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Episode reviews for Episode 6.14 - Three Valentines

Avg. Viewer Review: 96.8%
Number of Reviews: 41

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Lonely Hearts, Dec 16, 2009

Reviewer: David Sim from Skelmersdale, Lancashire


Three Valentines has an exalted place at Frasier Online. An astronomical rating (second only to The Matchmaker). And reviewers all over sing its praises. All extraordinary things. And all for an episode that doesn't deserve any of it.

I may be alone in this opinion, but Three Valentines is a case of great first act, shame about the rest. Taking a casual glance at the reviews prior to writing my own, I've noticed the majority talk of Niles' segment, and not a thing about the other two. Which only shows how boring they must have found them. Many say Three Valentines is a highlight of the season, but I found it no different from many S6 episodes. Fitfully funny but not totally satisfying.

The premise is good. Frasier, Niles, Martin and Daphne each have an adventure on Valentines Day. But Niles' is the only one worth watching. His segment is the reason to see it. Without it, Three Valentines would sink without trace.

I can certainly understand why people speak highly of the first seven minutes. Because its one of the funniest things this season. Niles is preparing for a dinner date. He tries to iron out a crease in his pants, and sets Frasier's apartment on fire in the process. What's wonderful is its told in almost complete silence. Frasier's been doing silent comedy since the show's conception. Each end credits sequence is a miniature silent movie. But this is the first time the show's ever indulged a full fledged slient routine. And its a hugely funny, successful experiment.

To simply describe the scene takes some of the fun out of watching it. A cut finger, blood on the couch, flammable fluid, extinguishers that spray everything except the fire, ruined dinner, malicious smoke detectors, a hungry dog, and a man who faints at the sight of his own blood, all to the sound of Marriage of Figaro on the soundtrack combine into a merciless, blackly hysterical sequence.

What's funny about it is the way Rob Hanning and Kelsey Grammer compound the sequence with crueller and crueller twists. Both David Hyde Pierce and Moose rise to the occasion, what with Pierce's talent for physical comedy pushed to the limit while Eddie looks on at the chaos unfolding all around him, its a scene that leaves you well and truly worn out.

But the problem with Three Valentines is that the episode peaks too soon. Where it should have worked up to it, instead it shows the funniest one first, and then has nowhere to go after that. It sets the bar so high and so early into the piece, that the remaining stories can't help but look poor by comparison.

We then move on to Frasier, who's waiting at a restaurant for Cassandra Stone (the great Virginia Madsen), KACL's new marketing manager. Its just a one-joke affair where Frasier can't figure out whether they're on a date or at a business dinner. Even when it moves into the bedroom, Frasier still can't make any sense of Cassandra's mixed signals. Most of the amusement stems from Frasier on the phone to Roz every five minutes in need of advice:

(Cassandra's getting undressed for bed) Roz: What do you need? Runway lights on the mattress!

Virginia Madsen is one of the great, underrated American actresses. No matter what part she plays, she always brings a magnetic presence. And certainly she's the most enjoyable thing about the second story. Watching her lead Frasier up and down the garden path while he does flip flops trying to keep up. But its still not much of a story. An actress of Madsen's calibre deserved better material. Which she'd get towards the end of the season.

Finally, we come to Martin and Daphne, who are both single on Valentines Day, and have gone to a restaurant together. This is the most annoying one of the three. Daphne worries she'll always be alone (just before she meets Donny in the next ep), and Martin worries about his age. So they try to cheer each other up. But they keep badgering each other with questions like "Do you really think I'm pretty?" or "Why am I wonderful?" I don't know about anybody else but all of this just drove me up the wall. I didn't think it was funny at all. The only part that did make me laugh was when Daphne called Martin her pet!

But overall, Three Valentines is a disappointment. Niles' segment is the only one that really stands out. The other two are forgettable. Certainly the episode falls short of the lavish praise heaped upon it. If it hadn't been for the first story, one suspects the rating would be much lower. One of Frasier's most overrated episodes.


Rating: 55%

 

Three valentines, Aug 18, 2009

Reviewer: Louis Norman from London


Valentine 1: NILES! I have never been one for slapstick but I didn't mind when I saw this.,
Niles notices a crease in his pants so he takes them of to iron them having taken the iron he
notices in loose string, leaving the iron on the pants he gets the scissors when he comes back
he tries to cut the string but cuts himself and faints- when he recovers he sees a blood stain
and gets the cleaner, putting it next to a candle he sees its flammable and pulls it away and
pours a bit but it spills, he then smells smoke so checks in the kitchen but there is nothing so
the smoke alarm goes of and eddie starts to bark (niles is in frasiers apartment) he goes out
and sees the pants are on fire so he throws them on couch which has a flammable liquid on
it, the fire goes higher so niles takes the fire extinguisher but it is to strong for him and by
the time its under control has run out so he gets the pasta from the kitchen to put the fire
out, once on the couch the fire is out- niles starts pulling the door back and fourth to get the
smoke out but the plaster on his finger comes of and he faints-I say no more

Valentine 2: Frasier does not understand if his date is romantic or not- first she orders the
garlic chicken but then asks if he is in the mood for oysters. frasier keeps in contact with roz
so that she can tell him is he's on a date, they finnish and go back to the hotel- she invites
him in and tells him to get "comfortable" but only means put on slippers because frasier
stepped in a puddle- she tells frasier a way to warm up real quick but means "have a brandy".
they end up going to sleep together but frasier is confused!

Valentines 3: daphne and martin go to dinner but daphne is insecure and starts cry so martin
tries to cheer her up by telling her she is attractive but daphne keeps asking questions, a
waiter buts in and says "your father is right- you are attractive" which makes martin
insecure so daphne tells him he's a catch, this causes martin to question daphne about it so
they are both annoyed with each other.

I give Valentines 1 50%
I give valentines 2 19%
I give valentines 3 10%


Rating: 79%

 

'Three Valentines' review, Jul 22, 2005

Reviewer: Jocelyn from London, UK


This trilogy of stories showing how each of the characters spent the same Valentines Day opens with one of the best remembered scenes in any episode of 'Frasier' as Niles prepares for a date at his brother's apartment only for all hell to break loose when, in an attempt to iron his trousers, he ends up setting fire to the couch. A brilliantly staged homage to silent comedy with a masterful performance not just from David Hyde Pierce but from Moose too. Niles struggling with the fire extinguisher, drenching Eddie in the process, is hilarious and the use of classical music in the background is an inspired touch. Inevitably the other two segments pale by comparison but both certainly have their merits; Frasier's evening with Cassandra where he can't seem to work out whether their date is a romantic or merely business one is, while a touch overlong, a well sustained succession of mixed signals and comes to an amusing end with Frasier phoning Roz after Cassandra falls asleep! Finally, Martin and Daphne's dinner together is quite charming as the two singletons persuade each other to describe their attributes only for things to turn sour when Daphne describes Martin as being like her 'pet'! Despite it's episodic nature, 'Three Valentines' works very well and marks the start of something of a resurgence for this season, following a largely underwhelming first half.


Rating: 80%

 

Frasier, do you know what I'm thinking? -No, I truly don't!, Nov 16, 2007

Reviewer: Brenda from Oregon, USA


I think this episode is clever. From Niles mishap before his date, to Frasier's complete confusion about the context of his date with all of the mixed signals (as she snores away), to Martin and Daphne being "ok, but not ok" on their Valentine's Day together...


Rating: 80%

 

Three Valentines, Apr 15, 2006

Reviewer: Amz from Wiltshire UK


Okay, most of this review is gonna be about the scene with Niles because it was the most hilarious scene in the history of Frasier! The whole scene was just drop-dead funny. I was in tears of laughter right at the end when he just blacks out while seeing blood on his finger. I was so funny when he had to turn away from Eddie to take his trousers off. What I can't get over, is that all that happened just because poor Niles wanted to iron a crease in his trouser leg. It goes to show, anything can happen!
We then have the scene with Frasier and Cassandra when he gets a lot of mixed signals from her. My favourite part was back in her hotel room when he kept getting undressed, then dressed again. How many times did he actually call Roz??!
Then we finish with Martin and Daphne having dinner together and Daphne describes Martin as her pet. One of my favourite episodes. Everything about it was just perfect.


Rating: 93%

 

Three Valentines, Jul 13, 2010

Reviewer: Norm, Jr. from Somewhere, CA


Where did this come from?? After 13 episodes of marginal mediocrity, the writers pull this out of their hat! Sure, the Niles piece gets all the praise, but the Frasier/Cassandra stuff always wins out for me. Madsen plays it perfectly coy up against Grammer's usual perplexed confusion. Unusually witty stuff for this point of the season, but we'll take it. Even the Daphne/Martin portion works, and for one huge reason: they kept it short. Their banter was about to approach grating when they ended it, especially with Leeves pitchy squawks of insecurity. But major kudos to Pierce for his Charlie Chaplin clinic of errors and the writers for stepping up, unexpectedly. It's almost so good it reeks of something that had been sitting around for a couple seasons with no place for it (being a Valentine's ep and all).


Rating: 93%

 

Slap stick perfection, Jun 21, 2006

Reviewer: Glenn from England


I think that I have seen most of the episodes but this one sticks out as a cut above the rest. Having said that, the actual episode in its entirety isn't astonishing, its on a par with the rest. Excellent in other words. The real brilliance is the opening scene where Niles finds an unwanted crease in a pair of trousers. Rather that leave it he decides to iron it out and what follows is approx. 5 minutes ( probably less actually ) of sheer delight. No words spoken, a throw back to old fashioned comedy where the spoken word, although probably desired, wasn't necessary.

I laughed out loud. I hope you do too.


Rating: 94%

 

it's sort of like you're my...no, it might sound funny..., Jul 14, 2007

Reviewer: Mary from Devon, UK


A classic, as other reviews say.
It's three funny stories - Niles silent comedy, Frasier on a date/non-date phoning Ros for advice throughout, Martin & Daphne out to dinner.
The Martin/Daphne sketch is very well done - it shows how well they really do work together, I never get bored of seeing it.


Rating: 95%

 

niles...a pleasure to watch, Jun 15, 2006

Reviewer: mike nunn from bilericay, england


one of the most memorable performances in comedy. just sit back and enjoy niles's performance. if your not in stitches by the end...you need psychiatric help!


Rating: 99%

 

wonderful, Apr 11, 2008

Reviewer: Briana from New York


This episode was fantastic. The best part was the beginning...Niles calmly starting to iron, then chaos breaks loose. I love how Eddie sits there, staring at him. The way Niles runs back and forth with the fire is great. Best part is when he's waving the door to let out the smoke, and he sees his cut finger and faints. I love it!!


Rating: 99%

 

 
 

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