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Episode reviews for Episode 11.18 - Match Game

Avg. Viewer Review: 83.5%
Number of Reviews: 2

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We don't even have a placenta plan!, May 30, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia

Another strong episode for season 11 introducing Laura Linney to the cast and bringing Frasier's love-life back into focus. "Match Game" was filmed earlier in the season and rescheduled a couple of times, perhaps because the writers were adjusting Linney's relevance to the storyline, or perhaps just because they felt it worked better here, creating an immediate arc with what lies ahead? Either way, the approach to Frasier's dating life is another consummate mix of the sublime and ridiculous. His meet-cute with Linney's character, who makes an instant impression (she's warm and charismatic, but also neurotic, sharp, and very funny) leads to a cheeky series of dates that, if anything, feel too short. But the editing of the sequence keeps it tight, with my favourite being Rachel Dratch and the pepper mill ("I'm a horny drunk"). After a cancelled date, Frasier and Charlotte bond in a scene that is another great showcase for Linney, whose breakdown is exactly what you DON'T want to happen on a first date but which, unsurprisingly at this point, is a real turn-on for Dr. Crane. He likes women who share his interests and ethics, sure, but he also wants to be a hero. Just when it seems like things might be taking off, Charlotte throws a boyfriend and a professional interest in Frasier into the mix. It sets us up for some nice complicated stakes as the season progresses, and the very sweet scene of Frasier lying awake at night, frustrated that he's found someone who shows a spark... but who is just out of his grasp.

I have to admit a mild panic I'm developing that Roz has been so sidelined this season. Peri Gilpin has had some funny moments and lines (her descriptions of dating code this week are amusing but are one-upped by her attempts to convince Daphne to seek medical help for the birth - "it needn't be, but it be.") yet she hasn't really had a plot since the season premiere. This all just feels like a shame. Sure, one could argue that - like Niles and Daphne - Roz has found her place in the world and is settled. Yet we know that isn't true from the event of the S10/S11 crossover point. She's not as unsettled as Martin and Frasier were going into this season, but Roz deserved more airtime. Anyhow, that's an intro to my main point that it's a neat little pregnancy subplot for Niles and Daph. David Hyde Pierce feeling his breasts, the note-perfect performance of Harvest the doula ("look at Cindy glow!"). It's neat to have a subplot that stays in its place yet feels absolutely necessary and deserving of the screentime. All in all, "Match Game" is a sweet episode that may not be a series masterpiece, but has its heart in the right place and its finger lodged firmly on the laugh button.

Rating: 88%


'Match Game' review, Nov 10, 2005

Reviewer: Jocelyn from London, UK

This episode marks the start of the show's last major storyline with the introduction of the character of Charlotte, who happens upon Frasier when he gets out of the elevator onto the wrong floor of his office block and finds himself entering 'Charlotte's Web' matchmaking agency, where he's convinced to part with the princely sum of $10,000 to improve his luck on the dating scene. It's obvious from the start that Kelsey Grammer and Laura Linney have great chemistry together and, although perhaps lacking in big laugh out loud moments, this episode does a good job of endearing Charlotte's character to the viewer. There's a nicely edited sequence where Frasier is seen at the same restaurant talking to one disasterous date after another, with Frasier's eventual discovery of the paucity of clients in Charlotte's folder (all of whom he's dated!) leading to a showdown which ends up bringing them closer together and realising they have much in common - it's hard not to feel for Frasier as he appears to have found his ideal woman only to discover she isn't single. The subplot with Niles and Daphne hiring a 'doula' to assist with a drug-free birth also has some nice moments - most notably Roz letting Daphne know of the painful reality of childbirth - and leaves this another good episode, although as with other episodes from this period, it's hard to watch without feeling sad at the sense of all the characters' developing storylines drawing the show ever nearer to it's conclusion.

Rating: 79%