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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Frasier: Complete Second Season
Frasier: Complete Second Season
Paramount // Unrated // January 6, 2004
List Price: $49.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Jeffrey Robinson | posted December 30, 2003 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie

Run Time: 553 Minutes

During the third season of the popular television series Cheers, based in a Boston bar, an interesting character named Dr. Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer) was introduced. After the end of Cheers in 1993 a new television series was launched starring the character Dr. Frasier Crane. Frasier formerly a psychiatrist of the Boston area has just recently moved to Seattle to start a new life after a divorce of his wife Lilith (guest star Bebe Neuwirth). Here in Seattle Frasier has taken a job hosting a radio talk show at KACL. In the first season of Frasier, Frasier is joined by his neurotic brother Dr. Niles Crane (David Hyde Pierce), father Martin Crane (John Mahoney), his father's English physical therapist Daphne Moon (Jane Leeves), and his radio show producer Roz Doyle (Peri Gilpin). In this season we learn about the bizarre relationships that exist in the Crane family, the hilarious shortcomings of the elitist Crane bothers, the psychic therapist, the male friendly producer, and so on. The first season of Frasier proved to be a very big success as the television show is currently in its eleventh season. For more information about season one, please see Aaron Beierle review of Frasier: Season One.

In season two we are presented with twenty-four comical episodes. Among them is "The Matchmaker", Frasier attempts to set up Daphne with a date, the new radio studio manager Tom, but as it turns out Frasier is the one with a date. Another great episode of this season is "The Candidate" where Frasier inadvertently endorses a Washington state candidate for senator, Phil Patterson who has his own share of problems. Patterson deeply believes that he was abducted by aliens. Just the man for office? In another episode "The One Where Sam Shows Up" the familiar face of Sam Malone (Ted Danson) guest stars. He's visiting his old Boston bar buddy Frasier in a time of crisis. Another (and perhaps the best) episode of season two "The Innkeepers", the Crane Brothers purchase a restaurant and fulfill their long desired dreams. Their upscale and well-to-do restaurant appears to be an immediate success on the opening night. This is all until the entire staff walks out and all havoc breaks out.

With season one being a great success there was some fear that season two might not live up to the expectations set by the first season. However that clearly wasn't the case. Season two had some wonderfully comic episodes. Even after the initial premiere date of almost over nine years, season two is just as funny as when it first aired nine years ago. Here's the synopsis from the DVD cover, which is followed by the Episode Guide List. Please note that the episode descriptions come directly from the official website, NBC: Frasier.

Synopsis from DVD:
"Emmy Award-winner Kelsey Grammer is Frasier--the hilarious psychiatrist first seen on TV's "Cheers" and subsequently the start of this smash-hit comedy series. And the gang's all here for the complete second season of this wry and witty sitcom--and what a season it is! Frasier Crane (Grammer) infuriates the entire city of Seattle when he complains about its rainy climate during his radio talk show. Meanwhile, his father Martin (John Maloney) finds his favorite bar is slated for the wrecker's ball--and could it be that Frasier and Niles (David Hyde Pierce) are behind its demise? Roz (Peri Gilpin) considers a new job offer...Daphne (Jane Leeves) finds her privacy invaded...and Frasier's romantic island getaway with a new girlfriend is ruined when his ex-wife Lilith (Bebe Neuwirth) is discovered happily ensconced in an adjacent cottage! It's all 24 episodes of Frasier's riotous second season, presented in one highly-entertaining four-disc collection."

Episode Guide List:

Season 2, Episode 26: Slow Tango in South Seattle
Original Airdate: September 20, 1994

LOW KEY -- Frasier's forray into manhood becomes a best-seller! Frasier (Kelsey Grammer) fumes after Thomas Jay Fallow (guest star John O' Hurley), a Boston bar buddy he once helped overcome writer's block, turns the confidential story of Frasier's initiation into manhood by his older piano teacher into a best-selling, romantic novella. Myra Carter and Constance Towers guest-star. James Spader ("Wolf") provides the voice of Steven, a father-to-be who worries that a new baby could disrupt him and his wife's love life.John Mahoney, David Hyde Pierce, Jane Leeves, Peri Gilpin and Dan Butler also star.

Season 2, Episode 25: The Unkindest Cut of All
Original Airdate: September 27, 1994

PUPPY LOVE -- Eddie, a father? Frasier (Kelsey Grammer) finds himself laden with a litter of puppies that Eddie fathered with a neighbor's (guest star Jo de Winter) purebred Lhasa, but Martin (John Mahoney) resists Frasier's demands that Eddie be neutered. David Hyde Pierce, Jane Leeves and Peri Gilpin also star. Two-time Tony Award winner Lily Tomlin ("Appearing Nightly," "The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe") provides the voice of Rita, a stressed-out homemaker.

Season 2, Episode 28: The Matchmaker
Original Airdate: October 4, 1994
FIXER-UPPER -- Frasier (Kelsey Grammer) invites the new station manager, Tom O' Connor (guest star Eric Lutes), home for dinner to surreptitiously fix him up with Daphne (Jane Leeves). Tom, however, is gay and under the impression that it is Frasier who is interested in him. John Mahoney, David Hyde Pierce and Peri Gilpin also star.

Season 2, Episode 29: Flour Child
Original Airdate: October 11, 1994
PARENT TRAP -- Niles (David Hyde Pierce), Frasier (Kelsey Grammer) and Martin (John Mahoney) assist when their cab driver (guest star Charlayne Woodard "Unbreakabler") goes into labor. Afterwards, Niles contemplates fatherhood and decides to try Frasier's experiment to test his own paternal instincts. Also, Frasier accidentally puts a funny, but tasteless, birthday greeting on a co-worker's get-well card, forcing him and Roz (Peri Gilpin) to figure out a way to retrieve the potentially embarrassing message from the man's hospital bedside. Amy Madigan ("Field of Dreams") provides the voice of Maggie, who thinks a man has become too attached after two dates. John Mahoney and Jane Leeves also star.

Season 2, Episode 27: Duke's We Hardly Knew Ye
Original Airdate: October 18, 1994
BAR NONE -- Frasier and Niles interpret their father's (John Mahoney) invitation to join him and his drinking buddies at Duke's as a rite of passage. However, their spirits fall when Frasier and Niles realize they are investors in the company that plans to demolish the beloved bar to erect a mini-mall. David Hyde Pierce, Jane Leeves and Peri Gilpin also star.

Season 2, Episode 31: The Botched Language of Cranes
Original Airdate: November 1, 1994

SEATTLE STORMS FRASIER -- Frasier faces a flood of negative feedback from almost all of Seattle when he prescribes a sunnier climate for a depressed listener, Enda (the voice of former Oscar-nominee Alfre Woodard of "Cross Creek"). To smooth things over, Roz (Peri Gilpin) convinces him to seek redemption as the keynote speaker at the annual benefit for St. Bart's Hospital, where Frasier makes an "unholy" mess talking before the clergy. John Mahoney, Jane Leeves, David Hyde Pierce, Peri Gilpin and Dan Butler also star. Fifties' "teen queen" Sandra Dee ("Tammy and the Bachelor") provides the voice of Connie, a civic booster. Jane Leeves and Dan Butler also star.

Season 2, Episode 30: The Candidate
Original Airdate: November 8, 1994
OUTER PRECINCTS -- When Martin (John Mahoney) stars in a commercial for a Congressional candidate whom Frasier and Niles deem politically incorrect, Niles encourages Frasier to endorse the opponent, Phil Patterson,(two-time Tony Award-winner Boyd Gaines, "The Heidi Chronicles," "She Loves Me"). However, Frasier begins to question Patterson's sanity after the candidate confesses confidentially that he was once abducted by aliens. Oscar-winning director Sydney Pollack ("Out of Africa") provides the voice of Patterson's opponent, Holden Thorpe. Jane Leeves and Peri Gilpin also star.

Season 2, Episode 32: Adventure in Paradise, I
Original Airdate: November 15, 1994

JOBETH WILLIAMS GUEST-STARS -- In the series' first two-part episode, Frasier (Kelsey Grammer) encounters his ideal woman, sportswear designer Madeline Marshall (JoBeth Williams of "Poltergeist"), and invites her for a romantic dinner at a charming French restaurant. Frasier becomes infatuated with her and is delighted when she suggests that they take their relationship to the next level during a vacation in Bora Bora. However, paradise takes an ugly turn when Lilith arrives on the scene. John Mahoney, Jane Leeves, David Hyde Pierce, Peri Gilpin and Dan Butler also star. Multi-Grammy winner Art Garfunkel ("Mrs. Robinson," "Bridge Over Troubled Water") provides the voice of Chester, whose patience borders on inertia.

Season 2, Episode 33: Adventure in Paradise, II
Original Airdate: November 22, 1994
BEBE NEUWIRTH GUEST-STARS -- In the conclusion of a special two-part episode, Frasier (Kelsey Grammer) and his ideal woman, Madeline Marshall (JoBeth Williams of "Poltergeist"), share a secluded South Sea island retreat next door to his ex-wife, Lilith (Bebe Neuwirth reprising her Emmy-winning "Cheers" role), and her new love interest ( James Morrison). Back home, Roz (Peri Gilpin) fields one of Frasier's calls from Steve (the voice of Kevin Bacon of "The Hollow Man"), who's having a problem with women. John Mahoney, Jane Leeves and David Hyde Pierce also star.

Season 2, Episode 34: Burying a Grudge
Original Airdate: November 29, 1994
SICK SENSE OF HUMOR -- Frasier (Kelsey Grammer) and Martin (John Mahoney) accompany Niles (David Hyde Pierce) to the hospital when Maris undergoes a facelift. However, when Martin tries to cut out after spotting his long-estranged, ex-partner, Artie (Lincoln Kilpatrick), Frasier is on call to help mend their rift. Oscar and Grammy nominees and Tony winners Betty Comden and Adolph Green ("Applause," "Hallelujah, Baby!") provide the voices of Linda and Walter, a feuding couple who call Frasier from a car phone to settle a dispute over Walter's misguided, male sense of direction. Jane Leeves and Peri Gilpin also star.

Season 2, Episode 35: Seat of Power
Original Airdate: December 13, 1994
POTTY TRAINING -- A disgusted Martin (John Mahoney) challenges Frasier and Niles to fix a "running" toilet instead of calling a plumber, but their efforts go down the drain. When the two plumbers -- brothers Danny (guest star John C. McGinley) and Billy (guest star Mike Starr) -- arrive, Frasier and Niles recognize them as the junior high bullies who used to try to flush Frasier and Niles heads in the toilet. Macaulay Culkin ("The Pagemaster") provides the voice of Elliott, a salesman who claims people constantly make fun of his his high-pitched voice. Jane Leeves and Peri Gilpin also star.

Season 2, Episode 36: Roz in the Doghouse
Original Airdate: January 3, 1995

DOGGONE SHAME -- Frasier (Kelsey Grammer) insults Roz (Peri Gilpin) by claiming that Bulldog (Dan Butler) only wants her to produce his sports show because he's in heat. To prove that an ungrateful Frasier is barking up the wrong tree, Roz quits to join Bulldog's show, leaving Frasier to rely on a new producer: "weird Bruce from engineering" (guest star Garrett Maggart). John Mahoney, Jane Leeves and David Hyde Pierce also star. Oscar-winner Carly Simon ("Let the River Run," "Letters to Myself") provides the voice of Marie, a woman who seeks advice on marrying a 40-year-old bachelor, and Oscar-nominee Rosie Perez ("Fearless") provides the voice of Francesca, a caller with a fear of abandonment.

Season 2, Episode 37: Retirement is Murder
Original Airdate: January 10, 1995
UNSOLVED MISERY -- Frasier and Niles take Martin to a Sonics game in order to take his mind off of the 20-year-old unsolved "Weeping Lotus" murder. Later, however, Frasier can't resist arranging the photographic evidence in order for Martin to conclude that the killer was an unusual suspect. Oscar-winner Mary Steenbergen ("Melvin and Howard") provides the voice of Marjorie, a caller with a fear of heights who calls from atop the Space Needle.

Season 2, Episode 40: Fool Me Once, Shame On You, Fool Me Twice...
Original Airdate: February 7, 1995
FORM OF FLATTERY -- A thief (Tony nominee Nathan Lane, "Guys and Dolls"), lifts Frasier's briefcase, his car and his drycleaning and begins to impersonate Frasier around town. After, this phony Frasier creates chaos in Seattle, Frasier fears the thief may have also stolen his belief in the goodness of mankind. John Mahoney, David Hyde Pierce, Jane Leeves and Peri Gilpin also star.

Season 2, Episode 38: You Scratch My Book... (Valentine Episode)
Original Airdate: February 14, 1995
SHANNON TWEED GUEST-STARS -- Frasier (Kelsey Grammer) becomes stuck on an attractive, yet disrespected, pop psychologist/author, Dr. Honey Snow (former Playboy centerfold Shannon Tweed). Any chance of their romance blossoming could be nipped in the bud when she asks him to write the foreword to her next book. Meanwhile, Niles (David Hyde Pierce) keeps "rolling over" Daphne's (Jane Leeves) funds with a dubious broker to enjoy the dividends she gives out each time her investment pays a hefty return. John Mahoney and Peri Gilpin also star.

Season 2, Episode 42: The One Where Sam Shows Up
Original Airdate: February 21, 1995

TED DANSON GUEST STARS -- Ted Danson reprises the role of Sam Malone, his Emmy Award-winning character from NBC's "Cheers," when he guest stars in an episode which reunites him with his former "Cheers" co-star Kelsey Grammer and director James Burrows. Reminiscing with Frasier (Grammer), Sam (Danson) tells him about the old gang in Boston and admits that he's recently left another ideal, young woman (guest star Tea Leoni, "Jurassic Park III") at the altar. John Mahoney, Jane Leeves, David Hyde Pierce and Peri Gilpin also star.

Season 2, Episode 41: A Room With a View
Original Airdate: February 28, 1995
CAUGHT BARE HANDED -- Frasier frets over how to properly apologize to an infuriated Daphne after he inadvertently snoops in her room and then catches a glimpse of her in the nude as she prepares to take a bath. John Mahoney, David Hyde Pierce and Peri Gilpin also star.

Season 2, Episode 39: The Club
Original Airdate: March 21, 1995
FAMILY MEMBERS -- Frasier (Kelsey Grammer) and Niles (David Hyde Pierce) agree to promote each other at a cocktail party for potential members of a prestigious, snooty "white glove" gentleman's club, but when they learn that the club will admit only one new member, the gloves come off. John Mahoney, Jane Leeves and Peri Gilpin also star. Oscar-nominee Gary Sinese ("Forrest Gump") provides the voice of Sid, a caller with a fear of talking on the telephone with strangers.

Season 2, Episode 46: Someone to Watch Over Me
Original Airdate: March 28, 1995
OFF GUARD -- After receiving mysterious gifts and notes from his anonymous "number one fan," Frasier fears his appearance at an awards banquet could make him the victim of a stalker. To ease his mind, Frasier hires a bodyguard, Cindy (Alyson Reed, "Norma Jean & Marilyn"), whose gender and approach to protecting him only make him more jittery. John Lithgow ("Third Rock from the Sun") provides the voice of Madman Martinez, who has a bizarre ulterior motive for calling Frasier's program. David Hyde Pierce, John Mahoney, Peri Gilpin, Jane Leeves and Dan Butler also star.

Season 2, Episode 47: Breaking the Ice
Original Airdate: April 18, 1995
COMPLIMENT FISHING -- Frasier thinks Niles' enthusiasm for going ice fishing with Martin seems fishy. Frasier soon, realizes that by enduring a weekend in a freezing shanty over a hole in the ice he just might hear something from his father that he's never heard before. Jane Leeves and Peri Gilpin also star.

Season 2, Episode 44: An Affair to Forget
Original Airdate: May 2, 1995

DYNAMIC DUEL -- Frasier (Kesley Grammer) counsels a listener, Gretchen (the voice of Glenne Headley, "What's the Worst That Could Happen?"), when she fears that her fencing instructor husband, Gunnar (guest star Brian Cousins), is having an affair with one of his students. Frasier concludes from the thrust of Gretchen's story that his sister-in-law, Maris, is the swordsman's student/girlfriend. Both Martin and Roz advise Frasier to stay out of it, but he's determined to help Niles fight for his marriage. Irene Olga Lopez guest-stars as Marta, Maris' 78-year-old Guatemalan maid. Jane Leeves also stars.

Season 2, Episode 45: Agents in America, Part Three
Original Airdate: May 9, 1995
CONTRACT SPORT -- Frasier's agent, Bebe ( Harriet Sansom Harris, "Memento"), insists that he stage a "sick out" and stay off the air while she goes to any length -- from seduction to suicide -- to renegotiate his contract. David Hyde Pierce, John Mahoney, Peri Gilpin, Jane Leeves and Dan Butler also star.

Season 2, Episode 43: The Innkeepers
Original Airdate: May 16, 1995

SALAD DAZE -- Frasier (Kesley Grammer) and Niles (David Hyde Pierce) fulfill a dream by buying a long-favored yet now-faded restaurant, but the opening night becomes a nightmare after they drive away the chef and his staff through their constant meddling. In the wake of the employees' departure, Martin, Roz and Daphne get pressed into service alongside the new owners. Dan Butler also stars, and Edward Hibbert guest-stars as KACL's restaurant critic, Gil Chesterton.

Season 2, Episode 48: Dark Victory
Original Airdate: May 23, 1995
DARK NIGHT OF SOULS -- Roz is depressed because she can't attend her family reunion in Wisoconsin. Frasier takes pity on her and invites her to join him, Nilesand Daphne to celebrate Martin's (John Mahoney) birthday. But his plans for brightening Roz's spirits dim when the family starts bickering and doesn't stop even as a power outtage plunges the party -- and Seattle -- into darkness.

The DVD

Mechanics: The DVD menus are very simple, plain, non-animated, and easy to navigate. Similar to season one there is no option to simply play all episodes. I.e. at the end of an episode you must select the next episode from the menu. This season is presented on four discs with six episodes on each disc.

Video: The video is presented in 1.33:1 ratio Full Frame color. The picture quality was fairly decent, considering the quality reflects the original television transfer from 1994/1995. It obviously was not a perfect picture, as it did have its flaws, but they were hardly enough to ruin the viewing experience. Overall the quality was decent.

Sound: The audio was presented in English Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround. I had no issues with the sound quality. It was quite clear, crisp, and concise.

Subtitles: There are no subtitles presented with this feature. I was very disappointed by this. I had to use the closed-caption feature on my television. I personally do not like using closed-caption, because when you pause it takes a few second to start up again... and the lettering in closed caption has a black background which covers a very small portion of the picture. Note that I take partial points away from both the Video and Sound ratings for not have subtitles.

Extras:
Commentary by Director David Lee and Writer Joe Keenan on The Matchmaker Episode: a

Marching on to Season 2: A six minute featurette with executive producers Peter Casey and David Lee regarding their views on what they had hoped to accomplish in season 2 after the great success of season 1.

The Mystery of Maris Continues: a series of clips from season 2 with references to Maris Crane

Roz's Dating Tips: a series of clips from season 2 with references to Roz and men, dating, etc.

The Niles & Daphne Attraction: a series of clips from season 2 with references to Maris Crane

And then There Was Eddie: a series of clips from season 2 with references to Eddie

Celebrity Voices: a series of clips from season 2 with references to celebrity callers into Frasier's radio talk show. Celebrity guest stars included James Spader, Kevin Bacon, Rosie Perez, Gary Sinese, and John Lithgow amongst others.

Final Thoughts: In preparation for this review, I sat through the complete first season of Frasier. Afterwards I began viewing the second season for this review. While I've seen all of these episodes, it has been sometime since I've sat through an entire season in original order by air date. I was pretty young when Frasier first aired. Recently I've spent a good amount of time watching reruns and new episodes and I've found Frasier to be one of the television series that can watched over and over again. I have thoroughly enjoyed my viewing experience of season two. There is a great amount of comic humor in this season. Frasier: The Complete Second Season is a great addition to one's DVD collection. So I am recommending this title for purchase. However I have one last comment to make. Some people may find this television series is slightly repetitive. Most of the comedy all seems to be for the most part the same. While new episodes are clearly different, the mark of grandeur is without a doubt what we just saw in a pervious episode. But oddly enough some of this repetitive material is what makes this so funny. The final point I am making is that, if you haven't seen a lot of Frasier, but what you did see, you didn't like. You probably won't like this season. Perhaps that is a statement of the obvious, but I felt it should be said.

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