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Episode reviews for Episode 6.17 - Dinner Party

Avg. Viewer Review: 90.9%
Number of Reviews: 8

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Blackballed, May 15, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia

"Dinner Party" is the perfect example of what this sitcom at the top of its game can do. It's an experiment in form and style that relies on our extensive knowledge of the characters and has faith that the writers and actors can pull off a real-time set piece. It really is a marvelously constructed little episode, although of course I wouldn't want to see this every week!

I can't add much to the chorus of praise here. While this doesn't have quite the depth of exploration that we found in "My Coffee with Niles", "Dinner Party" is perhaps the greatest evidence for the strength of the leads together. Niles and Frasier rise and fall so many times in preparation for their "intime soiree", throwing in some cheeky physical comedy, a good deal of oneupmanship, and the ultimate stand-off between Martin and Frasier. (And is it just me, or does the scene where Roz and Daphne complain about Frasier's treatment of them strike anyone else as meta before meta was cool?)

In summary: I wouldn't want this to be every week, but it's a special little treat for fans and anoraks. Worth it.

Rating: 90%


A classic episode, Jan 21, 2012

Reviewer: Anne Marie from New York, NY

This is one of my favorite episodes. The show just shows the chemistry of Kelsey and
David at their best. The writing is smart and witty. I keep this one on my DVR to watch
when I need a good laugh . I love the black ball scene and how things go from bad to
worse with the guest list!!! Don't miss this one.

Rating: 93%


Dinner Party, Jul 16, 2010

Reviewer: Norm, Jr. from Somewhere, CA

I'll be the weird one in the corner and bravely declare that I'm not as crazy about this ep as everyone else seems to be. It gets compared to "My Coffee With Niles," but there was something to that ep of having a purpose involving Frasier's happiness. As he's on the verge of deciding whether he is or not, one of the things to do with his happiness -- his dad, Daphne, Roz, etc -- interrupts him to remind of how times aren't so bad. The fact that this whole "one set" episode concerns another snobby dinner party left me hollow. Complications to do with chefs and guests and the boys' bonded relationship got worn pretty rapidly. The blackball bit saved most of it for me (the drunken Duncans, dried up fig comment) but on the whole the laugh fodder lacked kick. When references are being made about people we don't know...well, imagine how engaging it is in real life.

Rating: 70%


bon appetit!, May 24, 2010

Reviewer: Anonymous from England

Repeats of 'Frasier' abound (in England, at least): one or two episodes shown every morning on Channel 4, and what used to be Paramount Comedy channel will often show marathons of the show. So it's pretty easy to become blase about 'Frasier'; it's always available, you get the feeling you've probably seen every episode by now, and it was a hit American show, and they don't tend to age very well (Friends, Cheers, Roseanne).
Waking early one morning in Winter I brewed coffee, rolled a jazz cigarette and scrolled through the TV channels- Frasier was on, and not much else. So I watched it. Because I used to adore it. Because there wasn't anything else to do. Because even if it were a dud episode I would have the pleasure of slowly being cajoled into a state of wakefulness by Kelsey's voice.
By the end of the episode I was awake, fully and irrevocably awake, to the fact that I'd just had one of the best half hours of my life. My friend and I were laughing aloud at the punchlines, making expectant guttural noises during the set-ups, and vowing to watch every episode of the sitcom. We sometimes looked at each other as tho' we were the lucky bearers of a special secret.
I'd never seen this episode, but if you were to have told me that I was about to see what happens when Frasier and Niles plan a dinner party, my breath would've been bated... There'll be squabbling between the brothers, I'd think; good... There will be grandiose plans involving their snobby friends; good... It'll all go horribly wrong; natch. Thinking about it now, I reckon that this episode should always have been part of the canon, y' know? It seems to be a plot that lends itself to the characters in the show.
Martin, Daphne and Roz are also in the episode, but, for the main, the plot centres on Frasier and Niles interacting, one on one... and how can that ever be anything but sublime?
The jokes in this episode are... witty, plot-driven, surprising... The energy that 'Frasier' seems to harness, the feeling of expectation the cast inspires in the audience (the which, I feel, is what seperates 'Frasier' from other sitcoms) is very much in evidence in this episode.
There are no outsiders in this episode, just the main cast, and that, to me, is as velvet.
So, I vowed to watch every episode, and I've nearly got there: this is the finest episode of 'Frasier'.
The script! The performances!... The whole twenty-three minutes of Dinner Party can never be taken from me, and I would not trade that time for anything.
My favourite line was Roz's, as she was stomping out of Frasier's dining-room, as she reached the end of a moody explanation that she was, too, refined... And then, unprovoked, she ends with "Shut-up, Niles."

So yeah, it's an okay episode...

Rating: 100%


Just Like Family, Feb 11, 2007

Reviewer: Kristin from Amarillo, Texas

Watching Frazier and Niles relate to each other reminds me of my relationship with my younger sister... I smile with each witty one liner...
My favorite line...
- After the phone call questioning the brother's relationship:

Niles: Why don't we call Alison and ask her what she finds strange about us - we can both be on an extension.

Frasier: Better yet, why not get on a bicycle made for 2, ride over there and ask her what she finds strange about us!!

Rating: 100%


A classic, Oct 15, 2006

Reviewer: Jeff from Pensacola, FL USA

My three things to look for in a Frasier episode: Do the one-liners make me laugh, are the visual jokes comedic in nature, do I enjoy the story. If I can say yes to any of these three I will score at least 80.

Read the episode highlights: classic Frasier dialogue, great story.

Rating: 93%


'Dinner Party' review, Jul 24, 2005

Reviewer: Jocelyn from London, UK

A splendid episode which employs the 'real time' device of 'My Coffee With Niles' and is almost as good. Basically centred around Frasier and Niles' attempts to stage a dinner party which never happens, it contains some superb comic moments with the brothers struggling to find a date which doesn't clash with Martin's poker night and then squabbling over which guests to invite via a system of blackballing. The mobile phone mix-up is excellent but better still is the answer machine message from the Wolperts which sends Frasier and Niles into a paranoid self-examination about how much time they spend with each other, leading to Martin memorably describing them as not so much odd as 'special'! Witty, revealing and insightful, Jeffrey Richman's last episode for over four years stands head and shoulders above anything else is this season.

Rating: 87%


DINNER PARTY, May 26, 2005

Reviewer: Cake for Brains from Manchester, UK

The second real time episode in the series is brilliantly sustained and stands as one of my all time favourite episodes. Jeffrey Richman (To Kill a Talking Bird) delivers a marvellous script that contains well-plotted and hilarious dialogue that is both really funny and tells the viewer a lot about the relationship between Niles and Frasier. This episode could have easily fallen flat on its face, as it would certainly be reviewed in comparison to the first real time story ‘My Coffee with Niles’, which closed off the first season beautifully. However, I am probably in the minority here, but I think this episode is considerably better, as its consistently funny and contains great performances by Kelsey Grammer and David Hyde Pierce.

The premise is very simple, and I think that it what makes it work so well. The first line is Frasier telling Niles he’s going to throw a dinner party, and the episode unfolds pretty much by itself after that. Jeffrey Richman has here more than made up for his disaster in the form of ‘Hot Ticket’, one of the earlier episodes in this season. Every scene has something memorable, from the black ball game, to the phone mix up to the anecdotes about the various couples invited. It was cleverly executed how Niles and Frasier were made to question the closeness of the relationship due to an answer machine message.
NILES: Why don't we call Alison and ask her what she finds strange about us? We can both be on an extension.
FRASIER: Better yet, why not get on a bicycle made for two, ride over there and ask her what she finds strange about us!!

I have two favourite quotes from this episode.

FRASIER: Dad, do you think we’re odd
MARTIN: No, you’re not odd, you’re just special

(On looking at their dinner party list)
FRASIER: A third rate caterer with a record, two lushes, a couple who think we're nut cases, an Argentinian wild child and Roz.

This episode concludes superbly with Frasier answering the door to find it is some kids playing a prank on him and running away, which works well compared to the plot. A wonderful, insightful episode that is criminally underrated. It has classic written all over it.

Rating: 94%