The philosophy of Frasier

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Following the death of the late John Mahoney in February of this year, it prompts memories of his career, in particularly when he starred in his most famous role in the American sitcom, Frasier.

Frasier started out as a spin-off of the popular sitcom Cheers  and quickly rose to prominence arguably becoming more popular than its predecessor. Critically acclaimed and held in high regard to so many, Frasier won numerous awards and records and is cited to be one of the most successful spin-off series in television history and one of the greatest comedy series of all time.

The eponymous character of the show Frasier is surrounded by good people, and spends time with his brother Niles who is also a psychiatrist. The pair share affluent tastes and interests, and both think rather highly of themselves. Often clashing with their father Martin, a blue-collar ex-cop who Frasier was forced to take in, after he was shoot in the line of duty. The pair have nothing in common with their father, and interaction between the three can often lead to comedy gold.

Frasier lives a rather comfortable life that most of us would envy. A career, a loving family, good friends, success, happiness. The central protagonist is a Harvard and Oxford graduate with a career in psychiatry who presents his own radio show. Living a luxurious and refined lifestyle indulging in unspoiled wines and dining in five star restaurants. Always on a mission to be accepted into Seattle’s cultural elite, owning an extravagant car and living in a lavish apartment at the top of a high-rise with an incredible view over Seattle.

The show can almost be metaphorical in a sense. It encapsulates a quality of life that we all yearn for or strive to achieve. Frasier seems almost care-free, whimsical in a sense. When the viewer at home is tuned into an episode of Frasier the idea of escapism occurs to its fullest potential. The avoidance of unpleasant realities that we all deal with is quickly replaced as the viewer jumps into Frasier’s shoes when he’s sitting in his living room enjoying a sherry or at a dinner party enjoying a sherry or at the opera house enjoying a sherry. However, not all is well in paradise. Despite Frasier’s wealth, intellect, masculine physique and classy taste, he struggles to maintain a relationship with a woman (being divorced twice) often ending them bitterly and is constantly on the quest for love finding himself to be lonely. Frasier is often said to have meaningful tells and interpretation embedded within the show. Perhaps one message here is all that glitters is not gold.

Hannah McSorley
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