Saturday, November 26, 2016

Putting Your Best Foot Forward

"Frasier, if you overanalyze every detail, you will rob us of the joy of the moment. It will be our wedding night all over again."

Lilith (Bebe Neuwirth)

In the Thanksgiving episode of Frasier that aired on this night in 1996, "A Lilith Thanksgiving," the Cranes were in Boston for Thanksgiving — but only because the headmaster of an exclusive school had agreed to meet with Lilith and Frasier on Thanksgiving morning, and they were eager to have their son Frederick admitted to the school.

Frasier (Kelsey Grammer) and Lilith (Bebe Neuwirth) made a reasonably good impression when they first went to meet with the headmaster — but afterward they began to second–guess everything they had said and done and made return visits to try to amend what had transpired before.

The first time they did this, they returned to the headmaster's home on a ruse — Lilith would pretend that she had lost an earring when they were there before. Once they were there, Lilith felt compelled to embellish the story, telling the headmaster that the earrings were treasured gifts from Golda Meir.

Then she found herself in the position of having to elaborate on that when the headmaster asked her how she met Mrs. Meir.

Lilith told the headmaster that was an interesting story, then she rather clumsily passed that baton to Frasier, saying, "Frasier, you tell it much better than I do."

And Frasier indulged himself in a little ad–libbing of his own, saying they had met through Mrs. Meir's grandson, "Oscar."

"That would be Oscar Meir?" the headmaster inquired.

"You can imagine the ribbing he got!" Frasier replied.

Frasier and Lilith were nothing if not obsessive. In that regard they were perfect partners.

They kept returning to the headmaster's house each time they thought of something else they should do to reinforce their interest in the school. They were concerned that Frederick might not get the only available slot, that it might go to the child of an alumnus or a generous benefactor.

That was not foremost in the headmaster's mind, though. He was trying to prepare Thanksgiving dinner for some guests, but it wasn't coming along well, and the near–constant interruptions weren't helping.

Under this circumstance, Lilith and Frasier decided to made their bid to be the headmaster's holiday benefactors.

After the headmaster observed that his turkey was so undercooked "a skilled veterinarian could still save him," Lilith and Frasier returned to Lilith's home and took the turkey that Niles (David Hyde Pierce) had been cooking in their absence so they could give it to the headmaster to curry favor with him.

In essence, they wore down the headmaster, who finally told them that Frederick was admitted — but he would be immediately expelled if either Lilith or Frasier ever came to the school for any reason or attended any school events, including graduation.

Lilith and Frasier agreed, of course. For them, the holiday had been a success.

Niles, meanwhile, was still looking for the turkey that had vanished into thin air.