Frasier (1993) s01e02 – Space Quest

This episode picks up right after the previous one, which you’d think have been a no-no in the syndication chasing days of sitcoms. But, no, the first scene is not at all morning person Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer) getting up late and groggily confused about what Jane Leeves is doing in his apartment. She fills him in just before he realizes the chair wasn’t a dream either.

The episode’s all about Grammer realizing he’d much rather have his apartment to himself and just stick dad John Mahoney and healthcare worker Leeves in their own place. Grammer does a fantastic job moping around the place, getting mad at Mahoney for making him an unhealthy breakfast and Leeves bringing in the paper.

It all blows up when Frasier thinks he’s going to be able to read his book in piece and then “his father, Mary Poppins, and the Hound form Hell” return, leaving to another argument.

Grammer storms off after Mahoney calls him a “little hot house orchid,” which is hilarious.

The episode also introduces sports radio host Bob “Bulldog” Briscoe, played by Dan Butler, who has got “The Gonzo Sports Show” on after Frasier. Butler’s hilarious. He and Grammer play well off each other from the start.

There’s a nice scene for David Hyde Pierce, including some sharp cuts at Grammer’s professional ability, and then Peri Gilpin gets the episode’s most dated scene. She’s on the phone talking about her sex life, which mental health professional Grammer doesn’t think is appropriate with the other person… her mom.

It’s the second episode so it’s no surprise the writers haven’t figured out how much they want people to laugh with or against Grammer and his antics, but it’s still an iffy sequence. At best it’s slut-shaming.

Writers Sy Dukane and Denise Moss do a lot better with the eventual resolution for Grammer and Mahoney, which has laughs, surprises, and some nice character development for Mahoney in particular. There’s a cute end credits sequence and the celebrity caller this episode is Christopher Reeve; the episode’s from years before the accident, so it’s more bittersweet than anything else.

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