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Episode reviews for Episode 6.01 - Good Grief

Avg. Viewer Review: 86.8%
Number of Reviews: 13

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Review of 'Good Grief', Feb 23, 2006

Reviewer: Nick from North Wales, U.K.

This episode follows on from the end of season 5 with Frasier having to deal with his unemployment. While there is nothing to particularly criticise here there is also nothing to get excited about. The sight of Frasier working through his grief is convincing enough but there are precious few moments of humour to enjoy.

Rating: 69%


'Good Grief' review, Jul 10, 2005

Reviewer: Jocelyn from London, UK

Following the KACL staff's sacking at the end of Season 5, the Season 6 opener sees the now unemployed Frasier going through the five stages of grief. Whereas the previous season opener 'Frasier's Imaginary Friend' saw Frasier's family concerned about what they thought was his delusional behaviour, this time his sense of denial is for real as he immerses himself in various activities to try to make up for his lack of work. While Frasier may be the main focus of the episode, it's Niles who gets the best lines here with his wish that he had a 'club' of his own when meeeting all three inhabitants of Frasier's internet fan club as well as his method of getting Frasier to break down and let out his feelings by telling him he's not famous any more while there's a great closing joke where he confidently predicts how smoothly his divorce proceedings will go, only for this to be followed by the caption 'DENIAL' - cleverly bringing the episode full circle. Despite this being a well structured episode (as is to be expected of Christopher Lloyd), it somehow lacks the spark and steady stream of laughs of previous episodes. Use of location footage in 'Frasier' rarely works and this is one of the reasons why the scene at the KACL picnic where Frasier takes his aggression out on a pinata falls rather flat. On the whole then, an interesting idea for an episode which signals a brave departure for the show but which is marred by rather too much heavy-handed humour to be considered truly successful.

Rating: 75%


GOOD GRIEF, May 21, 2005

Reviewer: Cake for Brains from Manchester, UK

And so begins Season 6… a season which stands as showing a noticeable decline in quality after the glorious Seasons 1-5, which in the eyes of the majority of ‘Frasier’ fans stand as being the best and most consistently funny seasons. However I feel this episode is treated quite poorly by fans, as it receives the unpleasant burden on it’s shoulders as being the episode that begins the downhill spiral from greatness. It was wrong when the television critics judged this episode as being the day ‘Frasier’ jumped the shark. Needless to say Season 6 perhaps does contain more ‘clunkers’ that the seasons that had proceeded it, but I don’t think ‘Good Grief’ qualifies as a turkey, as I find it very funny in many places and firmly believe that it is underrated in the fact that it is held partly responsible for the decline in quality, which is a shame. As I have said on numerous occasions Christopher Lloyd (seven times Emmy winner) is my favourite writer, and although this isn’t perhaps his best effort, it is by no means his worse and deserves more praise than it gets.

I loved it in the first scene when Frasier and Martin sing the opening to the operetta about legendary poet Robert Browning that Frasier has composed, of which depicted Martin being heartily embarrassed at the mention of love. It was nice to see Frasier (although probably unsuccessfully) embarking on other projects since being fired from KACL at the end of Season Five, as a becoming a gourmet chef with his duck l’orange, an aspiring artist and a novelist. However Niles explains that this is just a form of denial.

Following on from denial comes anger, which shows a hysterical scene at the KACL unemployed picnic, except it seems that everyone (apart from poor Frasier) has acquired new occupations. In a sudden burst of fury Frasier beats a piñata with monstrous vigour to hilarious effect. The picnic however is perhaps the weakest part of the episode as the piñata gag is really the only funny thing in the scene, except for Gil Chesterton’s priceless quip:
‘I was tempted to describe your entire Middle Eastern buffet as 'The Sorrow and the Pita.' Oh, who’s got a pencil I’ve got to write that one down!’

Following on from this comes the next stage in Frasier’s saga, bargaining. In this painfully funny scene we see Frasier inviting his fan club round for turkey, spring rolls and crab puffs. However, to Frasier’s dismay it turns out that there are just three geeky members! Daphne’s line is great: ‘I’ll just go out and get those pens now!’ It is in this scene that Frasier moves on to the penultimate stage, depression in which he puts on lots of weight. The sight of Kelsey Grammer with an enormous stomach is very funny, as is his home-video of him babysitting for Roz’s daughter, Alice, where he proceeds to eat all her dinner. However the depression wears off when Frasier realises he’s not famous anymore and after a whirlwind of tantrums and tears, everything goes back to normal as Frasier accepts it.

Favourite quote (in terms of his neglecting his fan club)
FRASIER: I’ve been a bad celebrity (!)

In conclusion, although not a patch on the peerless Season Four episode, ‘The Two Mrs Cranes’ this episode still manages to throw up loads of great moments, especially the nerdy fan club. I think this episode deserves more praise that it gets and it is really cleverly structured and filled with nice subtle moments.

Rating: 87%


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