Frasier (1993) s02e03 – The Matchmaker

Being cishet, it’s not my place to say whether The Matchmaker has aged well. It seems to have aged well. The episode, guest-starring Eric Lutes as Kesley Grammer’s new boss, who happens to be gay and thinks Grammer is into him (because Peri Gilpin lets him think it, as she’s mad Grammer viciously slut-shamed her earlier in the episode), goes over to the Crane apartment for dinner and it’s a hilarious sexual orientation confusion event.

Grammer doesn’t just have no idea—he thinks he’s setting Lutes up with lovesick Jane Leeves—but he’s going to actively weave more and more confusion. When Grammer eventually has to tell Lutes he’s straight, he also has to clarify John Mahoney is straight as well. And David Hyde Pierce, because Hyde Pierce shows up out of the blue because it’s a show trope and hangs out to sabotage Leeves’s setup with Lutes.

Joe Keenan’s script does an excellent job setting up the jokes throughout–not quite Eddie muffins but definitely deliberately paced ones; like when Mahoney recommends Lutes the bar to hang out with “young cops.”

It’s real funny.

It starts strong too, first a fire alarm and then Leeves’s heartache, the episode’s already in good shape when it gets time for Grammer to tell Gilpin about Leeves’s problems. And after Grammer’s a dick about Gilpin recommending a man to Daphne, which doesn’t get him any sympathy at all, quite the opposite, Keenan’s got the stage set for a perfect “revenge” moment for Gilpin.

Interestingly… the show leaves Gilpin and Grammer’s relationship in a very precarious place. I assume it’ll be back to normal next episode, of course. Weird how no matter how bad things get, seven days later they’re back to how they were before….

Gilpin also gets a great showdown with Hyde Pierce. Her writing’s much better this season.

Keenan’s a first time credited writer too—though he goes on to write a couple dozen total as well as executive produce for multiple seasons… so he’s clearly found his niche.

The one Maris joke doesn’t land well though, because low-key sexist jokes are still okay.

Also, bully for Lutes, who’s got a fairly bland part but he does deliver the killer one-liners when needed.

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