the review site with a difference since 1999
Reviews Interviews Articles Apps About

Paramount Home Video presents

Frasier: The Complete Seventh Season (1999-2000)

"Oh my, that is a literary 911."- Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer)

Stars: Kelsey Grammer
Other Stars: David Hyde Pierce, John Mahoney, Jane Leeves, Peri Gilpin, Dan Butler, Saul Rubinek, Jane Adams, Jean Smart
Director: various

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 08h:45m:00s
Release Date: 2005-11-15
Genre: television

Buy from Amazon

Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A+ A+BB- D-

 

DVD Review

Even though it's only been a couple of years now, it seems like Frasier has been off the air for over a decadeŅat least to those who followed it for so many seasons. As a spin-off of Cheers, Frasier was far more of a success than anyone could have anticipated, and characters were introduced that will forever be a part of television history. While a spin-off of a spin-off is pretty much unheard of, it wouldn't be a bad idea to bring back some of these characters for their own show. Who wouldn't want to see the further adventures of Niles or what Martin and Eddie are getting themselves into these days. While the chances of such a thing are pretty remote, it helps that there's been enough brainy, hilarious comedy to take its place, with shows like Arrested Development, Scrubs, and Curb Your Enthusiasm making the loss of Frasier a bit easier of a pill to swallow.

For the uninitiated, Frasier is the story of Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer)'s new life, post-Boston and post-Cheers. He now lives in a posh apartment in Seattle and hosts his own psychiatric radio show. Surrounded by family, including his brother Niles (David Hyde Pierce), and living with his father, Martin (John Mahoney), and Martin's dog, Eddie, Frasier continues to struggle with the meaning of life and love. Also in his life is his father's live-in physical therapist/housekeeper and object of Niles' affection, Daphne (Jane Leeves), and Frasier's producer/friend, Roz (Peri Gilpin), who has as strange a love life as he does.

Frasier: The Complete Seventh Season marks a major turning point in the relationship between Daphne and Niles. With Daphne firmly entrenched in her love affair with Donnie (Saul Rubinek), and on the verge of marriage, Niles' feelings for her have grown even stronger. The revelation of these feelings becomes more of an issue due to the upcoming wedding, but this storyline really gets going during the 10th episode of this season, Back Talk. Frasier, in the midst of a major back problem, is heavily under the influence of medication and accidentally tells Daphne that Niles is in love with her and has been for quite some time. This is actually the first of a two-part episode, and in the conclusion, The Fight Before Christmas, we find Daphne's feelings for Niles beginning to change now that she knows how he looks at her. However, a new dynamic has been thrown into the mix here, as Niles realizes that he should probably move on and is now dating Mel (Jane Adams).

The back-and-forth of Niles and Daphne's feelings for each other continues in Big Crane on Campus, but this episode is best remembered for the performance of guest star Jean Smart. She won an Emmy for this episode, in which she plays Frasier's new girlfriend, but she also poses a dilemma for him as he can't decide whether he likes her for her or because he can now date the girl who was the prom queen at his high school.

The funniest episodes of this bunch include Apparent Trap, which has laughs that are powered by the return of Lilith (Bebe Neuwirth), Out With Dad, where Martin resorts to posing as a gay man to deflect the advances of the mother of Frasier's date. The Crane men take a road trip in a Winnebago in Rdwrer, with hilarious results, and Frasier's straight-laced ways keep him from throwing a proper bachelor party for Donnie in To Thine Old Self Be True.

The season comes to a close with one of the most memorable episodes in Frasier history. The hour-long Something Borrowed, Something Blue takes place during Donnie and Daphne's wedding, the ending of which left fans of the show shocked and likely both applauding and fighting back tears. This unforgettable hour also features a post-wedding rehearsal scene on Frasier's balcony between Daphne and Niles that will be etched in the mind of TV fans for decades to come and signifies just how great this series truly was.

Rating for Style: A+
Rating for Substance: A+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: Full frame is once again the aspect ratio, and the overall quality of these transfers improves just a bit over that of the sixth season DVDs. Sharpness and image detail aren't bad, but this show doesn't exactly rely on a lot of visual flair. Thankfully, dirt and grain are again kept to a minimum, but there is still a slight bit of pixelation.

Image Transfer Grade: B
 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: The audio is Dolby Digital 2.0, perfectly suited to this dialogue-heavy material. Everything stays up front for the most part, but a bit of the music does give the surrounds a chance to work a bit.

Audio Transfer Grade: B- 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 92 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English
5 Other Trailer(s) featuring The Oprah Winfrey Show: 20th Anniversary Collection, The Brady Bunch: The Complete Fourth Season, Charmed: The Complete Third Season, MacGyver: The Complete Fourth Season, Ferris Bueller's Day Off: Bueller...Bueller...Edition
Packaging: Book Gatefold
Picture Disc
4 Discs
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: Unfortunately, nothing has changed from the previous Frasier box sets, and the only extras are Paramount Home Video previews.

Extras Grade: D-
 

Final Comments

The Niles and Daphne saga gets a bunch of airtime in Frasier: The Complete Seventh Season, but the writers tackle the plot with such grace and professionalism, this is easily one of the best seasons in the show's long history. Paramount Home Video again offers solid audio and video, but the extras, as they were for the other Frasier sets, are nonexistent.

Chuck Aliaga 2005-11-15