Frasier Online
home About The Show Episode Guide Merchandise Forum Reviews Gallery Contact
Episode reviews for Episode 11.14 - Freudian Sleep

Avg. Viewer Review: 64.6%
Number of Reviews: 14

Write an online review and share your thoughts.

Ambition vs quality, May 29, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia

"Freudian Sleep" is a delightfully controversial episode, dividing those who think it is an bold stab at surrealism for a show that was never afraid to do its own thing, and those who argue that a host of visual trickery and shallow observations like "Daphne fears becoming unattractive" do not an episode justify. I'm definitely not that negative about the episode, but I do ultimately see this as a failed experiment. Last time "Frasier" failed an experimental episode ("A Day in May"), I wanted my darndest to like it, but just couldn't. This time, my admiration for the idea somewhat makes up for my indifference.

Structurally, the episode is a bit of a mess. Ronee is back after a reasonably long absence (this episode was filmed 17th, so either they were being efficient with Wendie Malick's schedule, or they weren't quite sure early in the season if she would be the narrative endgame for Martin) and the first five minutes are quite fun as the older couple accidentally invite everyone on a weekend away. By making Ronee and Martin the protagonists, the episode suggests that we might be looking at the way these characters will approach family interaction in the post-series, "coupled off" lifestyle. At the same time, the series has convinced us by this point that these characters love each other dearly, so I suppose I'm glad we didn't get that. Instead the episode treats us to a series of dreams, elaborating on the characters' neuroses (and/or love of chicken). As others have mentioned, few of the dreams are surprising or edifying. Niles fears parental responsibility and spousal disdain, Daphne (Jane Leeves being back full-time after the birth of her second child) fears losing Niles and her figure, Frasier thinks he is losing popularity and is without romance, and Eddie likes chicken. Marty's dream is, thankfully, a surprise - bursting out into a jazz standard with Ronee!

Look, "Frasier" has always been a bold sitcom, even if it was willing to stay inside the box while doing so. This is definitely a "Frasier" episode. The production team clearly relish the task, particularly in the Niles dream and the KACL sequence (and whoever had the cheeky idea of dressing up a sexy female Martin Crane). For people working weekly in shades of beige, this must've been a joy. Similarly, the script does tie in to the series' concerns, which have been reflected in microcosm this season: the way Daphne and Niles have evolved as real people but can't forget their very different pasts; Marty's relinquishing of his former sadsack ways; Frasier's career flaws (which have come up consistently) and his romantic failures (which have been less prominent, but are about to become the series' raison d'etre). So, I respect it a lot. However, what loses the episode some points is - weirdly - that it's not abstract enough. I would have to assume the studio audience watched these pre-filmed sequences on video, because much of the humour is conceptual rather than guttural. Take Roz at KACL, telling Frasier "not that one, the black one!". That's not uproariously funny by any stretch, but it has a conceit to it that works. I understand that it would likely not have been an option, but if the episode had been filmed without studio laughter, and with perhaps more work on the script as a whole, maybe it would've been a series highlight: a more abstract piece that allowed them to really explore the dream. (Take the mystery of Frasier's dream about Gil many seasons ago. That justified the 22 minutes by being necessarily abstract. The only genuinely abstract moments here are Niles baking his baby in a pie, and Frasier repeatedly saying "I'll have Roz send you some flowers" - one of the most fascinating elements of how Daphne sees Frasier.)

But I'm not looking to rewrite "Frasier", so I'll just sum up what we have here. An episode that, when it comes down to it, is ambitious and well-realised by the production team. The script has flaws - an odd structure, a tendency to prioritise knowing smiles rather than belly laughs despite a clear desire to get a rise out of the audience, and a series of dreams that don't allow time to include much more complicated than cobwebs on the KACL control board. I ultimately can't speak too ill of this, though, because it's a laudable attempt to weave some more depth and closure into these characters only a few weeks before we leave them for good. In science, a failed experiment can still yield results that are just as important. That's the closest analogy I can come up with to explain "Freudian Sleep"

Rating: 75%


Freudian nightmare, Sep 11, 2012

Reviewer: Lucy from London

Whilst watching this awful episode I had to remind myself that I was actually watching an episode of Frasier.
It seemed to have plunged to the level of a lot of other American sitcoms. This episode was weak and one of my least favourites. It was not funny or enjoyable.
Afterwards I was left just thinking what the hell was that all about!!

Rating: 30%


Brilliant!, Jun 06, 2012

Reviewer: Tid from SW England

I can only assume that the reviewers who hated this don't like to be so
far out of their Frasier comfort zone? Or maybe it's one of those "either
you love it or you hate it" things.

I applaud the producers for creating something so surreal and bizarre,
and also the cast for getting their teeth into their performances. And it
wasn't a complete waste of time as far as story arcs go, as we found out
about Niles' and Daphne's hidden neuroses. And a few new ones of
Frasier's too! The ending with Martin's idealised Busby Berkeley showbiz
dance number brought a perfect finale.

Rating: 90%


Intelligent humour at its best, Mar 27, 2011

Reviewer: Jim from Dublin, Ireland

One of those episodes that manages to intrigue and puzzle. The first time I watched it I hated it. The second time I liked it a lot. The third time I loved it.

It combines intelligence, surrealism and mystery. Definitely a classic within the comedy genre. It was a brave comedy show that was willing to try something so out of the audience's normal comfort zone, and reminded me why Frasier is my all time favour comedy show - its ability to challenge as well as amuse.

It isn't in my top 10 humour wise, but in terms of my top ten intelligent comedies across many shows, this certainly features. The fact that it discomforts the viewer highlights how much of a challenge it is. It does not fit into the normal clichéd structure of comedy. I admire any show willing to break outside the norms of comedy and try something so radical.

Rating: 100%


Relentlessly funny, Sep 15, 2010

Reviewer: Pat from Glastonbury England

We loved the non-stop humor in this one. and what a fantastic ending! It was especially welcome because the previous episode with Abrasive Ann was not so amusing.

Rating: 99%


The End., Aug 23, 2010

Reviewer: Samuel Fisher from Garrison NY

Why is this episode great? The producers took the time out (as they did with a few others
like Crocktales) to underline the point that these characters are moving on and to ready
the viewers for the final episodes instead of abruptly ending the series leaving us holding
the bag.

Rating: 68%


Pretentious tripe, Feb 02, 2010

Reviewer: Mike from UK

"Freudian Sleep" is undoubtedly the worst show of Frasier's entire run.

Some may be inclined to say it is 'daring' for the OTT performances, the bizarre sets, the mesh
of unconscious and conscious scenarios. But really, thinking different isn't always good.

The brilliance of Frasier was based on farce, wit, punchy and sophisticated dialogue. This episode
eschews all of that. You know you ain't in Kansas anymore when Martin - in a dream sequence
- is in a tux singing a 30s showtune with feathered dancers.

This episode is not funny, it is not insightful, it is not elegant. Just a disaster.

Rating: 10%


Painful, Mar 18, 2009

Reviewer: Matt from Toronto

In my opinion, this is, by far, the worst Frasier episode. I got through it once, and I never want to endure that again. To me, this was the Frasier-equivalent of the "It's a Wonderful Life" episode that almost every TV show decides to put in, and ends up being horrible (like the "That 70s Show" episode with Newman as Eric's angle). Every show seemingly throws this in for filler or whatever reason they do it, and they all fail at it. So, to me, this was Frasier's equivalent of that, and i will not watch it again.

Rating: 15%


Freudian Sleep, Jan 20, 2009

Reviewer: Tom M from Cumbria, England

Kudos to the Frasier producers attempting an episode this daunting, many show producers, I imagine, would not dare produce an episode like this! Anyway, a fun episode that, personally, I really enjoyed. Especially JM's performance at the end!

Rating: 78%


It's different, Dec 15, 2008

Reviewer: Robert from UK

Despite the mixed press this episode recieved i actually found it rather enjoyable after the first viewing. Although it is hardly one of frasier's better episodes and, as another reviewer points out, the dreams are not very enlightening, i found the episode to be nicely surreal and pretty funny. Also, somewhat in contradiction to what i just said, i really do love martin's dream at the end. One my favourite martin moments. And it's nice to hear mahoney being allowed to use his brilliant singing voice for once!

Rating: 80%



Continue to Page 2