The Tenth 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, season nine, and the final season.
Season ten is the series' second to last and the final season to be released on DVD. (Season eleven, the final season, was released on DVD to coincide with the series' final broadcast.) This season is very entertaining--just as past seasons. It continues to focus on the neurotic behavior of Frasier, his family, and closest friends as they drudge through that crazy thing called life. In particular, this season has several very dramatic moments, which tie in comedy well. Some of these situations include Niles and Daphne eloping (multiple times), Frasier and the gang facing difficult times when Niles has surgery, Frasier and Lilith consider having a second child together, Kenny's divorce finalizes, and Roz considers leaving KACL for a new job. In addition, the season has several general fun and silly moments from Martin hiring a new housekeeper to Frasier speaking Klingon to the Crane boys learning to ride a bicycle to a sexual harassment seminar at KACL.
The season begins with "The Ring Cycle". It is about Niles and Daphne getting hitched. In season nine, they were running into all sorts of issues and decided to run off to elope. Unfortunately, in the state of Washington there is a three day waiting period to get a marriage license. Naturally, they decided to go to Reno, Nevada. Season ten picks up here. They have a "romantic" Reno wedding and return to Seattle to find out everyone is excited to be part of the joyous event. Niles and Daphne are forced to endure multiple fake weddings to please everyone. Daphne's ex-boyfriend Donnie makes a casual and fun appearance. Following their wedding, storylines with Niles-Daphne play a big role in the season. For instance, they host their first dinner party in "Daphne Goes Dinner". It is an utter disaster and has lots of laughs in store.
Midseason there is a dramatic storyline introduced over the course of three episodes, which include "Bristle While Your Work", "Rooms With A View", and "Don't Go Breaking My Heart". The first episode deals with Martin and Frasier neurotically looking for a new housekeeper. Martin's pick, Trish, is as unprofessional as they get and Martin hides this fact from Frasier by doing her job. Meanwhile, there is a subplot with Niles beating the odds in almost everything, which leads him to finding out he has a rare heart condition. In the next episode, Niles is preparing to undergo surgery. The episode turns to the dramatic and has a lot of emotion as the cast reflects on the past, present, and future. In the third episode, Niles is recovering from his operation and his fear gets the best of him. But he keeps his head up high and tries to live life as a new Niles.
Other big dramatic developments deal with Frasier, Kenny, and Roz. Frasier is approached by Lilith in "Lilith Needs A Favor". She asks for his sperm so that they can have another child. Frasier is reluctant at first, but agrees. However, his hesitation comes back with a vengeance when it comes time to make the "donation". Kenny's life turns upside down in "Kenny On The Couch". While he knew it was coming, he feels down after the divorce is finalized. Frasier takes it upon himself to cure him of his problems. Unfortunately, Martin's medicine works better. Roz considers a major life change in the season finale "A New Position For Roz" when she is offered a better job. It is a tough decision for her, as she has been with Frasier for so long.
The season has a lot of generally fun moments, which include "Star Mitzvah", Frasier asks Noel for his help in translating the speech for his son's Bar Mitzvah, but after he betrays Noel, Noel translates the speech into Klingon instead of Hebrew, "The Harassed", Frasier accidentally sexually harass Julia Wilcox, the new girl on the KACL staff, and it results in the entire KACL team enduring sexual harassment training, "Fraternal Schwinns", Frasier and Niles learn to ride a bicycle, and "Trophy Girlfriend", Frasier dates the perfect woman, who is a P.E. gym teacher and her job brings back painful grade school memories.
Overall, Frasier's tenth season if a lot of fun and has some pretty big moments for the entire cast. The general tone is similar to past seasons, albeit there are several dramatic plotlines. Still, the neurotic behavior of the Crane boys continues to be a great source of humor, as well as their interaction with the rest of the cast. This season is should not be missed by fans.
1. The Ring Cycle: Wedding bells finally ring for Niles and Daphne, but not without familial complications.