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HTF REVIEW: Frasier: The Complete Third Season

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#1 of 8 OFFLINE   Scott Kimball

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Posted May 24 2004 - 01:40 AM

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Frasier: The Complete Third Season





Studio: Paramount

Year: 1995-96

Rated: NR

Length: 24 episodes, 9 hours, 3 minutes

Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1

Audio: Dolby Digital Stereo Surround

English Closed Captioned

Special Features: Five featurettes

No S.R.P. Expected to sell for under $40 USD
Release Date: May 25, 2004





Season 3 of Frasier continues with 24 fresh and funny episodes set around the delightfully bombastic radio shrink and his family. The season finds Frasier as he deals with a new station manager, an old love from Boston, his brother’s deteriorating marriage and a host of other things. There are few sitcoms as consistently smart and funny as this one.

This season includes the following notable episodes:

Kisses Sweeter Than Wine
Niles recommends a contractor to fix a scratch in Frasier’s floor on the day Fraiser is to host a wine tasting. One thing leads to another, and the entire apartment is torn apart just hours before the party.

The Last Time I Saw Maris
Maris throws Niles out of the house, setting up a continuing thread which will last several seasons.

Moon Dance
This episode was penned by most of the writing staff and directed by Kelsey Grammer. Daphne gives Niles dancing lessons, then accompanies him to a ball. The episode won an emmy for writing.

The Show Where Diane Comes Back
Diane comes to Seattle for the grand opening of a play she wrote - patterned after her experiences at Cheers.

A Word to the Wiseguy
Niles owes a “favor” to a man of questionable character after having some parking tickets “fixed.” This episode garnered an emmy nomination for guest Harris Yulin.

Crane vs. Crane
The brothers face off on opposite sides in court, as expert witnesses.

The Focus Group
Only one member of a focus group gives Frasier’s radio show a less than perfect rating. Frasier, of course, obsesses over this.

Video
The Video for Frasier season three is quite good, given its videotape origins. Contrast is high, with good definition in the whites as well as in the shadows. The picture is sharp for a video-based source. Color saturation is very nice. I didn’t notice any compression artifacts in the five episodes that I screened for this review.
This is not demo material, but I think it looks every bit as good as one can expect, given the source elements. Very nice.

Audio
The audio is Dolby Digital 2.0. There is good frequency response. Dialog sounds great and is pinned front and center. Music sounds excellent, with good bass response. Surrounds are used primarily for music reverb and laugh track. This sounds as good as one would expect a TV sitcom to sound.

Special Features

Disc 1
Celebrity Voices

Matthew Broderick
Carrie Fisher
Teri Garr
Blair Brown
Laura Dern

Disc 2
Celebrity Voices

Cyd Charisse
Ray Liotta

Disc 3
Celebrity Voices

Jodie Foster
Joan Allen
Katarina Witt
Jerry Orbach
Billy Barty
Eric Idle
Jane Pauley

Disc 4
The Crane Brothers Remember Season Three
(12:49)
Kelsey Grammar discusses his character’s evolution on the show, and about directing for the first time in season 3 (“Moon Dance”). He also talks about the ensemble, and the quality of the actors on Frasier.

David Hyde Pierce talks about Grammar’s directing, having nothing but positive comments. Rehearsal footage of “Moon Dance” is shown. Pierce discusses the fact that “Moon Dance” won an emmy for writing. He also talks about having to learn to Tango for “Moon Dance.”

Finally, Pierce talks about “The Last Time I Saw Maris.” And the fact that, once the details of the character of Maris became more and more bizarre, they realized they would never show the character, because they could never cast the part.

A Conversation with Art Director Roy Christopher (8:29)
Christopher talks about the design of the radio station, patterned after a new facility in LA (ABC Radio). The Coffee House (Cafe Nervosa) and apartment sets are also discussed.

Celebrity Voices
David Duchovny

Bulldog Crazy (2:02)
A collection of clips and quips - hardly worth the time.

The Mystery of Maris: The Break-up Begins (2:16)
A collection of clips and quips - hardly worth the time.

Final Thoughts
This TV on DVD set is light on the bonus features (there are no commentaries as in season 2 - and there are only a couple of featurettes worth watching), but it delivers strong audio and video quality. Priced to sell at under $40 USD, this is a must-buy for Frasier fans.

#2 of 8 OFFLINE   Sam Davatchi

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Posted May 24 2004 - 11:58 AM

Can’t wait to get this, especially now that I’m going out of sitcoms in few days. I’m finishing Futurama S2 right now and should get Frasier this Friday. And of course 2 + 2 doesn’t make 4 anymore but 11!

#3 of 8 OFFLINE   MattHR

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Posted May 24 2004 - 12:26 PM

"Frasier" was shot on film, not videotape.

#4 of 8 OFFLINE   Casey Trowbridg

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Posted May 24 2004 - 04:39 PM

Well, I will of course pick this up although probably not for a little while there is just too much on my plate right now. Thanks for the review though.

#5 of 8 OFFLINE   Sam Davatchi

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Posted June 24 2004 - 12:20 PM

Just watched the season finale and finished the set. It was a flashback episode(for the first time) and I noticed Frasier’s hair continuity error! It was really distracting! They should have at least made his hair long the way he was in the first two seasons! Have they ever done any clip shows? By the way, any other continuity errors? Especially with Cheers? Do they mention his father in Cheers? I just saw an episode of Cheers where his mother shows up!

#6 of 8 OFFLINE   Dave Farley

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Posted June 24 2004 - 01:27 PM

On Cheers, Frasier told everyone his father had died. He mentioned that he was a scientist and said something about never telling his father that he loved him. Frasier's mother came to visit and threatened to kill Diane in one episode. Don't quote me on this, but I swear I remember Frasier telling the folks at the bar that he was an only child.

On Frasier, the writers tried some revisionist history. Sam Malone visits and meets Frasier's 'dead' father, a police officer. Martin questions Frasier about his death and the scientist line and Frasier uses the excuse that he made it up because he and Martin had had a fight. It was pretty inconsistent with the Cheers episode due to the fact that Frasier(in a scene that got some audience laughs)was clearly serious and unhappy about failing to tell his father that he loved him before his death. "Oh, Daddy."

In one episode, Rebecca hires a man to write a jingle for Cheers, a guy named Sy Flembeck(sp?). He was played by John Mahoney! Somehow, he didn't recognize his 'son' at the bar.Posted Image

#7 of 8 OFFLINE   Sam Davatchi

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Posted June 24 2004 - 12:20 PM

Just watched the season finale and finished the set. It was a flashback episode(for the first time) and I noticed Frasier’s hair continuity error! It was really distracting! They should have at least made his hair long the way he was in the first two seasons! Have they ever done any clip shows? By the way, any other continuity errors? Especially with Cheers? Do they mention his father in Cheers? I just saw an episode of Cheers where his mother shows up!

#8 of 8 OFFLINE   Dave Farley

Dave Farley

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Posted June 24 2004 - 01:27 PM

On Cheers, Frasier told everyone his father had died. He mentioned that he was a scientist and said something about never telling his father that he loved him. Frasier's mother came to visit and threatened to kill Diane in one episode. Don't quote me on this, but I swear I remember Frasier telling the folks at the bar that he was an only child.

On Frasier, the writers tried some revisionist history. Sam Malone visits and meets Frasier's 'dead' father, a police officer. Martin questions Frasier about his death and the scientist line and Frasier uses the excuse that he made it up because he and Martin had had a fight. It was pretty inconsistent with the Cheers episode due to the fact that Frasier(in a scene that got some audience laughs)was clearly serious and unhappy about failing to tell his father that he loved him before his death. "Oh, Daddy."

In one episode, Rebecca hires a man to write a jingle for Cheers, a guy named Sy Flembeck(sp?). He was played by John Mahoney! Somehow, he didn't recognize his 'son' at the bar.Posted Image





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