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Frasier Online Episode Guide -> Season 7 -> Episode 7.13

They're Playing Our Song
Episode Details

Written by: David Lloyd

Directed by: David Lee

Original US airdate: 13th January 2000

Original UK airdate: 31st March 2000

Cast Information
Main Cast
Frasier Crane .... Kelsey Grammer
Niles Crane .... David Hyde Pierce
Martin Crane .... John Mahoney
Daphne Moon .... Jane Leeves
Roz Doyle .... Peri Gilpin
Recurring Cast
Gil Chesterton .... Edward Hibbert
Kenny Daly .... Tom McGowan
Guest Cast
Tiffany .... Christine Kludman
Leon .... David Thompson
Drummer .... Tom Brooks
Singer .... Tom Beyer
Guest Callers

Episode Synopsis

The owner of the station, Mrs Delafield, has decided that each show on KACL needs a theme tune. Frasier is having trouble coming up with his, but inspired by the fact that one of Gil Chesterton's friends wrote his, he decides to compose the one for his show himself. The station manager, Kenny, complains that Frasier has been dragging his feet over it so when Niles comes over, Frasier tells him he will have to cancel their dinner plans to work on the theme song. Eventually, the two of them decide to work together on the song and when Frasier needs an actor to perform a dramatic monlogue as part of it, he has no hesitation in choosing Niles for the part. Martin manages to come up with short, catchy jingle while brushing his teeth but Frasier is dismissive of it - however, he still believes something is missing from what he has composed so far. So he hires an orchestra and a choir to help fulfil his artistic vision. He is soon joined by Roz and new boyfriend Leon, whom Frasier has promised a part to - he receives the part of first triangle!

Daphne, Martin and then Kenny arrive to hear Frasier's magnum opus, but Kenny is worried about all the participants working at the weekend. Finally, the premiere of Frasier theme takes places and Frasier is overjoyed at the end of it about how well it went. Kenny, on the other hand, is shell shocked and says all he wanted was a little jingle. Daphne mentions that Martin came up with a catchy little jingle, and persuades him to sing it. Kenny far prefers Martin's to Frasier's and says he will have to go back to the drawing board, and come up with something simple by Monday. Frasier struggles to do "simple" - it just isn't in his nature - but can't come up with something until Martin suggests just trying to say what the show does. He comes up with another catchy jingle which Frasier is at first loathe to use but eventually relents, and adapts it by adding his own ending.

Episode Title Cards
  • A Bridge Too Far
  • It's Why Gershwin's Teeth Were Immaculate

Episode Highlights

- Gil gives a rendition of his theme song composed by a friend:
Gil: And the nicest thing is he didn't take a penny for it.
Frasier: Well at least he has a conscience(!)

- Daphne's new vacuum cleaner blows up as she clean's Martin's chair:
Frasier: Apparently the DirtScourge 2000 is no match for the dirt pile 1957(!)

- Frasier and Niles are perfecting his new theme song:
Frasier: To my ear there's still something missing - some tiny ingredient....
[Cut to a recording studio with Frasier conducting an orchestra]
Frasier: Let's try it again - we still have a few more minutes before the choir arrives.

- Frasier is explaining to Roz why he wants bagpipes in his song:
Frasier: Nothing says despair so quickly as the skirl of a bagpipe!

- Martin is surprised at how much Frasier has brought together:
Frasier: I've got everything from the African rainstick to the Javanese tam-tam.
Martin: Are the tam-tam's the long ones with jam in the middle?

- After the performance of Frasier's theme song:
Martin: That was something, huh?
Daphne: I'll say. Sort of like Gilbert and Sullivan - only frightening.

Frasier Online Episode Review

A slick and enjoyable episode that is a classic display of Frasier's pomposity as he manages to turn the task of putting together a short jingle for his show into a fully fledged song replete with orchestra, choir and dramatic monologue by Niles - the full performance of which is just one of the highlights of this episode. It also shows how difficult Frasier finds it do anything simply - as viewers have seen countless times before. It was perhaps a trifle predictable that Martin would once again come to Frasier's rescue but in this episode it didn't spoil it in the least. The writing and directing by long-time 'Frasier' collaborators David Lloyd and David Lee show their experience on the show by creating an episode from potentially weak material that is enjoyable, if a touch inconsequential, and is another addition to the above average Season 7 episodes. Best moment of the episode, by the way, has nothing to do with the central theme. It's when Daphne cleans Martin's chair with her new super vacuum cleaner which causes it to blow up - a very funny part which shows why 'Frasier' still stands head and shoulders above other US sitcoms by creating memorable moments out of nowhere.


82 %

Latest Viewer Episode Review

Avg. Viewer Review: 93.1%
Total Number of Reviews: 12

A Soupcon of Awe, May 16, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia

After the solid consistency of season 6, season 7 never missteps entirely, but tends - particularly in the second half - toward lightweight outings that offer great moments and spotty scenes. "They're Playing our Song" is a case in point for me.

Despite reminding me in parts of "Ham Radio" and in parts of "Martin Does It His Way", this episode's central conceit - that Frasier cannot think simply - is a solid foundation. We've seen on numerous occasions in season 7 his delusions of grandeur, and they come across here in a smartly written manner, contrasted nicely with Martin.

Most of the episode is, to my mind, pretty disposable. Daphne's Dirt Sucker 2000 doesn't merit the time spent on it; the Tiffany/Timpani jokes stretch credulity (maybe it's because I've spent time in an orchestra but... she's never been given directions based on her instrument before?), and the Martin/Frasier conflict is really too predictable thanks to Martin's jingle being sung in its entirety (so as to be rejected by Frasier) early in the episode. With no subplot to speak of, the episode has to bide its time to get to the pay-off scene, and it feels like treading water.

Thankfully, the set-piece orchestra scene is howlingly funny. Frasier as his most pompous, completely unable to empathise with the stranded choir, and turning Kenny to stone. (Kenny has typically been a bit of a non-entity, but this is the start of some good writing for him. "Monday...ish" is quite a funny line.) From Frasier's point of view, this level of dedication to the song makes perfect sense. The song itself is just phenomenal, from the inventive use of the instruments to the hilarious psychological rhymes and of course Niles' powerful speeches. (The characters refer to it as a "monologue" and Niles mentions "paragraphs", but that's clearly inaccurate.) Roz's boyfriend Leon on the triangle is the crowning touch. (Although, one has to marvel at how much the brothers must have bonded for Niles to willingly be directed by Frasier after "Ham Radio"!)

The rest of the episode, in which Martin helps Frasier see the light, is competently written and ends sweetly, but again it feels as if all of the creative energy was spent on the central scene, and a "Frasier must face his own obstacles" template was grafted on to it.

Rating: 79%


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