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Paramount Home Video presents

Frasier: The Complete Eighth Season (2000-2001)

"I would like to close the show today with a truly inspirational tale."- Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer)

Stars: Kelsey Grammer
Other Stars: David Hyde Pierce, John Mahoney, Jane Leeves, Peri Gilpin
Director: various

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 08h:41m:00s
Release Date: 2006-06-13
Genre: television

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
A+ A+BB- D-


DVD Review

It's been a couple of years now since the last episode of Frasier appeared on NBC. Only one of its stars has remained in the pop culture vernacular since the last air date. Unsurprisingly, that's Kelsey Grammer, who has not only executive-produced and recently guest-starred in the TV show Medium, but also made a bigger name for himself among younger moviegoers as Beast in X-Men: The Last Stand. The rest of the cast has remained primarily hidden, with David Hyde Pierce moving on to Broadway (in Spamalot), Peri Gilpin doing some TV movies and voice work, John Mahoney appearing in the upcoming film The Groomsmen, and Jane Leeves also doing voice work. With Frasier behind them, we can at least look back at some of this unforgettable ensemble's best work in Paramount's new Frasier: The Complete Eighth Season DVD set.

We're still following the trials and tribulations of Dr. Frasier Crane (Grammer), who lives in a Seattle apartment with his father, Martin (Mahoney), and Daphne (Leeves), the elder Crane's physical therapist. The eighth season begins with the two-part episode And the Dish Ran Away With the Spoon, where Daphne and Frasier's brother, Niles (Hyde Pierce) have just run off together on her wedding day. They return home to face the consequences of their sudden departure, and their former significant others don't make it easy on the new lovebirds at all.

The Good Son skips the Daphne/Niles storyline to focus on Martin and Frasier, but the new lovers are back at it in The Great Crane Robbery, Taking Liberties, and Legal Tender Love and Care. We're back to focusing on Frasier in the next few episodes, with Mary Christmas and Cranes Unplugged being some of the best offerings. Motor Skills does a great job playing off of Frasier and Niles' un-manly ways when they take an automobile repair class. The Show Must Go Off takes the Crane brothers to a sci-fi convention, where they meet one of their favorite actors (Derek Jacobi), who is slumming it as the star of a geeky TV show.

Hungry Heart brings Frasier's station manager, Kenny (Tom McGowan), into the spotlight as the radio shrink tries to mend his boss' troubled marriage. Frasier's local NBA team, the Seattle Supersonics are plugged in Hooping Cranes, when Niles miraculously makes a half-court shot to win a pick-up truck. Of course, Niles' freak shot gives him a huge ego, which quickly drives Frasier nuts. Daphne Returns features Niles' new love ending her stay at a weight-reducing spa, but something isn't right about their relationship. This is the ultimate test for the lovebirds.

Jean Smart gives an Emmy-winning performance in the hour-long Semi-Decent Proposal/A Passing Fancy as Lana Gardner. Frasier had a crush on Lana in high school, and, in-between tutoring her son and keeping him away from Roz, she promises to land him a date with Claire (Patricia Clarkson). In the season finale, Cranes Go Caribbean, Frasier takes Claire on a trip to Belize, where he is freaked-out by an intimate dream involving Lana. While not as powerful a finale as the previous season's, it's nice to have the focus back on Frasier going into Season Nine.

Frasier's never been better, thanks to a cast that exhibits a credible chemistry that's difficult to beat. The writers rarely falter either, and on the off chance that a script isn't among their best, the resulting show is still entertaining. This is a series that should stand the test of time and continue to be a classic decades down the road.

Rating for Style: A+
Rating for Substance: A+


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: The presentations look just as good if not better than their original TV broadcasts. There is some grain and a bit of dirt, but the images are clean and detailed for the most part. The color scheme is rich and vivid, complete with accurate fleshtones and no bleeding.

Image Transfer Grade: B

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno

Audio Transfer Review: Each episode features a Dolby Digital audio track that is pretty lifeless, which is, again, the status quo for these Frasier DVDs. The key, as always, is the sharp, witty dialogue that is crisp and easy to understand.

Audio Transfer Grade: B- 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 95 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English
3 Other Trailer(s) featuring MacGyver: The Complete Fourth Season, Charmed: The Complete Third Season, The Brady Bunch: The Complete Fourth Season
Packaging: Book Gatefold
Picture Disc
4 Discs
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: The only extras are previous for other Paramount DVD releases.

Extras Grade: D-

Final Comments

The high quality comedy that makes up nearly every season of Frasier continues in this complete eighth season release. With these beloved characters experiencing quite a few changes during this batch of episodes, not only is this the series at its best, but it's also a great set-up for the final three seasons. Paramount Home Video continues to deliver solid audio and video presentations for these DVD sets, but, once again, there are no extras.

Chuck Aliaga 2006-06-12