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Episode reviews for Episode 7.04 - Everyone's A Critic

Avg. Viewer Review: 68.0%
Number of Reviews: 4

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Flat but..., May 12, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia


Okay so, straight out of the gate: I adore Katie Finneran, and she does some very fun work as Poppy. I'm glad the character only makes a few appearances in the series, though, because she would end up being a bit one-note over time. Still, I enjoyed the concept of someone who could unwittingly unite the workers of KACL (and ultimately, most people of Seattle) against herself.

The script, to be honest, isn't crash hot. The competition of Niles and Frasier competes as a plot with the "Poppy invades Seattle" storyline, yet I think they ultimately complement each other. There's so much going on in the episode that it never flags, and the actors give it their all. In fact, Kenny - a character I've found only very lightly amusing in previous appearances - puts in a very good show here, and this won't be the last time.

So in short, not a great script, but salvaged by the seasoned (and not yet weary) hands of all involved.


Rating: 70%

 

I couldn't get a rose, so I had to settle for a poppy., Mar 04, 2009

Reviewer: David Sim from Skelmersdale, Lancashire


There is no Frasier writer more admired than Joe Keenan. He gave so much to this show over the years, producing more classic Frasier tales than any other writer. He was the best thing that ever happened to the show. But at the time he wrote Everyone's A Critic, Keenan was going through a bit of a dry spell.

This episode, and the two he wrote before it, The Seal Who Came To Dinner and Dr Nora were all perfectly watchable, but they somehow missed the manic delights of so many of his episodes. Joe Keenan has never written a completely terrible episode. He's just too good at what he does. But Everyone's A Critic is one that comes perilously close.

This may in fact be the worst thing that Keenan has ever written. That's not to say it doesn't have good moments and sharp dialogue. Its just all so forgettable. There's not a single classic scene to be found throughout the whole thing. If it were anyone else, I might not even mention it. But I guess that's the price Joe Keenan pays for writing far better, and far funnier scripts in the past.

Everyone's A Critic introduces us to a new character, Poppy Delafield, the daughter of KACL's owner. Poppy is about as dim as a two watt light bulb and twice as worthless. She's also got a voice on her that could scratch a blackboard at 20 paces. I have to wonder if Poppy was intended to be a semi-regular, since she does make one more appearance two episodes later. But then after that, she just disappeared. I think maybe because she's a one-joke character. Chatty and obnoxious. And beyond that, there's nothing more to her. Like Chopper Dave in Season 1.

Once Poppy exhausted herself, the writers were at a loss what to do with her. And that's the main reason why Everyone's A Critic doesn't really work for me. Because I don't like Poppy that much. Its not like when Joe Keenan wrote Sherry Dempsey, or Bebe Glazer. These were fully formed female characters, with a rich vein of comic material to mine. Poppy is just so thinly sketched, that it doesn't long for her to wear out her welcome.

There are some compensations found elsewhere though. We get to see some rivalries between Frasier and Niles which is always good for a laugh. Niles becomes the art critic for The Monocle and Frasier goes green with envy. We get the usual tit for tat which is funny as ever:

Niles: The art community looks for my thumbs up.
Frasier: I think we both know what your thumb's up nowadays.

Now that Niles is in the public eye instead of Frasier for a change, and since Poppy is the daughter of KACL's owner, Frasier tries to put the idea in her head to get him his own art show. That scene throws up a good laugh. Especially when Daphne has to connect the dots for her. Things go a bit predictable from that point on. When Poppy decides to host the show herself, with a disastrous review of A Streetcar Named Desire.

Aside from an always welcome appearance from Gil (I thought I'd seen some cruel tricks in the army!) there's little else to recommend. I do like the minor subplot about Eddie killing a hamster, but its far too brief to merit much attention. Although listen out for the owner's name, and that's guaranteed to get a smile out of you. But Everyone's A Critic is still one of Joe Keenan's much lesser efforts.

He would return to form with his next episode, Out With Dad. A wonderful story that clearly reinvigorated Keenan's juices, as everything else he wrote after was top quality again. But this is Keenan at his lowest ebb. Katie Finneran's incessant squawking gets a bit hard to bear (although it does become sort of fascinating after a while), so this is not one I recommend highly.


Rating: 50%

 

EVERYONE'S A CRITIC, Aug 07, 2006

Reviewer: Cake for Brains from Manchester, UK


‘Everyone’s a Critic’ is probably one of the weakest episodes to be coined by ‘Frasier’s’ most prolific writer, Joe Keenan, but I suppose it speaks volume about his scriptwriting skills, that this episode is still rather good and manages to produce its fair share of amusing moments, as well as offering yet another explanation into the sibling rivalry that exists between Niles and Frasier. My favourite thing about the ‘sibling rivalry’ episodes that the show does so well is the fact that the plot seems to unfold with a glorious inevitability and predictability, and it comes of knowing the two brothers so well that the viewer can see what is coming, and will know immediately how each sibling will react in certain situations. That is one of the joys of ‘Everyone’s a Critic’, because it is completely obvious straight away that Frasier will respond to Niles newfound success and established position with jealousy and envy, and will therefore stoop to any level to have what Niles has, even if it means going to Poppy, the daughter of the KACL station manager, who he finds loathsome. This episode boasts an excellent premise, and I love how Joe Keenan manage to weave two seemingly unrelated plot strands together, bringing about a very satisfying conclusion to this episode as a consequence. In this episode, Frasier is left seething with jealousy after Niles becomes a critic for ‘The Monocle’ (a magazine delivered to snooty buildings and snooty hotels), and because it means that Niles’ opinions and views on art and culture matter more than his, Frasier vows to front his own show on KACL. I loved Niles’ explanation as to how he became appointed as the magazine’s critic; he ‘pounced like a ninja’ on another critic ‘who was leaving’ the magazine anyway, concerning his views on Leonard Bernstein.

I remember the first time I watched ‘Everybody’s a Critic’ that I detested the protagonist of Poppy Delafield, who is introduced in this episode (and would make one more appearance in ‘Rivals’ later on in the season). Considering the criteria for the character, Katie Finneran does a good job, and manages to transfer Keenan’s scripted character into an annoying, talkative and unintelligent woman (which I’m pretty sure was the intention of her character). The main source of humour came from how far everybody was prepared to go to avoid Poppy, such as Frasier offering to do Roz’s promo’s providing she take Poppy out for dinner (that was before Roz has encountered Poppy), and Roz’s hurried exit from Café Nervosa on Poppy’s entrance. We also get a fleeting appearance by Edward Hibbert as Gil Chesterton (always a delightful bonus), and his ‘I felt like a mongoose at the mercy of a chatty cobra’ (describing Poppy) is probably the highlight of the episode. However, Frasier soon realises that he can exploit Poppy’s good nature and stupidity by manipulating a situation, which would lead Poppy to ask her mother to give Frasier an arts show on KACL (her mother being the station manager). The scene in Frasier’s apartment when Frasier tries to subtly spoon feed the notion into Poppy’s mind is very funny, especially when Poppy doesn’t understand Frasier’s proposal and needs Daphne’s help to make the connection. In true ‘Frasier’ fashion however the plan completely backfires when it transpires that Poppy really did misunderstand Frasier’s intentions, and in the end it is Poppy who ends up presenting the radio show, and offering the whole of Seattle her warped insight on a production of ‘A Streetcar Named Desire.’ Although Poppy’s character grated on me at some points during this episode (when she talked to Martin about Eddie for example), her vibrant, lively and colourful persona helped give this episode a very unique personality, and although she (intentionally) came across as annoying, there was a purpose to her behaviour. A quick note on the subplot as well, which was also rather fun, which saw Martin’s pride at Eddie’s catching of a rat (If he’d had a guitar he’d have written a ballad), and Eddie’s murder of a hamster. All in all, I enjoyed ‘Everyone’s A Critic’ much more than I initially remember, and although its nowhere near as good as Keenan’s best work the show, it’s a fun and energetic ride all the same.


Rating: 75%

 

'Everyone's A Critic' review, Aug 01, 2005

Reviewer: Jocelyn from London, UK


Another in a long line of sibling rivalry episodes which sees Niles landing a prestigious job as arts critic for 'The Monocle', prompting an insanely jealous Frasier to attempt to set up his own arts show on KACL, with the help of the station owner's daughter, Poppy. A truly ghastly creation (albeit intentionally so), Poppy is hardly the most subtle character in 'Frasier''s history although I found it quite funny the way the rest of the KACL staff went out of their way to avoid being in her company while her general dimness is the source for some amusing moments here, not least the scene where Frasier is trying to drop hints that she should persuade her mother to give the arts show a try, only for Daphne to cut through the pretence by blurting out 'Your mother!'. While the basic theme here - the brothers' one-upmanship and petty jealousy - is nothing that hasn't been done before and the ending where Poppy turns out to be the presenter of the arts show is not too unexpected, there are enough witty lines (Frasier's Freudian interpretation of his brother's boast about his 'small column') and some typically scene-stealing appearances from Gil Chesterton ('And I thought I'd seen some cruel pranks in the army!') which, coupled with a slight but fun subplot regarding Eddie's killing of a hamster (which in a neat in-joke, belonged to one 'Robbie Greenberg'!), help keep this an enjoyable episode, if somewhat nondescript by Joe Keenan's standards.


Rating: 77%