Perhaps I should have been more selective in my Frasier episode choice this year. I mainly saw the series on Netflix, knowing I needed an episode for today, and chose the first one that seemed to have a holiday title. As it turns out, it was very familiar. I watched the episode last year while multitasking, then decided I didn’t pay enough attention to it, and therefore didn’t write about it. I think there was a reason that I didn’t pay attention to it.
As it turns out, despite the many networks that are currently syndicating the series, I don’t think Frasier stands the test of time. Or perhaps my distaste for the series’ final seasons has tainted my perception of the series in its earliest episodes. Maybe I just don’t like Frasier.
And I think that last point might be why this episode fell flat for me. In the first scene, Frasier is anxiously awaiting the arrival of his son for Christmas. Shortly thereafter, he discovers that he’s not coming; instead, he’s spending his Christmas at the house where The Sound of Music was filmed (the original, not NBC’s upcoming remake), with Julie Andrews herself. It’s the chance of a lifetime, but Frasier’s rather disappointed.
So in his bitterness and self-pity, he takes the Christmas afternoon slot at the station, listening to sad story after sad story of people calling in for help. Instead of actually helping people on Christmas, it becomes a litany of disgruntled, bored, or heartless faces on Frasier’s part (poor Roz is sent home crying), and in the end, Frasier has his Christmas dinner at local diner, paid for by the homeless, since he left his wallet at work. It’s a touching gesture, but there’s a side of ickiness, what with Frasier actually being wealthy, and heading out to his pricey car afterward, which he promptly forgets his keys and has to call his father for help. In the end, I’m just left feeling filled less with the Christmas spirit, and more with a sadness — for those who just parted with their last pennies to pay for someone else who could handle himself and because there was just no joy in this Christmas day.
Recommendation: Skip it.