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The Gay Trilogy

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The Gay Trilogy

Postby Allystare » Wed May 14, 2014 5:31 pm

I am referring in the title to the episodes associated with the writer Joe Keenan which are all centered around the theme of some character or another being mistaken as gay. The episodes are "The Matchmaker", "Out with Dad", and "The Doctor is Out". They are all highly regarded from what I can gather, but for some reason, The Matchmaker tends to be the favourite around these parts, with Out with Dad being second, and The Doctor is Out being a distant third - though most people agree that all three episodes are classics. Why is that? I haven't watched the Matchmaker in quite some time, but to me, The Doctor is Out seems a lot better. There is a lot of constant, sharp and funny lines, a very packed plot (a lot happens), and just some brilliant acting (especially Stewart), and the themes (Frasier's self-delusion) are very interesting. I'd say Out with Dad is pretty good too, though I'd put it slightly below The Doctor is Out, or perhaps in the same category/level. The Matchmaker, I remember being a good episode (I haven't watched it in ages), but nothing that's quite as hilarious and sharp as the Doctor is Out. Perhaps it's the fact that it happened in the early seasons, which do have a certain quirky charm about them that was noticeably lacking in the later episodes or something. So what's so good about the Matchmaker?
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Re: The Gay Trilogy

Postby Patrick » Wed May 14, 2014 7:25 pm

IMO, of the three episodes, The Matchmaker is the only one that has a foothold in reality, assuming that that is a criterion by which to judge an episode that is. It is based on an honest mistake on both parts and effectively in the end no harm is done.
Out With Dad implies an elaborate deception that is too unethical and shortsighted to be possible given Frasier's expectations in life. I mean he just pretended that his dad was a homosexual and went along with the lie that his brother was in fact an (ex)lover of his own dad. How can he hope not only to have any kind of long term relationship with the woman but also to see her again in any kind of social gathering and carry on such cumbersome lie. I mean the woman (I don't remember her name) is bound to bump into him or his brother at one time or another and find out that she's been lied to in that egregious way... I mean this is the kind of deception that we would expect in a show like Two and a Half Men for example but not in Frasier. IOW, unless Frasier sleeps with that woman once and never sees or hears from her again, this seems more damaging to his reputation than it's worth.
The Doctor is Out though not implicating such scandalous deception is equally unbelievable. The idea that mature men could be so deluded one as to assume that the other one was his lover without any kind of confirmation whatsoever on his part, I mean one would expect that he would have least said something to Frasier to the effect of "I am sorry but I can't sleep with you because I never do before a premiere of my operas..." or at least tried to give him some light mark of affection, is just unbelievable. The idea that Frasier for so long would have deluded himself into thinking that the other man didn't want more of him than just a platonic relation is equally ridiculous and unbelievable. That said these episodes were otherwise well written, once you've overcome the need for a dose of suspension of disbelief and I think in that respect the third one is indeed the best acted of the three and the first one (chronologically) is the least interesting (mostly because the actor playing the gay man was a bit dull and didn't have much to do in matter of acting.).
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Re: The Gay Trilogy

Postby heartofmotion » Thu May 15, 2014 12:18 pm

I agree. The Matchmaker is the only one of the three that has a realistic premise. Frasier wants to help Daphne out with her love life and an apparently eligible bachelor arrives on the scene. The comedy is based on a realistic misunderstanding as Frasier doesn't realise that Tom is gay. The denouement is also completely believable as we know Niles' feelings about Daphne will make him try to intervene, and this causes Tom to reveal his true intentions.

I don't like Out With Dad because the way Martin behaves is just not believable, especially the way he drags his own son into the deception. I guess it's more like a farce like The Ski Lodge where unrealistic things do happen. Patrick Stewart is excellent in The Doctor Is Out but again the premise is unbelievable. There's no way Frasier would actually go along with the pretence of being gay to gain status rewards (although it's funny to think he might!) and the misunderstanding is too far-fetched. The sub plot about Barry is also a bit tedious. IMO, these episodes are part of the overplaying of the gay element in later seasons. I mean that some episodes seem too contrived in order to get certain gay jokes and storylines in and the story loses emotional realism and impact as a consequence.
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Re: The Gay Trilogy

Postby Patrick » Thu May 15, 2014 4:04 pm

The thing that I find funny about the Barry subplot is that it didn't occur to Frasier nor did it to Roz that Barry could simply be bi. The fact that a man enjoy having sex with a woman is no proof that he doesn't enjoy is with a man and vice versa. Yet both Roz and Frasier seemed convinced by the fact that he had sex with Roz... Other than that there's also the "none of your business" perspective. I found it disgusting the way Frasier thought that he had a moral right to spy on Barry. First as I said, Barry could be bi, and he could keep in touch with gay friends in that bar. So to conclude as Frasier said that Barry was deceiving Roz just because he entered a gay bar is idiotic. If this were real and I would have been there I would have told Frasier that he was overstepping his bounds and then lectured him on how to behave. Note that this entire story (including) the one with Frasier and the Opera man, is a story of prejudice and dissimulation.

Imagine the intensity of Frasier's prejudice: A man going out with Roz is seen (apparently) entering a gay bar means:
1) he's gay
2) he doesn't like women
3) He's cheating on Roz with a man

I mean you only see this level of assumption in the Spanish inquisition or the American McCarthyism... Nowhere else.

The ironic thing is that then a man that called in Frasier's show assumed AS FRASIER did with Barry that since Frasier was in a bar where he knew the bartender and was seen with Niles fretting about being late...etc that then Frasier was gay. It didn't occur to meddling Frasier then that the caller had a much stronger case than Frasier had when he thought he saw Barry simply enter the bar... At no point did Frasier say to himself (Hey if I had seen myself in that bar I would have concluded the same way the caller did about me.)
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Re: The Gay Trilogy

Postby PistolPoet » Thu May 15, 2014 5:22 pm

I like The Matchmaker because Tom is portrayed as an ordinary guy. There are no gay stereotypes involved (not only gay men like the theatre and fashion!) and he isn't all flamboyant like Alistair and the uncle in Out With Dad.
I'm OK with Out With Dad and I do watch it now and again, but Martin's role in the whole farce doesn't seem too believable. Sure, it's season 7 and he's grown quite a lot since the beginning of the show, but I still doesn't think he'd agree to play a gay man as readily as he did. I don't even think he'd know how to behave like a gay stereotype, since I think his idea of gay people comes from the '50s (as we see in The Doctor Is Out, he seems to think all gay men are muscly and carry poodles :P ).
I don't watch The Doctor Is Out at all, because (I'm in the minority here) I really don't like season 11, so I hardly watch any episodes from it. Also, the image of Alistair and Frasier as an actual couple makes me wince for some reason. Plus I didn't like the character of Alistair (wonderfully acted though it was). He's judgmental - "We're expecting" "Can't say I was", he's full of himself and he's even more pretentious and pompous than Frasier.
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Re: The Gay Trilogy

Postby Patrick » Thu May 15, 2014 9:52 pm

PistolPoet wrote:I like The Matchmaker because Tom is portrayed as an ordinary guy. There are no gay stereotypes involved (not only gay men like the theatre and fashion!) and he isn't all flamboyant like Alistair and the uncle in Out With Dad.

Very true, but that was the whole idea. He had to seem straight in order to make Frasier's mistake believable.

I'm OK with Out With Dad and I do watch it now and again, but Martin's role in the whole farce doesn't seem too believable. Sure, it's season 7 and he's grown quite a lot since the beginning of the show, but I still doesn't think he'd agree to play a gay man as readily as he did. I don't even think he'd know how to behave like a gay stereotype, since I think his idea of gay people comes from the '50s (as we see in The Doctor Is Out, he seems to think all gay men are muscly and carry poodles :P ).

I agree totally. Martin did a very believable gay (although it's actually creditable to the actor), too believable to be true. One would think he would have played him as someone from la cage aux folles...


I don't watch The Doctor Is Out at all, because (I'm in the minority here) I really don't like season 11, so I hardly watch any episodes from it. Also, the image of Alistair and Frasier as an actual couple makes me wince for some reason. Plus I didn't like the character of Alistair (wonderfully acted though it was). He's judgmental - "We're expecting" "Can't say I was", he's full of himself and he's even more pretentious and pompous than Frasier.

I agree totally that Alistair was like ten times more pretentious and snobbish than Frasier but for the role he was expected to be. Not all gays are like that, sure. But the ones who live in an environment where they are actually expected to act very gay and snobbish, likely do. In France there are gay people that are in the entertainment business and I can assure you that they are ultra-gay! Even more than Alistair. I could give you a list but if you've never watched French television, that won't mean anything to you.
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