Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Well, this has been a one hell of a month. I have had two glorious weeks with Heath (1.5 for spring break, 3.5 for Easter, also known as Bunny Day) and enjoyed every single freaking moment of it. Now, all I have to do is force myself to learn the Rule Against Perpetuities (first, let's make sure that I can actually spell it!) that has so far eluded mental capture/understanding and also to care about finals. Which so far I have been completely unable to do. Quite literally all I want to do at the moment is bonfire all of my legal books (which I would never do because you could feed a large village in Africa for what those books cost...and don't think I don't feel overwhelming guilt every time I think about that) and drive home to Heath where I could live the life of a steampunk goth chick psych grad student and open up a bakery. At least that's how that fantasy plays out in my head. In reality, I would probably score horrendously low on the GRE and get rejected from the program I would want to go into, the bakery would never get off the ground and then, if it did, I would probably be fined mucho dinero or shut down within a month by the Clean Health Place People (yeah, being super technical tonight, I know) because I really don't understand why I can't just randomly run a clean finger through batter, lick it, and then clean it again, and then we'd probably end up living under a bridge like trolls while we both worked like three jobs and Heath went to school. To be fair, that might be a tad exaggerated...ok, a lot exaggerated, but whatever. In the meantime, I am closing out my 1L year and hoping that now that I can make my own schedule and pick my own classes and hopefully do an externship for a semester at home with Heath, I will actually enjoy law school. At the moment, not so much. But they keep telling us it gets better. Or at least that you just stop caring after 1L. Different people give different reports and somehow I foresee myself falling into the latter group. In the meantime, I feel less crazy eyes by talking to Chris and self-soothe by eating my feelings and watching many TV shows, one of which is the focus of my discussion for tonight!

When I about 10, I was exposed to the glory that was Frasier. Little did I know at the time, but that would later become one of my long-lasting favourite shows (for others, see Criminal Minds, which I feel is an academic study too since it's in my field and everything, but I digress...). The first episode I saw was an episode which I haven't seen since that night (although, holy god, I have absolutely tried to find it), where Frasier and Niles are fighting per usual and Marty tells them a story about how they would always fight as kids and, to bribe/chivvy them out of their terrible fight, he would buy them ice cream. Yes, it sounds mundane. Yes, it sounds like 1,000 other sitcoms out there. Yes, it might not be the stuff of epics. I mean, I'm sure Homer wasn't chilling around the fire fighting with his probably non-existent brother only to have his father come in, saying, "I'll take you to get baklava if you two, please, for the love of Zeus, stop fighting," at which point Homer shouted, "Eureka (or something to this effect), from this shall arise my great epic that students in liberal arts core curricula shall read for millenia!" In fact, I'm pretty sure that Fraiser will not inspire anybody to that level (although what do I know, I'm just a humble law/psychology student; Frasier could very well be your muse)...but what it does do is entertain. That it does in spades.

Frasier is the spin-off of Cheers, starring Kelsey Grammar as everybody's favourite former Cheers bar patron (where everybody knows your name) who has decided to move back to his hometown of Seattle after a truly wretched divorce with his ice-queen wife, Lilith. After six months back in Seattle, he is the host of a Dr. Phil-like radio show, has to move his former police officer father, Marty, into his home because he is getting up there in age and Frasier would feel guilty about putting him in a nursing home, or that place where "we take care of them so you don't have to." He invites the wee bit psychic British physical therapist, Daphne Moon, to live with them to provide 24/7 support for his invalid father and also has to deal with the madcap hijinks of his neurotic brother, Dr. Niles Crane, and his never-seen, potentially psychotic, heavily medicated wife, Maris. That is a brief summary of the 11 season run of Frasier.

I don't know what always brings me back to this show. It's not the morbid voyeurism and outright ostentatiousness of Arrested Development (also, another post for another night). It's not the parental-like quality of The Nanny (who actually, for the first ten years of my life, was my nanny, but, alas, also another story for another night). There's just something very clever about it that brings me back time and again to re-watch it. And I never get tired of it. I would love to say that this is an intellectual show. And, in some ways, maybe it is, just because the lead character and his brother (played by everyone's favourite, David Hyde Pierce) are both purported intellectuals, interested in the finer things in life. They love wine and the opera and are both heavy handed Euro-philes (I know that there is a real word for this but I'm having difficulty thinking of it off the top of my head and  I'm just too lazy to take the time to look it up on this lovely Google thing people keep telling me about). And while Frasier and Niles are some of the most pretentious prigs I've ever seen in my life, to the point where you want to smack them in the head with a racketball racket (that's a real thing, right?), there's just something so lovable about them that you can't help but chortle. And then there's Marty, Eddie, Daphne, and Roz.

Marty and Eddie are definitely an inseparable pair. Marty (played by the beloved, very recognisable John Mahoney) is a crotchety former police officer who was shot in the hip during a robbery who, after falling in his bathroom and not being able to get up, is forced to move in with his newly returned son who, although not trying to kill his father with a machete while dressed in a clown suit, does not exactly roll out a friendly mat. Marty does come as a package deal though...his best friend is a Jack Russell terrier named Eddie (who has a tendency to stare interminably at Frasier) and an absolutely comfy looking, but hideous, chair seemingly held together only by duct tape, polyester, and a vibrating butt pad, which Fraiser wants nothing more than to set it on fire and shove it off of the balcony. Marty is quite a bit earthier than his sons who he claims "take after their mother." Niles claims that the only thing they got from their father was their "well-defined calf muscles." Marty's lot in life is to bear with his son's pretentiousness and foppishness with good grace and, although he theorized that there had been some sort of mix-up at the hospital, once Niles arrived, that theory was shot half to hell. Niles and Frasier's lot in life is to wonder why their father takes a bath with his dog and loves a steak, even though it costs less than $40.

Their wee bit psychic, British physical therapist is Daphne Moon. The first time you meet Daphne is at her interview for the position of Marty's pt, where she has her hand down her shirt and proceeds to tell them that she's a wee bit more psychic around her time of the month. Marty hires her in a second. Frasier has quite a few reservations, not the first of which is that he thinks she's out of her damn mind, although he decides to "find it charming." Niles also has the world's biggest, most inappropriate crush on Daphne, which usually involves smelling her hair, making mis-statements with which Freud would have a field day, and generally being an all-around creeper. She's the world's largest artichoke, constantly producing little nuggets of wisdom, like men use sex to get what they want and that there'll be no naps in hell. Seriously, you just can't make this stuff up...Although the writer of Frasier did, I guess. Ah, well.

Rounding off the cast is Roz Doyle (Peri Gilpin), the producer of Frasier's radio show. When you first meet her, she's...well, she's a wee bit of a...well, I don't think loose would be an improper way to describe her. This is the woman who believes that the best way to end a bad date is to go home and that, when the jewelry and the sex aren't that good, it's time to bail. She is able to battle quite well with the pompous Dr. Cranes (both of them!) and give absolutely as good as she gets.

Although I am aware that I just spent eons babbling about the characters of Frasier, there is just something so family-like about this show. It's absurd and, while I'm pretty sure no one has ever found my puns as funny as the studio audience has the puns of Frasier, there is just something that makes you feel like this is family. When I watched the series finales when it first aired, hell, when I watch the series finale now, it feels like I'm losing a friend. After 11 seasons, these characters become your friends with their barbed witticisms and perfectly delivered lines. In addition, the pièce du résistance is the timing of this show. It's absolutely perfect. One of my favourite examples of this absolutely impeccable comedic timing is when Frasier, whose last name is Crane, mind you, is doing some PR stunt to drum up some publicity and, during his speech, says, "Is there nothing more majestic than a crane's majestic call?" at which point Marty Crane runs screaming past everybody after being attacked by a bird. I guess it's one of those things you have to see?

For those of you who feel inspired to watch this now, it's on Netflix and Lifetime at 12 CMT/1 EST. If you don't feel inspired to watch it and really just want to hunt me down in Law School City and beat me to death with a tire iron for posting this nonsensical drivel, I strongly discourage you from that avenue and encourage you to seek help...by watching Frasier! No, seriously, if you have homicidal urges, I'm pretty sure that can't be solved by Frasier. For those of you who are on the fence, give it a chance. Within one, maybe two episodes, you'll be hooked. And then you'll meet Satan Incarnate, Bebe Glazer, Frasier's unscrupulous agent who has been know to murder an endangered crane because it gave Frasier bad press and disregard handicap (and bathroom) signs. Bebe is without parallel and one of my favourite characters of the series.

After way more paragraphs than needed to be said about Frasier, I'm going to go chillaxe by, what do you know!, watching Frasier and talking to Heath. For now, though, good night or morning to those of you in Europe, and always remember that sitting alone in your apartment while rocking back and forth hugging your knees is not an unusual way to pass an evening, especially when you're in law school and missing your fiancé. Also, that most of us don't know what to do with those tossed salads and scrambled eggs when they're calling again. Good night, all!

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