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Episode reviews for Episode 3.14 - The Show Where Diane Comes Back

Avg. Viewer Review: 83.3%
Number of Reviews: 7

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Seek Help, Dec 06, 2011

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia


One of the delights of rewatching a show like "Frasier" is that,
with each passing year, I'm able to reevaluate my views on
episodes, characters, and moments. I see more and more how
witty and wise this series is, and rewatching the "Cheers"
episodes has been a particularly eye-opening experience. I
enjoyed "Sam" and I'll have a relatively glowing review of
"Woody", but I think "Diane" may just take the cake.

Unlike Sam, Diane Chambers is not the kind of character who
easily fits into the world of another sitcom. Instead, she demands
all of the attention. Luckily, the writers were smart enough to
integrate her with all of the cast, and to keep in mind her lengthy
backstory with Frasier. As a result, this episode is filled with gems.
Frasier's initial panic at her return; the terror in Martin's eyes as
she dines with them; and the ever-so-slightly testy relationship
between her and Niles (why the series never did an episode
analysing Niles' competitiveness with all of Frasier's long-term
paramours is beyond me...).

Diane is undoubtedly the focus of the episode, but since she's
surrounded by our ensemble, it never feels like a gimmick. Her
personal issues - at first well disguised - ring true with the
character, and Shelley Long puts in a dynamic Shelley Long-esque
performance. The "Cheers" play is a bit silly, but it provides an
endearing and powerful goodbye for Frasier and Diane. To me, it's
one of the most powerful moments until the superlative
Frasier/Lilith farewell of season 11.

An unexpected gem.


Rating: 93%

 

The Show Where Diane Comes Back, Apr 20, 2010

Reviewer: Norm, Jr. from Somewhere, CA


Another tepid Cheers reunion deal, with Shelley Long (who I couldn't stand as Diane, anyway) popping up locally and misleading Frasier into a possible romance. As she did in her appearance in the final ep of Cheers, Long's Diane is so overplayed and grating, it's as if she's incapable of digging back to how she ever portrayed her at all. Using an exaggerated line-delivery and pukey-peppiness, she quickly becomes shrill. The only thing that redeems this ep is Frasier's customary mood swings. In particular, a cleverly written exchange between Niles and Frasier at the cafe. Kelsey carries the whole scene, filling in his own answers to Pierce's perfectly stoic glare. The later Cheers riff was nicely constructed, if a bit outlandish. They close things very well with a double-intention farewell speech, which provides enormous depth and closure for those who go back to the Cheers days.


Rating: 85%

 

She should have stayed in Cheers , Oct 23, 2008

Reviewer: Tid from SW England


I found this very disappointing, inevitably so, as Diane Chambers was a 'Cheers'
creation, and needs Sam Malone, Carla, etc, to bounce off. In 'Frasier', the
Crane brothers' snobbishness is too close, yet not close enough, to Diane's
pretentiousness, and it doesn't really click. Diane's 'tic', Martin's exaggerated
reactions, and Shelley Long's inappropriate over-acting, show that 'Cheers'
and 'Frasier' and two wildly different shows.

Having said that, and as a 'Cheers' fan, I found Diane's play was absolutely
hilarious, and I give it a few extra points for that alone.


Rating: 70%

 

Not so bad after all, Jul 22, 2008

Reviewer: Ninos from Aarhus, Denmark


With the exception of those with Lillith, the episodes with plots based on Cheers characters are generally disappointing. It seems like a cheap way to avoid coming up with new and creative material and hooking viewers to watch. Most sitcoms with spin-offs use this device, and I usually feel a bit cheated when they do.

I decided to give this one another chance last week to see if I was being too harsh. Viewing it again, I found myself enjoying it more than expected. It does have some irritating moments, however. Dianeís twitch is badly overplayed, silly and unrealistic. I have the same reaction to Frasierís nausea and Nilesí nosebleeds when they violate their ethics. Too unbelievable.

What I found redeeming was Frasierís need to achieve closure over his anger about being left at the alter by Diane. It gives her presence ďcontemporaryĒ relevance in the Frasier story world. I suppose this is part of the reason why Lillith works. Sharing a child with Frasier, itís logical that she maintains a relationship with him in the new story world.

Frasierís rant about the rage he feels toward Diane and their coming to terms with each other at the end provided a satisfying conclusion.


Rating: 80%

 

The title says it all, Jul 22, 2008

Reviewer: David Sim from Skelmersdale, England


After helping to co-write the magnificent Moon Dance, Christopher Lloyd pens this solo effort, an episode that introduces the ghastly Diane Chambers to the world of Frasier. Having to settle for a 4 second cameo appearance in last season's Adventures in Paradise, Diane makes her first and only apperance in the flesh. The others are all figments of Frasier's imagination. Happily, The Show Where Diane Comes Back is a fair sight better than Sam's rather limp episode last season, because Christopher Lloyd does an excellent job of assimilating Diane into the show's dynamic.

And its full steam ahead from the get-go. The episode plunges us right into the story when Diane makes an unannounced visit to KACL. The surreal sight of a horrified Frasier is a terrific gag.

He blows across town, interrupting Niles' latest therapy session. Frasier decides to invite Diane over for dinner, and really rub her nose in his success.

He hastily rearranges his apartment. Putting his SeaBea on public display. Anything to make Diane jealous. For those unfamiliar with Diane Chambers, she left Frasier at the altar some years back, and naturally there's still some resentment there. I like the way he fills Daphne in about how he's been hurt:

"To this day there is a sucking chest wound...where once there dwelled a heart!"

The perfectly daffy Diane makes an instant impression. Her patronising attitude towards Frasier's apartment is so good because its so subtle. Her sympathy for Martin's situation is wonderfully false. Especially when she pats his bad leg! And her comments towards Niles and Maris...whew!

Shelley Long always uses a lot of body language when she talks. Something she puts to good use when she relates the tale of her entanglement with sea kelp. Which Martin chooses to interpret as Seek Help. Love the look on Diane's face!

Diane then goes on at length about a play she's penned that a Seattle theatre group is putting on. But her brave face is betrayed by a nervous twitch. There's a great visual gag when everyone backs away from Diane during one of her episodes. She finally breaks down and tells Frasier the truth of her miserable life. Which began when she was fired from Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman! For setting Jane Seymour's hair on fire!

Her boyfriend left her. She lost her beach house. No friends to speak of. And worst of all, the backer for her play pulled the funding. Until a ray of hope presented itself in the form of Frasier's face along the side of a bus.

There's a wonderful scene at Cafe Nervosa where Frasier sits down with Niles, and pretty much admits how Diane has managed to worm her way back into Frasier's affections without Niles having to say a single word. David Hyde Pierce doesn't have to do anything at all, and yet he can command a whole scene like this one. He is a true master of minimalism. Even just the sight of him filling out his note pad is hilarious. He was probably writing DENIAL!

Christopher Lloyd shows he has a talent for the double-entendre (much like Joe Keenan) in the following scene when Diane invites Frasier to see her play. Martin comes in halfway and misinterprets this as a sexual overture on Diane's part.

The play itself is a shocking recreation of Cheers. As other reviewers have commented, if you're not a Cheers fan, a lot of this might go right by you. There are still a few good lines here and there. Although (with the exception of Frasier and Cliff) the actors on stage do a rather poor job of emulating the Cheers cast.

Nethertheless, it ends brilliantly when the actor playing Frasier makes a remark that the play's version of Diane (Mary-Ann) didn't hurt him by leaving him at the altar, and Frasier explodes. I could quote it, but you really need Kelsey Grammer's thunderous vocal cords to get the full effect. Its magnificent!

The final reconciliation between Frasier and Diane is quite touching, especially with the foreknowledge that Kelsey Grammer and Shelley Long didn't get along in real life. She tried to get him kicked off of Cheers many times throughout the years. Since they patched up in real life after this episode, its a nice case of life imitating art. Good gag at the end too when Frasier tries to leave through the door of the Cheers set. Especially when Diane admits to having done the same thing all week.

Another great Christopher Lloyd episode. The structure of the second half reminded me quite a bit of the pilot episode, and its something that works to great effect in the gradual healing of Frasier and Diane's (and Kelsey and Shelley's) relationship. I'm glad that Christopher Lloyd took his time with it. It doesn't feel contrived. The only real complaint I have is Roz is hardly in it (only 10 seconds of screentime), but this is still one of Season 3's finest episodes.


Rating: 90%

 

'The Show Where Diane Comes Back' review, Jun 06, 2005

Reviewer: Jocelyn from London, UK


Another 'Cheers' reunion episode and thankfully a far superior one to the previous season's disappointing 'Sam' episode. The first half contains some brilliant moments with a panicking Frasier bursting into his brother's surgery, clearly in 'classic denial' - something which Niles is just longing to write down on his pad (and in a nice bit of continuity he is later seen doing this at the end of the brilliant scene at Nervosa where he remains silent throughout Frasier's tantrum). The dinner sequence also contains some great comic moments such as Diane tapping Martin's bad leg and then her asking about Niles' marriage while Martin tactlessly pointing out her twitch is also very funny. The final act with Diane's play does demand a certain amount of knowledge of 'Cheers' to make total sense but it's still quite amusing, especially Frasier's dramatic outburst. Frasier and Diane's parting is also nicely handled and ends with a nice touch when he walks out of the door of the 'Cheers' set by mistake.


Rating: 81%

 

She's back..., May 02, 2005

Reviewer: Sideshow Meg from Waterlooville, Hampshire, UK


I suppose it was inevitable that diane would show up in Frasier, the show so brilliantly spun off from the also brilliant Cheers. Let's rewind..Diane left Frasier at the altar 11 years previously. Well, she's in Seattle to oversee production of a play she has written. When she turns up at the station, Frasier rushes over to see Niles who suggests trying to achieve closure after learning that Frasier had never told her how she made him feel. She turns up and makes Frasier very jealous until it turns out she leads a pretty terrible life. She begs Frasier to help her and he agrees, but starts to fall from her all over again. She, in return for his help, lets him see her play first. It turns out that it's completely revolved around her life and Cheers. Frasier finally flips and Diane apologises. Frasier and Diane make up at the end and have such a sweet goodbye. I really liked this episode, with Shelley long and Kelsey Grammer making up after a reported rift. Nice to see Diane's return as well


Rating: 84%