Sunday, March 03, 2013

Room Service

It's difficult for me to list my absolute favorite Frasier episodes because there are so many that I like — and never fail to quote when the opportunity presents itself.

But the episode that aired 15 years ago tonight — "Room Service" — certainly would be near the top of such a list.

Most of the time, the thing that I like the most about Frasier is its writing. Being a writer myself, I guess that isn't too surprising. I enjoy the double meanings and the allusions. Witty wordplay has always appealed to me.

But there is often a healthy dose of slapstick in Frasier.

"Room Service" had it all.

For example, Frasier's ex–wife Lilith (Bebe Neuwirth) was in town with rather startling news. Her new husband had run off with the male contractor who had been doing some work on their home.

"Ironic, isn't it?" Lilith asked. "No sooner do I get the closet of my dreams than my husband comes out of it!"

Consequently, Lilith was very depressed, which Frasier found irresistible. He enlisted Niles' assistance in helping him resist the temptation, and Niles (David Hyde Pierce) succeeded — but wound up in bed with Lilith himself.

Niles, it should be noted, had been struggling with his own demons — in the form of the lawyers handling his divorce from the never–seen but often discussed Maris. His way of coping with the stress was bouts of narcolepsy that left him dozing off in the middle of conversations.

A night of passion (which was "instantly regretted," Niles told Daphne in a later episode) did wonders for both Niles and Lilith, but Frasier had his own issues with which to deal, and, in the end, he forged an uneasy truce with his brother.

"We're an odd little family, aren't we?" Niles asked his brother at the end of the episode.

Frasier never answered that one, but viewers of the show certainly could.