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Frasier Online Episode Guide -> Season 8 -> Episode 8.14

Hooping Cranes
Episode Details

Written by: Jon Sherman

Directed by: Kelsey Grammer

Original US airdate: 27th February 2001

Original UK airdate: 13th April 2001

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
Guest Cast
Jean-Pierre .... Philippe Durand
P.R. Woman .... Valarie Pettiford
Sonics Fan .... Lisa K. Wyatt
Bartender .... Edward James Gage
Guest Callers

Episode Synopsis

As a way of saying thanks for some advice Frasier gave to a caller on his show, a listener has given Frasier 4 tickets to the Sonics game that night. He can't use them because he and Niles have a recital to go to followed by dinner, but when he shows them to his father, Martin instantly assumes Frasier is taking him to the Sonics game. Frasier begrudgingly goes along with him, dragging Niles along too. While Martin is loving every minute, Frasier and Niles play 'I Spy' to pass the time. They then swap seats with Martin so they can sit together, but during half-time, one lucky member of the audience is picked to attempt to shoot a basket from the half-way line. To everyone's amazement, Niles is picked - leaving Frasier and Martin worried as they both know the limitations of Niles' sporting prowess. Astonishingly, Niles manages to make the shot and picked up a pick-up truck as his reward.

Martin is ecstatic over this, and Niles is revelling in his new found fame leaving Frasier a little jealous but becomes even more annoyed with his brother when he starts giving people the impression that his success was more than just luck. Frasier wants Niles to admit this but he refuses, so when he is retelling his story down at McGinty's, Frasier challenges his brother to repeat his success at the bar version of basketball - at which he fails miserably......

Episode Title Cards
  • Hooping Cranes

  • French Kiss-Off

Episode Highlights

- Roz is unable to use the Sonics tickets Frasier receives:
Roz: I have a date with this French guy - Jean-Pierre
Frasier: So that's it then - no Americans left (!)

- Niles arrives to to go the symphony and is surprised that Martin is joining he and Frasier, unaware they are going to a Sonics game:
Martin: I like to get there early to see the players warm up.
Niles: Me too - what a surprise this is!
Frasier: Just you wait (!)

- Niles wants to swap seats with Martin in an aisle seat on account of a 'stiff leg':
Martin: Stiff leg, huh? Must have been that bullet you got when stopping a robbery. Oh wait - that was me!

- Niles won a prize for making his half-court shot:
Frasier: You are now the proud owner of a rugged, ram-tough, all-terrain pick up truck.
Niles: It occurred to me we could use it to go antiqueing

- Roz bumps into Niles wearing a varsity jacket that the Sonics gave to him:
Roz: Wow Niles - finally made varsity after 30 years.
Niles: Yes, but it's not a real varsity jacket so you're under no obligation to sleep with me (!)

Frasier Online Episode Review

A distinctly average episode which, despite promising plot line, offers little that stands out. The main plot of Niles' lucky shot is entertaining enough but feels too dragged out as it reaches it's rather predicatble climax - Niles just got lucky. Frasier acting as translator between Roz and Jean-Pierre is another highlight but is little more than amusing. The problem, as ever in this season, is the script - Jon Sherman's for this episode contains the odd hilarious moment, but the episode as a whole feels a bit mundane, especially as the main plot feels like a reworking of the 'Niles is a hero' plot from 'Head Game'.


72 %

Latest Viewer Episode Review

Avg. Viewer Review: 81.2%
Total Number of Reviews: 5

Les freres Crane, May 17, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia

By season 8 standards, this is a reasonably good episode, but I think it's held together by the tightknit cast and crew.

With Jane Leeves out of the game, Roz gets a funny subplot (even if she's not really the highlight) with a French boyfriend she's just dying to break up with. The break-up scene is a unique spin on a classic crossed-translation bit that even this show has dabbled in on occasion. Good fun, and to be honest, while I've enjoyed the evolution of Roz's character, it was might amusing to get some old-school Roz jokes back into the series!

Over in the boys' side of the yard, Frasier and Niles are dragged to a Sonics game. The comedy here is nothing groundbreaking and it's mostly just comforting to see how the family relationship has changed after 8 years in the same city. Martin's pride and Niles' increasingly egotism are both competently played by the actors, and Kelsey Grammer's direction is smart and to-the-point. It culminates in a realisation by Marty (which has really been developing under the surface for some time) that his boys are who they are, and he has to be proud of them either way.

The script has some amusing moments, and a few longueurs, but really this is an episode that is well-directed and acted, with the characters treated more fondly than usual. Satisfactory, overall.

Rating: 78%


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