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Frasier Online Episode Guide -> Season 3 -> Episode 3.23

The Focus Group
Episode Details

Written by: Rob Greenberg

Directed by: Philip Charles Mackenzie

Original US airdate: 14th May 1996

Original UK airdate: 13th December 1996

Cast Information
Main Cast
Frasier Crane .... Kelsey Grammer
Niles Crane .... David Hyde Pierce
Martin Crane .... John Mahoney
Daphne Moon .... Jane Leeves
Roz Doyle .... Peri Gilpin
Recurring Cast
Bulldog .... Dan Butler
Guest Cast
Manu .... Tony Shalhoub
Data Collector .... Cameron Watson
Leader .... Henry Woronicz
Paul .... Abdul Salaam El Razzac
Heather .... Heather MacRae
Gary .... Pat Skipper
Chuck .... David Breithbarth
Anne .... Lin Shaye
Amanda .... Marita Geraghty
Guest Callers

Episode Synopsis

Daphne is in a bad mood as Joe is spending their six month anniversary in Las Vegas with his buddies, although Martin does know a few shows that are well worth watching. Niles, on the other hand, is angry that a gallery owner is chasing him for $4000 after he accidentally damaged a painting. The pair's moods creates a friction between them which leads to an all-out slanging match, which seems to turn Niles on who decides to instigate a row at every available opportunity. Frasier though is having to endure his show being put through a focus group, where 12 people listen to Frasier's show and comment on what they think of it. Frasier and Roz are listening to what the group say behind a two way mirror, but his fears about what they might say appear to be unfounded as the whole group seems to love the show - with the exception of one man - Manu - who says he just doesn't like Frasier.

Instead of being able to be satisfied that the majority of the group liked his show, he instead focuses on Manu's comment that he just didn't like him. Hence, when he spots Manu at his news-vendor stand by the side of the road, he decides to send Martin to ask him just what he meant by his comment. He fails to get a answer that is good enough for Frasier, forcing him to go over to speak to Manu himself. At first, Manu says he didn't say those things but things go disastrously wrong when Frasier has to take over Manu's stand, and soon learns why Manu just doesn't like him.....

Episode Title Cards
  • Looks Like He Had A Side Of Sausage Too
  • Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire

Episode Highlights

- Martin tells Frasier about the product he had to review when he was on a focus group:
Martin: It was a meat ball with the cheese injected right in the middle.
Frasier: Just as nature intended (!)

- Niles gets into a fight with Daphne after he castigates her for watching a 'Jerr Springer' style talk show:
Niles: I'm sorry that I'm not as down to earth as you and your mu-mu wearing brethren!

- Bulldog comes into where Frasier and Roz are watching their focus group:
Bulldog: Woah! Your groups even uglier than mine!

- Frasier tells everyone what his focus group said:
Frasier One man actually said "I just don't like him"
Niles: Only one (!)

- Niles doesn't feel safe in the area they've stopped in:
Niles: The docks are 2 blocks away.
Martin: So's the Ritz Carlton.
Niles: Exactly - I'm trapped between heaven and hell!

- Niles tells his father what is happening at Manu's news-stand:
Niles: Frasier set his news stand on fire.
Martin: Uh-huh (!)

Frasier Online Episode Review

Rob Greenberg has written some great 'Frasier' episodes but sadly this isn't one of them - the whole Niles attempting to pick a fight with Daphne plotline didn't really work at all, while the central storyline pushes Frasier's obsessiveness to the fore which has the side effect of making him seem very annoying rather than someone we can side with. There are few good moments, such as Roz's throaty laugh and the Cleveland businessman story that Frasier makes up for Martin to try and find out what Manu meant about his comments - something that Martin promptly ignores when he speaks to Manu. However, these are the exception rather than the rule and the end result is a disappointingly dull episode.


69 %

Latest Viewer Episode Review

Avg. Viewer Review: 81.5%
Total Number of Reviews: 4

Tony Shalhoub, Dec 06, 2011

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia

"The Focus Group" is not my favourite episode of season 3. In
fact, it's probably in the bottom 5, but that doesn't mean it's a

Niles - discovering that Daphne's current moodiness can develop
into fiery arguments - takes any opportunity to anger her. It leads
to some fun scenes, which work because of David Hyde Pierce's
giddy portrayal. I always adore Niles when he pretends to be
melodramatically upset (my favourite Niles moment may just be
his "break-up" with Martin in "Out With Dad").

Meanwhile, Frasier obsesses over the lone member of a KACL
focus group who didn't like his show. There are some good
moments throughout - Roz and Bulldog checking out the one-way
glass; Martin's increasing apathy toward Frasier's actions - but
things kind of peter out. The farce at the end is rather swift and to
the point, and Frasier's soul-searching is somewhat muted. It
says it all that Niles - who is already hogging the best lines in the
other subplot - has the best moments waiting in the car while
Frasier approaches Manu.

I don't hate this episode, or even dislike it. But it's just... not much
of anything to me.

Rating: 70%


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