blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Frasier (1993) s07e02 – Father of the Bride

This episode’s very funny, but often in a “the less you think about it” way. The script’s credited to Mark Reisman (his first credit on the show), and it very impressively gives almost everyone in the main cast a story thread. Except for John Mahoney, who gets a couple hilarious bits but not a thread, and Peri Gilpin’s is tacked onto Jane Leeves’s.

The A-plot is Kelsey Grammer inadvertently taking over Leeves’s wedding planning. Well, wait; he very intentionally takes over the wedding planning, but he inadvertently puts himself in that situation. The episode uses audial gags three times, always to strong effect, with the first being a bad case of hiccups leading Leeves to believe Grammer wants to pay for her entire wedding. She’s frustrated with her interfering mum in the U.K. and is so relieved Grammer’s saving the day, he can’t find a way to back out. The “paying for the wedding” plot goes unresolved; once Grammer starts taking over the wedding, auditioning harpists, caterers, and ministers, it’s the raucous center of attention.

The B-plot is David Hyde Pierce’s new girlfriend, Loryn Locklin, being a high-priced escort. Not because they met somewhere, and he doesn’t know, but rather because he doesn’t know the dating service he’s using is actually an escort service. So, his mistake entirely. Grammer finds out about it from Saul Rubinek, who does his one requisite guest scene as Leeves’s fiancé. The escort thing is an aside for later; otherwise, Rubinek’s there to make things even more awkward for Grammer backing out of his wedding funding commitments.

There are some great scenes for Grammer, who gets more and more obsessed with throwing the perfect wedding, and a few excellent ones for Leeves. Hyde Pierce has some excellent deliveries, but the jokes immediately start molding. See, Locklin doesn’t know Hyde Pierce doesn’t know she’s an escort, which means he’s just being an asshole. So it’s a mistaken identity bit, only an unnecessarily mean-spirited one.

Locklin’s lack of characterization also brings attention to Leeves and Gilpin’s plots, which are of the “decorate and be decorative” nature. Leeves wants to do the decorating, and Gilpin’s upset about Leeves’s wanting to decorate her in an ugly bridesmaid dress. They pass Bechdel for a few scant moments before failing it again.

Sure, it’s an episode in Leeves’s long-going marriage arc, so they will be talking about her marrying dude Rubinek and male boss Grammer interfering, but the dynamics play out a little weird.

Though often very funny. From the first scene, there are a lot of laughs, and they don’t slow down. The episode’s got some actually inspired jokes and bits throughout (a little broad at times but still), and there’s even time for some father and son time for Grammer and Mahoney. Director David Lee maintains great momentum, and the structure’s phenomenal.

It’s just some of the themes are thin and easy.

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