How Does The Frasier Revival First Season Finale Stack Up Against The Original Christmas Episodes?

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Written By Sedoso Feb

The original sitcom, which ran from 1993 to 2004, featured eight Christmas episodes throughout its run, many of which stand as some of the best “Frasier” episodes ever made. As such, the revival’s season finale was always going to face stiff competition, which might account for why the writers seem to have gone the extra mile for “Reindeer Games,” weaving a clever farce that sees the eponymous psychiatrist once again foiled by, well, himself.

The original “Frasier” writers constructed some of the best farces in sitcom history. The dead seal episode, which was inspired by real events, and the season five classic, “The Ski Lodge” are two of the best examples. But there were a couple of farcical Christmas installments that were arguably just as good. Season five’s “Perspectives on Christmas,” for example, saw the same story retold from all the core character’s viewpoints, with Daphne (Jane Leeves) becoming convinced that Martin (John Mahoney) is dying after she misinterprets his visiting a church and his preparation for a vocal solo as part of the church choir. Meanwhile, Frasier accidentally reveals Roz’s pregnancy to her mother, while Niles finds himself trapped in an elevator with some of Frasier’s neighbors. The episode culminates in a huge argument between the central cast, before Dr. Crane diffuses things by suggesting they all get massages.

While “Reindeer Games,” like the rest of the revival, is hamstrung from the outset by the lack of the original supporting cast, it does a great job of establishing a similarly farcical yet heartwarming tone. Frasier is constantly caught off-guard throughout, before things come to a wholesome conclusion that rounds out the season in suitably comforting fashion. But there’s one farcical Christmas episode from the original series that “Reindeer Games” was never going to beat …

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