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Episode reviews for Episode 7.13 - They're Playing Our Song

Avg. Viewer Review: 93.1%
Number of Reviews: 12

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A Soupcon of Awe, May 16, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia


After the solid consistency of season 6, season 7 never missteps entirely, but tends - particularly in the second half - toward lightweight outings that offer great moments and spotty scenes. "They're Playing our Song" is a case in point for me.

Despite reminding me in parts of "Ham Radio" and in parts of "Martin Does It His Way", this episode's central conceit - that Frasier cannot think simply - is a solid foundation. We've seen on numerous occasions in season 7 his delusions of grandeur, and they come across here in a smartly written manner, contrasted nicely with Martin.

Most of the episode is, to my mind, pretty disposable. Daphne's Dirt Sucker 2000 doesn't merit the time spent on it; the Tiffany/Timpani jokes stretch credulity (maybe it's because I've spent time in an orchestra but... she's never been given directions based on her instrument before?), and the Martin/Frasier conflict is really too predictable thanks to Martin's jingle being sung in its entirety (so as to be rejected by Frasier) early in the episode. With no subplot to speak of, the episode has to bide its time to get to the pay-off scene, and it feels like treading water.

Thankfully, the set-piece orchestra scene is howlingly funny. Frasier as his most pompous, completely unable to empathise with the stranded choir, and turning Kenny to stone. (Kenny has typically been a bit of a non-entity, but this is the start of some good writing for him. "Monday...ish" is quite a funny line.) From Frasier's point of view, this level of dedication to the song makes perfect sense. The song itself is just phenomenal, from the inventive use of the instruments to the hilarious psychological rhymes and of course Niles' powerful speeches. (The characters refer to it as a "monologue" and Niles mentions "paragraphs", but that's clearly inaccurate.) Roz's boyfriend Leon on the triangle is the crowning touch. (Although, one has to marvel at how much the brothers must have bonded for Niles to willingly be directed by Frasier after "Ham Radio"!)

The rest of the episode, in which Martin helps Frasier see the light, is competently written and ends sweetly, but again it feels as if all of the creative energy was spent on the central scene, and a "Frasier must face his own obstacles" template was grafted on to it.


Rating: 79%

 

BRILLIANT!, Mar 02, 2010

Reviewer: Alexandra Reed from Sydney, Australia


This has to be one of my favourite episodes!
As a thirteen year old girl who is Frasier's biggest fan, I just loved the pomposity and Frasier's composition is brilliant!!

I loved this episode.


Rating: 98%

 

Magnum Opus, Jan 12, 2009

Reviewer: David Sim from Skelmersdale, Lancashire


Both Joe Keenan and David Lloyd have penned trilogies during they're time on Frasier. With Keenan, its gay mix-ups. With Lloyd, its screwball farce. Beginning with The Innkeepers, Ham Radio, and finally They're Playing Our Song.

They're Playing Our Song lacks the outright lunacy of the first two, but its highly enjoyable. A shame David Lloyd didn't end his tenure on the show with this episode. His illustrious career on Frasier ended with a whimper instead of the bang it deserved when he wrote the unremarkable Forgotten But Not Gone.

For this one, Lloyd has not only looked to Ham Radio for inspiration, but one of his lesser known efforts from Season 3, Martin Does It His Way. The episode where the Crane Boys tried to write a song for Frank Sinatra. Much like Keenan's Out With Dad, it manages to spin new angles from familiar themes, and does it so well that it doesn't feel like Lloyd is ripping himself off.

KACL has asked Frasier to write a jingle to promote his show. And Frasier typically takes the hard way by blowing things up to absurd proportions. Ignoring Martin's sound advice (and not for the first time), Frasier decides to go all out with a full size symphony orchestra, a choir and Niles doing an overly dramatic monologue.

We get to see Frasier in full on, power mad mode here. Conducting his ensemble with expected pomposity, I was pleasantly reminded of Ham Radio. I love the way he refers to Niles as Actor. And the players by their instruments and not their names.

David Lloyd proved to be a fine songwriter in Martin Does It His Way, but he really outdoes himself here. The lyrics to the song are a wonderful showcase of Frasier's egocentric pretensions. Helped greatly by Niles' monologue, delivered with real dramatic intensity by David Hyde Pierce. I wouldn't dare spoil the song for you. Knowing the lyrics just by reading them takes a lot of the fun out of the episode. It has to be heard. But know this. Its one of the finest things David Lloyd has ever written for the show. He should have chose this episode as his swan song (pun intended).

Naturally its Martin who comes to Frasier's rescue with a much simpler song that manages to get Frasier's message across to its audience in just ten seconds. The sound of a triangle, played by Roz's boyfriend at the end of it is a delightful touch.

They're Playing Our Song is a real treat. It leaves you with a light, bouncy feeling for the rest of the day. A pleasant change from the Niles/Daphne/Mel/Donny plotline for this season. As well as an always welcome appearance from Gil, and the sight of a vacuum cleaner blowing up by trying to suck up the dust off of Martin's chair! What more could anyone ask?

Best quote of the episode. Daphne's opinion of Frasier's opus:
"Sort of like Gilbert & Sullivan. Only frightening."


Rating: 95%

 

I like it. Funny!, Nov 27, 2007

Reviewer: Nick from Denver, CO USA


I love how Frasier conducts! It's funny hear the song.


Rating: 92%

 

I roared!, Oct 29, 2007

Reviewer: JimD from Washington Crossing, PA


The core humor of Frasier revolves around the writers making fun of his self-indulgent-yet-inescapable pomposity, followed by his touching remorse and very vulnerable retracting from it as he becomes *usually embarassingly) aware of his foibles and foolishness - all wrapped together with a powerful human, caring touch...and this episode is rich in that formula. From the preparation of the song (his classic dismissiveness of Martin's input), the performance of the song (description can not begin to do it justice, you have to see it to believe it), and the subsequent being forced back to acknowledging and using Martin's simple jingle formula - classic, screaming laugh-out loud moments followed by the viewers' sympathetic tie to him as he has to publicly come down from his high horse. Throw in a hilarious vaccuum sequence referencing Frasier's pillow and Martin's chair, and this is fantastic comedy with lines that are classically unpredictable, followed by more that continually one-up the previous line somehow.
And, as always, there is a very subtle but powerful relationship touch at the very end as Frasier keeps a promise to Roz, delivering on something that means a lot to her, and means less than nothing to him - the bow on the package that makes you know this is more than an "I Love Lucy" episode, it's "Frasier," cerebral, considered, and amazingly funny - and really about relationships and caring, the blood coursing through each episode's veins (he does not forget a friend's request in the maelstrom of his other self-indulgent, manic, non-stop activities)...classic, tremendous Frasier.


Rating: 100%

 

I love this song!, Aug 12, 2007

Reviewer: Jay Leighty from Tulsa, OK USA


This is a great example of how you can draw from a familiar formula and still be fresh and creative. This episods has more than a passing similarity to 'Ham Radio', but remains just as sharp and funny as that earlier classic episode. In 'Ham Radio', Frasier directs a radio stage play, and in this he finds himself conducting an orchestra. In both cases, he enlists Niles for his acting skills and proceeds to pretentiously abuse his own authority with the smug assurance that his artistic instincts are best. However, the energy of this episode, the great (and hilarious) musical jingle(s) and the great one-liners make this much more than a cheap rewrite. It also has a more upbeat ending than 'Ham Radio' and shows how Frasier has learned to adapt and learn from his mistakes. Coming in the same season, as a genuine cheap rewrite 'Radio Wars' (an almost note for note rewrite of 'Leapin Lizards' that improved not one patch on the orginal), this just goes to show that for every bad episode of Frasier there are ten great ones and even when treading over the same old ground, the writers can still find something new to say.


Rating: 95%

 

Absolute Scream!!!, Jan 09, 2007

Reviewer: Chevy54 from Clinton, NY


This episode is one of my absolute favorites.....right up there with the "Ham Radio" from season 4....don't miss this one...be prepared to roar.


Rating: 99%

 

There Playing our song june 2006, Jun 12, 2006

Reviewer: Stephen from Preston Uk


I watched this episode for the fist time today and i found it one of the most funniest episodes of Frasier that i have seen so funny i watched the episode again on paramount+1as soon as it was on again.


Rating: 94%

 

carked, May 26, 2006

Reviewer: kidd kranky from Eugene, OR


I'm with theworld2 on this one, i was carking and carking.

I went to bed carking because of this song.

Woke up and carked thrice more.

Still have an occasional cark when I remember the song.


Rating: 100%

 

THEY'RE PLAYING OUR SONG, Nov 06, 2005

Reviewer: Cake for Brains from Manchester, UK


‘Whether choosing a wine, or the best place to dine,
It’s all a matter of taste, yes sir, it’s all a matter of taste!’

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, nobody writes Gil Chesterton like David Lloyd, and this delightful episode opens with Edward Hibbert displaying her vocal skills as the lovably pompous food critic. The main plot of this episode proves to be a very funny episode, and for some very strange reason I always get rather excited about music based episode, and this episode doesn’t disappoint. In my opinion the best laughs of the episode are derived from the actual songs themselves, whether it be Martin’s light heartedly successful jingle or Frasier’s fully blown frightening Gilbert and Sullivan rendition. Along the way we also get some great moments and some really sharp one-liners, and a scene that stands out is the vacuum cleaner exploding when Daphne attempts to clean Martin’s beloved chair!

The scene at the church hall is brilliant, and is memorable for Roz’s boyfriend Leon, and his triangle playing skills, because Frasier eliminated the guitar. There were some lovely moments such as ‘nothing says maniac depression like the bagpipes’, ‘try whistling that thing you wrote today and I got nauseous’ and the ‘trombone frightened me!’ However the best part of the episode is without the fabulous performance of the song, which contains some truly magnificent lyrics, which I suggest watching several times just so you don’t miss any of it. David Hyde Pierce wonderfully delivers Niles dramatic monologue, accompanied by musical sound effects, in the middle of the song, thus making this episode one of my choice highlights from Season 7. I’ll conclude the review by quoting for Frasier’s hysterical song:

‘Who can you turn to for prompt diagnosis,
A fetish, or fantasy, sex or psychosis,
Stop scratching your head, let us cure it instead,
On our show, on our show!’

‘Bring us your trauma’s, your latent neuroses,
Erectile dysfunctions, bed wetting narcosis,
There’s no need for shame, you can use a false name,
On our show, on our show!’

My one quibble with this episode is that it does seem fairly reminiscent of other David Lloyd written episode such as Season 3’s ‘Martin Does It His Way’ and Season 4’s masterpiece ‘Ham Radio’. Needless to say though, this episode is still successful – I mean how many shows could work in lyrics like:
‘Claustrophobia, Nymphomania, He will probe ya, He'll explain t'ya!’ – brilliant!


Rating: 88%

 

 
 

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