The Comedy of Pompous….

Having now finished watching the series “Northern Exposure”, I had never seen the first season of “Fraiser”. That was another one we didn’t watch routinely and at only half-hour, the episodes can’t include as much as an hour-long show. For those who may not be familiar, it was a spin-off show from “Cheers” where the psychiatrist Dr. Fraiser Crane, played by Kelsey Grammer, leaves Boston after his divorce and goes back to Seattle to become the psychiatrist for a call-in radio show. His brother, Niles, played by David Hyde Pierce, is still a practicing psychiatrist. Their father, a tough cop who certainly hadn’t envisioned both his sons being so very different from him, was forced to retire when he was shot in the hip. In not yet healing, it became apparent he could no longer live at home so the first episode and several subsequent ones were the utter disruption when the decision was made for him to move into Fraiser’s well-appointed apartment. Niles has a large, expensive house with plenty of room, but his wife (whom I don’t think we ever see) has many issues that are also worth a chuckle. Naturally, there is a spunky British live-in added into the mix who helps care for the father (played by John Mahoney) and his scruffy dog Eddy.

There are the other members of the radio staff and personalities to add humor as well as the pricey coffee shop where many scenes take place. There is the constant display of how pompous both sons are juxtaposed against the common sense of the dad and assistant. At the same time though, there are the moments when the dad or assistant stop to see things from Fraiser’s perspective to draw out the gentler person he can be. A few poignant exchanges serve as reminders that most of us do at times get caught up in our own views and perhaps fail – or are slow to consider another as valid.

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