to reminisce about the great cheese state of her birth with a caller (Brooke Adams) to Kelsey Grammer’s utter disinterest. Grammer’s planning for a wine club soirée, nothing to interest the “Women of the Cheese Belt.”

The action moves to the apartment, where Grammer’s trying to figure out what to do with John Mahoney and his gross chair. He and David Hyde Pierce try to get it out of sight and it slips, scuffing the floor. Luckily Hyde Pierce knows the best floor guy in Seattle (Tony Carreiro) and they’re going to get everything taken care of, plenty of time, Mr. Fawlty.

Contractor finding more and more wrong on main set is a fairly standard sitcom episode, but the A plot here quickly becomes Carreiro’s flirtation with Jane Leeves, which brings out the worst in Hyde Pierce.

Not only do we get physical comedy Hyde Pierce, we also get—well, what’s the word for non-dangerous insidious—but basically we get Hyde Pierce scheming to foil the flirtation. It leads to actual character development for Hyde Pierce especially, but Leeves and Grammer as well. The script—credited to a solo Anne Flett-Giordano–knows how to work the characters (or how the cast will work them) and it gets around the discussing some issues the show’s been sitting on for… well, since episode one. The character development Flett-Giordano gets in is some very good work.

And the episode’s also got a phenomenal punchline. Excellent performances from Hyde Pierce, Leeves, and Grammer too… not to mention guest star Peter Siragusa, who’s perfect in a particular role.

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