The Ninth Season
Frasier was a spin-off series from the popular sitcom Cheers. It is about Cheers' character Dr. Frasier Crane, a neurotic radio psychiatrist and his exploits with Dr. Niles Crane (David Hyde Pierce), brother and fellow neurotic psychiatrist, Martin Crane (John Mahoney), father and retired police officer, Daphne Moon (Jane Leeves), Martin's physical therapist, and Roz Doyle (Peri Gilpin), radio producer and longtime friend. For more detail about this series please refer to DVD Talk's reviews of the premiere episodes, season one, season two, season three, season four, season five, season six, season seven, season eight, and the final season.
In season nine, the antics of Frasier and company's daily lives continue to be hilarious. Some of the fun moments include Frasier rejoining his former buddies from Cheers, Niles and Daphne's engagement, Daphne's mother and loopy brother visiting, and Frasier's feud with neighbor Cam Winston. There are also some dramatic stories about Roz fearing that she won't have anyone and Martin going back to work. All in all, season nine has several hilarious and fun moments.
Beginning the season is the two-part episode "Don Juan In Hell". In season eight, Frasier put a lot of effort into helping Lana's son Kirby do well in school. The effort was to get on Lana's good side and the reward was to get fixed up with her friend Claire. But during the season eight finale, Frasier realized his feelings for Lana. In the season nine premiere, he tries to decide if he wants to be with Lana or Claire. The situation is a pickle for Frasier and has guest stars Bebe Neuwirth and Shelley Long playing ghosts of his psyche.
Niles and Daphne's relationship continues to be a key storyline this season. In the two-part episode "Mother Load", they decide to move in together. Complications arise when Daphne's mother Gertrude (Millicent Martin) and brother Simon (Anthony LaPaglia, Murder One) show up. The Moons are a handful for everyone, but they also spice up the comedy. "The Proposal" is a great episode where Niles decides to propose to Daphne. This classic episode has some great moments, which include Niles and Frasier shopping for the engagement ring and a goofy wedding proposal that is perfect for a sitcom.
In "The Return Of Martin", the show gets a little serious when Martin prepares to go back to work as a security guard. Frasier and Niles worry about how it will affect their father, going back to work. It leads to Martin reminiscing about when he was shot. It is a tough issue for him to deal with and all of the bickering between Niles, Daphne, Frasier, and Roz do not help the matter. "The Guilt Tripper" is another serious episode about Roz and her feelings. Roz has a tough time dealing with her boyfriend Roger breaking up with her. Matters are complicated further when she and Frasier sleep together.
"Cheerful Goodbyes" is a great episode that intermixes select cast members from Frasier and Cheers. Frasier takes Niles, Martin, and Daphne to Boston with the intent of showing Niles his former city. However, their plans change when Frasier finds out Cliff (John Ratzenberger) is having a retirement party. At the party are other familiar faces from Cheers like Carla (Rhea Pearlman) and Norm (George Wendt). What makes it a fun episode is how well the chemistry between both casts work together.
Another fun aspect this season is Frasier's feud with neighbor Cam Winston (Brian Strokes Mitchell). In "Mother Load", Frasier gets Cam in a lot of hot water with the condo association regarding his Hum Vee. Cam strikes back by making Frasier look unpatriotic. "The Love You Fake" is another episode with Frasier and Cam butting heads. Cam's mother Cora (Emily Yancy) and Martin pretend to be in love so that the boys will play nice. What makes the Frasier-Cam relationship fun is how similar they are to each other.
Some other fun things that happen this season include Frasier getting grilled by a group of teenagers on Teen Scene, the 200th episode of Fraiser where Frasier celebrates his 2000th radio show, Frasier's interview with Bill Gates, Lilith's conman brother (Michael Keaton) visiting and conning Frasier, Bebe assigns Frasier a junior agent who is also her secretary, and more. Overall, this season of Frasier is a strong collection of episodes with lots of good stories, crazy antics, and fun guest stars. In the end, it is a must own.
1. Don Juan In Hell: Shelley Long and Bebe Neuwirth reprise their Cheers roles as Diane and Lilith in fantasy sequences in which they try to help Frasier resolve a romantic quandary.
12. Mother Load (Part 2): Conclusion. Tempers flare between Daphne and her disparaging mum, and Frasier and his defiant neighbor (Brian Stokes Mitchell).