Wednesday, May 05, 2004


is of the smartest and funniest shows I've ever watched. Although I haven't watched it much the past 3-4 years, that's mostly due to the fact that I don't watch much of ANY television (except for too much football in the fall, and baseball whenver I can, which isn't as often as I'd like. Oh, and some Home & Garden TV...and really bad sci-fi "B" movies from the 50s and 60s).

Catherine Seipp writing for National Review, sums it all up very nicely.

Not that Friends isn't a fine and funny show. But Frasier, which centers around the relationships between an urbane and fussy psychiatrist, his even fussier brother, and their cranky retired cop dad, is remarkable not only for its longevity but for how this was managed despite flouting conventional TV wisdom.

"It's the only sitcom on TV that has no internal score," pointed out co-creator/executive producer David Lee. "There's not jaunty little melody telling us it's time to go on to the next scene."

"And no d**k jokes," Grammer pointed out.

The show also refused to cater to shrinking American attention spans. "We specifically said, we're going to write longer scenes," Lee added. "And every chance we get, we still try to make the scenes as long as possible because now [on most sitcoms] it's like you pop in, you see the outside of a building, you hear a jaunty tune, you have two jokes, then you're off to the next exterior of a building and another jaunty tune."

"We tried not to write down to the audience," Lee continued. "If there was a joke we felt was genuinely funny that a lot of people might not understand, we just went, well then, they won't understand it."

"I just thought, the ones that do get it will explain it to the ones that don't," Grammer added.


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