In 1993, newly divorced Frasier Crane relocated from Boston back to his hometown of Seattle – and television was/is all the better for it.
It wasn’t your typical show: it wasn’t about nothing like “Seinfeld” and it didn’t set the bar for 90s pop culture quite like “Friends.” It was different. It was smart. You could probably study for the ACTs by watching it (or at least a vocabulary test, as in the case during my own childhood).
It ran for 11 seasons and won a then-record of 37 Emmys (and racked up 108 nominations) – and then in 2004, gracefully made its exit from television.
Now – 14 years later – it seems it could be making a comeback, which as a “Frasier” fan should excite me. But it doesn’t. It’s a terrible idea. Please don’t do it.
Now, you have to understand, “Frasier” is my favorite show ever. Not my favorite sitcom. My favorite show. Rebooting it just for the sake of nostalgia risks tarnishing its legacy and it would be detrimental should it flop.
I can understand Kelsey Grammer’s desire to revisit the character, much like he did more than 20-years-ago when he evolved from “Cheers.” But network television is a much different landscape now. Does anyone remember “Hank,” Grammer’s previous attempt to return to comedy? It was a horrid disaster and seemed archaic in contrast of the newly launched “Modern Family” – a show whose creative team features several “Frasier” alumni (Christopher Lloyd, Steve Levitan).
Early reports indicate the reboot would have Frasier with a fresh start and in a new city.
But it’s important to bear in mind that “Frasier” was always an ensemble show. It had to feature all five main players to really fire on all cylinders (or at least the core three of Frasier, Martin and Niles). *It’s also important to note the genius work of casting director Jeff Greenberg.
The recent passing of John Mahoney can’t be ignored either. It still seems too fresh to reboot the show, even if Martin was never intended to be involved. He was the heart of the show and always levied a blow to Frasier and Niles’ pomposity. Creating a new character to fill that void just seems cheap – and redundant.
You also can’t easily replace the genius of David Hyde Pierce, who really became its star. Pierce won four Emmys and was deservedly nominated every year during its run – an incredible feat.
So, with this possible reboot there would be no Martin, no Niles and unless several essential writers – who were key in the show’s early success – return, it would be like a watered-down version of the later seasons. If Joe Keenan, Steve Levitan and Christopher Lloyd all hop on board, then we’ll revisit the subject.
But unless that happens, what’s the point? Why can’t we allow it to be a little glimmer of nostalgia best revisited on Netflix and DVD (if you’re a true Frasierphile).
So having said all that, let it go, Kelsey. I’m begging you. Move on. Let “Frasier” be this sacred piece of television history. The best way to honor its legacy is to leave it alone.
“It may be an unwise man who doesn’t learn from his own mistakes, but it’s an absolute idiot that doesn’t learn from other people’s.”
– “Look Before You Leap,” Frasier: Season 3, Episode 16