Frasier Online Episode Guide -> Season 8 -> Episode 8.20
Semi-Decent Proposal / A Passing Fancy
Written by: Lori Kirkland [SDP] & Jon Sherman [APF]
Directed by: Katy Garretson [SDP] & Kelsey Grammer [APF]
Original US airdate: 15th May 2001
Original UK airdate: 25th May 2001 [SDP] / 1st June 2001 [APF]
Frasier and Niles are in an electronics store buying a DVD player, when Frasier takes a fancy to a lady in line but Niles manages to ruin his attempts at chatting her up. Just then, Frasier's high school prom queen Lana Gardner walks into the store and it turns out that the lady Frasier had his eye on is a friend of Lana's and is called Claire. Lana then spies Frasier and Niles and introduces them both to Claire, but the awkwardness of their meeting causes Frasier to rush off closely followed by Claire who wants Frasier to bring Lana to her surprise birthday party. Frasier is a little hesitant, bearing in mind the failed attempt at a relationship he had with Lana last year, but Claire convinces him.
As Frasier drives Lana to her party, she tells Frasier that her ex-husband is getting married the next day to his young secretary and the last thing she wants is to be around other people. Frasier then has to spill the secret birthday plans to get her to go, but once there Frasier then spends the evening wooing Claire but Lana keeps trying to push her towards a man named Neil. At the end of the party, Lana is lamenting her life and Frasier joins in by complaining he has missed out on his chance with Claire. Lana, though, has a proposal - tutor her son Kirby in American history and she'll arrange a date for Frasier with Claire.
Frasier begins keeping up his end of the bargain by tutoring Kirby, but finds it hard going as he seems disinterested. Learning that he broke up with his girlfriend, Frasier offers Kirby the chance to take Roz to the prom in return for studying hard - which he agrees to. Meanwhile, progress is slow for Frasier on the Claire front as Lana is waiting for just the right time to fix her and Frasier up - so when Claire meets Frasier by chance at Cafe Nervosa, he finds it hard to resist saying no to her offer of going to dinner with her. Things come to a head when Kirby and his prom friends come to the same restaurant as Frasier and Claire are dining at - especially when Lana arrives.....
|Episode Title Cards|
- Niles believes Frasier is the technologically incompetent one:
Niles: You thought your CD-ROM drive was a cup holder!
- Claire wants to ask Frasier a question:
Roz: Saturday night, are you free?
Frasier: Only with a coupon (!)
- Roz has brought the Caddyshack DVD to watch:
Roz: Who's funnier than that gopher?
Daphne: Roger Rabbit!
- Niles reveals he once beat up a kid at school:
Martin: Wasn't that the kid with rickets?
Niles: Rickets and a smart mouth!
- Martin reveals his deepest dark secret:
Martin: Every time I watch 'The Sound of Music', I cry.
- Martin's reaction to Roz's darkest secret.
- Frasier begins to tutor Kirby:
Frasier: So, which chapter are you on?
Kirby: Woah, is that my book?
- Frasier tells his father he is tutoring Kirby in return for a date
Martin: I remember when you used to tutor kids so they wouldn't beat you up - I guess this is progress!
- Lana reveals Kirby broke up with his girlfriend:
Kirby: Thanks for spreading that around.
Lana: Frasier doesn't care - he went to the prom with his brother!
Frasier: Thanks for spreading that around (!)
- Niles describes Daphne's sleeping habits:
Niles: She's like a tuna on a trawler deck!
- Kirby wonders how Frasier will get Roz to got the prom with him:
Frasier: You just leave that to me & Bruce Springsteen.
Kirby: 'The Boss'!
Frasier: No - Bruce Springsteen.
- Lana thinks Kirby's prom date, Roz, is a hooker:
Kirby's Friend: You're a hooker?
Frasier: She works for me.
Kirby's Friend: You're her pimp?!
|Frasier Online Episode Review|
This is a one hour episode with an interesting history (see note below) that sees the return of Jean Smart. Eagle eyed viewers may recall that Jean Smart's character was called Lorna Lynley in 'Big Crane On Campus', but for legal reasons, the producers had to change the name to Lana Gardner. Either way, although Jean Smart plays her pretty well, Lana's screaming act continues - which still seems rather annoying, but thankfully there isn't much of it to endure. The first half of the episode seems a little slow at times while it sets up the story, and the DVD party followed by Niles, Martin, Daphne and Roz revealing their darkest secrets falls a little flat as it doesn't really lead to anything particularly amusing. Luckily, the second half is much better with better jokes, and a nicely farcical ending with insults traded between Frasier, Lana, Kirby and Claire. Taken as a whole, it doesn't match other hour long episodes such as 'Three Dates and a Breakup', coming across rather stretched with a plot that takes some time to get going and and is only fitfully amusing throughout.
Production History: There is an interesting footnote to this episode - it was originally conceived as 2 separate episodes, as you can tell from the completely different writing and directing teams for each episode. However, once filmed the producers felt that 'Semi-Decent Proposal' was a little light on plot, while 'A Passing Fancy' relied too heavily on having seen the previous episode to understand what was going on. It was then decided to broadcast the 2 episodes together in the States as a 1 hour episode, which explains the rather unusual credits - having the title of the episode and who wrote and directed it within the credits is something never before seen on the show. Also, when Channel 4 screened the 2 episodes over 2 weeks, the scene they showed over the closing credits (Niles escaping from Daphne's sleeping habits on to a bed on the floor) was the same on both weeks.
|Latest Viewer Episode Review|
Avg. Viewer Review:
Total Number of Reviews: 4
Mind them? I prefer it!, May 19, 2013
Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia
Like other reviewers here, I struggle to make up my mind on the merits of this two-parter. There's a much more sombre tone to the episodes overall, with less reliance on one-liners and more interest in developing the atmosphere of a scene, like little dramatic set-pieces. I don't inherently have a problem with this (and indeed, one could really say this is the start of a six-part episode that extends through to the end of "Don Juan in Hell") but it makes for an unusual viewing experience after eight seasons of "Frasier" as it exists.
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