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Sunday, February 19, 2006

Goodnight Dr. Frasier Crane plus Survivor, The O.C., and Friends

May 12, 2004

Another one bites the dust.

These are tough times tubers. Friends is barely cold, and here we are saying goodbye to yet another TV legend, Frasier.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 20 years since we first met Dr. Frasier Crane. It doesn’t seem that long ago since he was bellied up to the Cheers bar, waxing philosophical with Cliff, Norm, Sam, and Diane.

Frasier’s intellectual haughtiness perfectly contrasted the other characters. His move to Seattle with his wacky family gave us even more delicious hours of entertainment. I love that Frasier rarely went for the cheap, slapstick laugh.

This was a smart sitcom. Obscure references to classical music, opera and all things Freud were ubiquitous throughout the life of the show. The neurotic Crane brothers gave us many laughs. We wondered, along with their father, how these two metrosexuals who couldn’t fix a toilet, could possibly be the offspring of the blue-collar, masculine Martin.

The show poked fun at the Crane brothers’ finesses. Watching Martin roll his eyes, as they got positively giddy about a bottle of wine, was priceless. Frasier’s social life provided ongoing humor, as well. Watching him get flustered and fail miserably at dating made us keep rooting for him to find the perfect match.

As the show ends its 11-year run Thursday, it’s had none of the fanfare that surrounded the Friends finale. That is disappointing for long-time viewers, who know that this loss will leave another gaping hole in the world of sharp sitcoms.

So goodbye Frasier. You made arrogance entertaining. Seattle will miss you. And so will we.

Survivor: All-Stars - Well, I hate to brag. (Who am I kidding? I LOVE to brag.) You may recall a few weeks ago I predicted Am-buh would walk away with the cool million. So, I wasn’t surprised that the jury voted her the winner when she and Boston Rob got to the final two. What I didn’t see coming was Boston Rob’s marriage proposal. The cynic in me is screaming that this was Rob’s way of guaranteeing he ended up with at least some of the cash. A terrible thought, I know. I’m sure they’ll be very happy spending all that dough. The good news is, my beloved Rupert still has a chance to win. CBS is giving away another $1 million Thursday night to the survivor voted the viewers’ favorite. What are you waiting for? Go vote at http://www.cbs.com/!

The O.C. - Believe it or not, there wasn’t a single punch thrown in the season finale. I know, we’ve come to expect more from the unruly O.C. gang. The entire show was heavy on the drama and tears, as Ryan said goodbye to his high-society, fairytale family. Not to worry though. I’m sure Ryan’s return to Chino is only temporary. After all, the show centers on this rebel’s move to prestigious Orange County. It was Seth who broke my heart in this episode. But I couldn’t help but laugh at how fast his sailboat was moving. At that rate, I think he probably made it to Tahiti in a couple hours. If only we could have put Marissa on board instead, with a one way ticket out of town.

Friends - I’m sure you’re sick of reading about them, but before they go not-so-quietly into the TV-archive vault, I wanted to weigh in on the finale. How great was the hour of clips preceding the show? Some of my favorite moments were included in the montage: Ross in the leather pants, Monica’s horrid humidity hair, and Phoebe’s Smelly Cat tutorial. I admit I got a little weepy during Chandler and Joey’s goodbye and the closing scene with the keys lying lonely on the counter. All in all, it was a fitting finale.

Originally published 5/12/04 in The Exponent Telegram newspaper.


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