Kelsey Grammer, legendary director and performer, was just seen carrying a script for what we can only assume is the Frasier reboot. The return of the Cranes has been rumored for the past several months, with Grammer all but confirming the likelihood of a reboot in recent interviews. Now the secret is out, and we Frasier fans have to endure the exquisite torture of speculation. Will the discordant father-son relationship be explored once again in this new series? I personally cannot help but hope for something more inclusive in the works.
The original sitcom, which aired from 1993-2004 in a fabulous eleven seasons (all of which I watch on a loop on Netflix), is a literal legend of television. It won a whopping thirty-seven Primetime Emmy Awards. THIRTY-SEVEN. And it’s no wonder, because the performances were incomparable and the scripts respected viewers enough to gift them with clever, quality television. There’s the subplots like Frasier’s disastrous love life or Niles’ obsession with Daphne, the brilliant title cards that took the place of potentially boring transitions, the infamous, unseen Maris… It’s the sitcom to end all sitcoms, and I watch it every night of my life.
The original sitcom, which aired from 1993-2004 in a fabulous eleven seasons…won a whopping thirty-seven Primetime Emmy Awards.
I literally don’t have a single bad thing to say about Frasier. I’m basically obsessed with the original series about the posh radio psychiatrist who takes in his man’s man, ex-cop father Martin. I literally adore Frasier’s brother Niles, Roz and Daphne are a delight, everything is perfect. But no writer, producer, or director can possibly recreate perfection. Rumor has it that the tension between father and son is being reincarnated in Frasier and his son Frederick, but why cast a mold in the same shape? Instead of father-son strife, how about a little father-daughter conflict? (Or, as Frasier might say – Who needs another Oedipus when you have Antigone?)
Picture this: Due to the unfortunate passing of John Mahoney, who played Martin Crane, Frasier’s father has just passed. Frasier and his daughter (either from an aborted relationship with Charlotte from Frasier‘s final episode or, in the interest of age, from another aborted relationship from Frasier’s past) have an estranged relationship similar to that of Frasier and Martin. Frasier’s daughter can even be a bit of a “tom boy”, preferring a basketball game to a night at the opera. Regardless of the type of tension between them, the existence of “daughter Crane” would allow a matured Frasier to learn a whole new game — how to get along with a young woman. And, maybe most importantly, womankind can be represented more fully as an essential factor of the show’s premise.
Though Roz and Daphne, fantastically portrayed by Jane Leeves and Peri Gilpin, brought femininity to Frasier and created some really meaningful male-female relationships (both friendly and romantic), the show never fully hinged on either woman. The original sitcom began with the boys as foundation, then proceeded to branch outward, flowering into many interconnected relationships that made gender an unnecessary consideration. In the same way, Frasier‘s reboot could start with and dig in to a father-daughter relationship and, if the actors and writers are as tactful as they were in the past, discover more connections beyond the source.
Instead of father-son strife, how about a little father-daughter conflict? (Or, as Frasier might say – Who needs another Oedipus when you have Antigone?)
Regardless of how the reboot begins or who comprises Frasier’s family dynamic, the sitcom will stand if it continues as it once did. If we have the delicious dialogue, the hilariously elaborate misunderstandings, the newly found familial harmony, and of course the coffees…it will be wonderful. If anything, the reboot needs to happen in order to answer all our unanswered questions: Did Frasier finally find love? How about Roz? What are Niles and Daphne like as parents? What would Frasier do without his career in talk radio?
No matter what the story, I am simply thrilled that Frasier‘s returning. It is, truly, the sitcom the world needs to have back. The reason Frasier is the only sitcom in my “Continue Watching” list on Netflix, besides the fact that it’s brilliant and hilarious, is the simple fact that television has seen nothing so positive since. Lately in our popular culture, if it’s not a thriller, a dark comedy, or a piece of flat-out gore, it’s broken family comedies. Why continue to feed a negative culture with negative programming? Even more than intelligence and humor, we need stability. What we need is a new story about a family that was broken and, with hard work, got back together again. What the world needs now is Crane, sweet Crane.
I can’t wait to see how Kelsey Grammer gives it to us.