When the original Frasier series ended in 2004, we thought that was the last we’d see of Dr. Frasier Crane.
As Frasier was a favorite of many, the idea of never seeing the character again left some people brokenhearted. As a show, Frasier combined humor, a fair amount of intelligence, and lots of heart.
The chemistry between the talented cast, coupled with comedic yet heartfelt storytelling, was the TV version of Magic in a Bottle for eleven seasons.
The original Frasier series finale was everything fans could have hoped for as storylines were wrapped up and beloved characters looked to the future.
So, when the news was first announced that Kelsey Grammer and Paramount+ were planning to revive the series 19 years later, it made sense to be a bit apprehensive.
Now, with Frasier Season 1 completed, it begs the question: Should there be a Frasier Season 2?
Let’s unpack this from the beginning.
Why Did Frasier Return?
It’s been almost two decades. Was it really worth resurrecting a character we haven’t seen in that long?
Perhaps it was time because it’s been so long. Frasier has grown some. He’s a little less arrogant and a little more humble, especially when it comes to his family.
He’s suffered some losses, the biggest of which was the death of his father, Martin, as actor John Mahoney passed away in 2018.
Frasier and his son Freddy are practically estranged as the new series begins, but at least that’s something that Frasier can try to fix.
With his relationship with Charlotte and his wildly successful daytime TV show both coming to an end, it was time for Frasier to figure out which direction his life would go next.
So, he’s back in Boston with a new career in academia and a determination to rebuild his relationship with Freddy.
The Original Cast is Minimal
Other than Frasier himself, no other series regulars are from the original cast, which isn’t ideal.
The first several episodes left me longing to see Niles and Daphne. Niles and Frasier were so close, as the brothers were the central relationship of the original series, and adjusting to something new wasn’t easy.
Plus, David Hyde Pierce brought unique physicality and humor to the role of Niles. It can’t possibly be duplicated, so there’s no sense looking for it here.
Visits From Old Friends
That doesn’t mean all of our old favorites were lost.
Lilith made an appearance on Frasier Season 1 Episode 7, which makes sense given that she still lives in Boston and is Freddy’s mother.
Bebe Neuwirth continues to deliver Lilith’s special brand of intelligent snark with aplomb, and seeing Lilith and Frasier bicker hasn’t gotten old, even after decades of similar conversations.
Lilith: Frasier, I almost didn’t recognize you. I’m used to seeing you wedged between commercials for injury attorneys and walk-in tubs. I’m just joking. I’ve never seen your television show.
Frasier: It’s good to see you. But if you’re here, then who’s minding the children you’ve lured to your gingerbread house?
Roz arrived for a Christmas visit, which left us smiling ear to ear. Seeing Peri Gilpin as Roz and hearing her put Frasier in his place once more did our hearts good.
The chemistry between these old friends burns as bright as it ever has, as though a day hasn’t gone by since we last saw them.
Do the New Cast and Characters Work?
For the most part, the news is good.
The new Frasier series is a compilation of characters we knew from the original series who have grown up and new characters we’ve never met.
The last time we saw Freddy, he was a pre-teen, but now he’s all grown up and played by Jack Cutmore-Scott.
Freddy was on track to follow in his parents’ footsteps when he went off to Harvard and majored in psychology, but then he took a detour, dropped out of college, and became a Boston firefighter.
Frasier and Freddy’s relationship is the main focus of the new series, and it works.
There’s certainly love here, but with Frasier struggling to accept his son’s career choice, there’s also enough tension to keep things interesting, and Cutmore-Scott easily holds his own with Kelsey Grammer.
Frasier: I admire what you do. It’s just that you did so well in your psych classes at Harvard.
Freddy: Right, but I wanted to do something important.
Frasier: What I do is important. It’s at least as important as what you do.
Freddy: Okay. Sure. Let’s find someone who has low self-esteem and is also on fire and see which one of us they run to first.
David, Daphne and Niles’ son, whom we saw be born during the original series finale, is now a freshman at Harvard.
David is as smart and awkward as his father and as sweet as his mom, but the first few episodes had me wondering if David was going to be more of a goofy caricature than a character, especially when the firefighters mistake him for an orphan on Frasier Season 1 Episode 4.
But it’s “The B Story” where Anders Keith, who plays David, really gets to shine.
During Frasier Season 1 Episode 8, David gets the first B grade of his life, and he gets it from his Uncle Frasier.
The highlights weren’t just watching David freak out much as his father would have, but also seeing cousins David and Freddy bond over what it means to be Cranes.
Freddy: Buddy, it’s just a B.
David: To anyone else, it’s just a B. But I’m a Crane. You know what it’s like.
Freddy: Oh yeah. The Crane Curse. Nothing’s ever good enough. There’s always a shiner object just out of reach.
David: Exactly. You always have to get the highest grade. Win every award.
Freddy: Spend every summer at Trigonometry Camp.
David: While all your friends are taking it easy at Algebra Camp. Why is our family like this?
Freddy: I don’t know. I mean, growing up, I felt like I had to constantly prove I deserved to be in this family.
David: How did you deal with the expectations?
Freddy: I guess I could until I couldn’t. Then, one lecture, I just walked out and never walked back in.
David: Because of the pressure?
Freddy: Because I wasn’t happy.
There are also some standouts in the new cast of characters.
Alan Cornwall is a professor at Harvard and an old friend of Frasier’s. He’s become Frasier’s sounding board.
You might worry that he’s just a new version of Niles, but Alan stands on his own, and actor Nicholas Lyndhurst brings his particular flare to the role.
Eve, Freddy’s late best friend’s girlfriend, is a breath of fresh air. She’s charming in a way that reminds us of Daphne, but she can stand up for herself as well as Roz.
Eve has a special relationship with Freddy and quickly forms a strong bond with Frasier. I found myself looking forward to the scenes Jess Salguiero shared with Kelsey Grammer.
The weakest character is Frasier’s boss, Olivia Finch. Her constant ambition and need for validation grew old fast, and her competitiveness with her never-seen sister fell short.
Toks Olagundoye, who plays Olivia, can handle more than she’s given here, and Olivia becomes more likable in the last few episodes, but it’s still unclear if the character is needed moving forward.
The New Series Uses Its History
One of the best things about this revival is that it doesn’t shy away from remembering its beginnings.
Martin’s death, although not dwelt upon, is also never forgotten. From the beginning, we learn that Freddy and Martin had the type of relationship where Martin didn’t hesitate to jump on a plane to be there for his grandson.
Frasier feels Martin’s loss acutely. His father left a high bar to meet as Frasier tries to do better with his own son.
The show really does manage to hit all the right notes when remembering Martin Crane, leaving the audience smiling with both a sense of warmth and melancholy, and I wouldn’t change a thing.
Frasier: I used to hate Dad’s Christmas decorations, and now even this old Rudolph wreath is making me sentimental.
Freddy: Aw. Want me to hang it up?
Frasier: I said I was wistful, not insane.
What Would We Want from Frasier Season 2?
First, there are still some unanswered questions.
What happened between Charlotte and Frasier? Did they ever get married? And what drove them to break up?
Unfortunately, Laura Linney wasn’t asked back to reprise the role she created at the tail end of the original series, but it would be wonderful to have her wander back into Frasier’s life in the near future.
Is David the only child of Niles and Daphne, or does he have the little sister we saw him introduced to in the flash forward scene during the original series installment titled “Rooms With a View”?
Niles and/or Daphne absolutely must make an appearance and visit their son. A visit from Ronee, Martin’s wife, would be wonderful as well.
Is there the possibility of Freddy and Eve becoming more than friends in the future? Seeing that relationship change over time would be enjoyable.
There are some great characters here, both new and old, with lots of stories to tell.
Although a couple of episodes didn’t quite hit the mark, overall, Kesley Grammer hasn’t lost his touch. The series is full of humor and heart.
After ten episodes of the new Frasier, we see a lot of room for new stories and character growth.
Here’s to hoping that Paramount+ decides to gift us all with more of Dr. Frasier Crane.
What do you think, TV Fanatics? Do you want to see more Frasier? Are you hoping for Frasier Season 2?
Hit that SHOW COMMENTS button below to share your thoughts, and then check out our Frasier Season 1 reviews here at TV Fanatic.
Frasier airs on Paramount+.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.