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Episode reviews for Episode 6.20 - Dr Nora

Avg. Viewer Review: 79.5%
Number of Reviews: 13

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Moustache humour, May 13, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia

Joe Keenan's script takes the concept of "Dr. Laura"-esque head shrinkers, and plots a stealthy character piece that tears apart a loathsome viewpoint from the perspective of Frasier Crane. What develops from this seed - like most any other script - is a character piece about Frasier taking on someone whose views so oppose his own (and some moustache humour on the side). Frasier and Roz behave exactly as they would when someone like Dr. Nora arrived on the scene. So, for that matter, does Martin. Does it come down firmly against people like Dr. Nora? Of course it does. But then again, she's judgmental, inflexible, and stunningly anti-feminist. I can't say Frasier is wrong to step up his antics to an alarmingly petty degree.

Either way, the ever-reliable Christine Baranski delivers in spades as Dr. Nora, and her approach to Frasier creates a true challenge for him. I might've preferred that the battle ultimately be concluded between the two rather than pulling out a last-minute trump card... but any episode that ends with Piper Laurie spewing vitriol in Frasier's booth can't be all bad.

Rating: 81%


Why hello there, Mrs. Hofstader!, Aug 30, 2012

Reviewer: Jules from Halifax, Nova Scotia

I'll admit it, I've never been a devoted viewer of Frasier. I don't particularly like Niles or Daphne (sacrilege, I know) - preferring Roz, Martin and Eddie, and I tend to skip episodes featuring Frasier trying to get a date or such activities.

This episode, however, has recently become one of my favourites. I watch "The Big Bang Theory", and Christine Baranski regularly appears as the psychologist mother of one of the characters - basically, a colder, less... outgoing version of Dr. Nora. Episodes with her are always a delight, and this Frasier episode is much the same.

Rating: 75%


Dr. Nora, Aug 15, 2010

Reviewer: Norm, Jr. from Somewhere, CA

At least some original 'female foil' ground is covered in this energetic little ep. This time it's in the form of another radio shrink --- this one a female --- who has a more no-nonsense approach than Frasier. This, of course, irks him, but not as much as her intruding with *his* callers. Incensed at her lack of professionalism, he plots to even the score in a comically raucous --- if completely implausible --- finish. The shots at the real life Dr. Laura were highly enjoyable (at the time she was an overexposed gasbag of a caustic radio host) and seemed to be a real 'wish-fulfillment' exploration on the part of the writer. "Mrs. Mulhern...pleeeeeeeeeeeease!!" SLAM!!

Rating: 87%


Umm... lotsa politics on this one huh?, Aug 13, 2009

Reviewer: Eddie The Dog from The example was Seattle... is that intentional?

I have never heard of this Dr. Laura you guys are arguing about but I did get the feeling there was a message there. None the less without knowing can I just say I found this a brilliant and amusing episode of a great show.

For one of the episodes I would put down as being among 'Fraiser's Crusades' where in he seems to find himself on some sort of work related mission I found this episode was less focused on him than normal.

Niles's mustache and Daphene's mother issues, along with Ros's own battle against Dr. Nora because of the clash of her advice with Ros's way of thinking, as well as Ros's attraction to Dr. Nora's producer allowed this episode to be much less Fraiser centered. That was my one major fear at the start of this episode.

I have to say though I found this an interesting episode and I can't help thinking it would have been nice if there was a couple of episodes with that character as she seems like quite a funny little touch. I mean the idea she seems to have of Fraiser as the Anti-Christ is something that I think another couple of episodes could benefit from.

On a sidenote: I really liked the line 'equal opportunities whore'. I know a couple of bi girls I am friends with, but one of them is freakishly hedonistic, although actually that stark contrast is a source of humor for both of us, I am pretty awkward about most things like that. She seems to have a lot of fun teasing me.

Rating: 80%


Dr No Nonsense, Apr 01, 2009

Reviewer: David Sim from Skelmersdale, Lancashire

Joe Keenan certainly enjoys writing memorable, distinctive female characters. Like Bebe Glazer. Sherry Dempsey. Nanny G. And (I suppose) Poppy Delafield. They all come with their own unique, particular quirks and boisterous personalities. And Dr Nora is another that can join the club.

Dr Nora is an episode that doesn't quite fall into the classic bracket. Mainly because it doesn't quite hold up to future scrutiny. But its still a lot of fun. It's script crackles with wit. And it moves at a lightning pace. All things we've come to expect from the great Joe Keenan.

It has a very amusing plotline. KACL has just taken on a new radio therapist, Dr Nora Fairchild. But compared to Frasier, the advice she dishes out is from the Old Testament way of thinking. In other words, any woman who has sex before marriage is a tramp. And Hell is for whores and fornicators. Frasier must find a way to get rid of a woman who's become such a big hit with the listeners.

Dr Nora is no Joe Keenan classic. Largely because once we know all there is to know about Dr Nora, she sort of loses her impact on future viewings. A problem that dogged Poppy's character in Keenan's next episode Everyone's A Critic. But Dr Nora has the leg-up because unlike Poppy's annoyingly shallow character, this episode is bolstered by a wonderful performance from the great Christine Baranski.

Christine Baranski is an actress that has arch delivery mastered to an art form. She's probably best known for playing Maryann in Cybill, a quite good sitcom that ended too soon, and one I like almost as much as Frasier. Joe Keenan has tuned his talent for sharp dialogue towards Baranksi's trademark cutting remarks:

"Like most men you leave major decisions to your penis. Fortunately for Seattle your penis chose right. It just didn't know why!"

There's lots of great little scenes like these between Frasier and Dr Nora. Especially when she disputes Frasier's advice to one of his callers. That all mothers are monsters and they never change. Not one iota. Which sets up things nicely for the third and final act. When Frasier tracks down Dr Nora's mother and brings her to the station in hope of a reconciliation. And she's a lunatic.

Piper Laurie is a good choice for the role of Mrs Mulhern. She'll always be known for Carrie, where she played Sissy Spacek's religious fanatical mother. And here she's playing a part not all that far removed. Giving a real larger than life performance as she denounces Nora live on the air. Laurie hasn't lost any of her fire and brimstone in the 20 years since. It brings things to a lively close.

Quite a good episode. Not quite up there with Joe Keenan's best. But there is plenty to like. There are lots of little gems all round the edges of the story. Niles growing a moustache that's barely there. The look on Martin's face after Frasier figures out the reason for their $90 cable bill. Daphne's issues with her own mother. Roz's wonderful insult to Dr Nora.

Just a fun episode. Plain and simple.

Rating: 80%


Dr. Nora/Laura Agenda/Schmagenda, Sep 15, 2007

Reviewer: Brian MacIntyre from Toronto Ontario

As far as those viewers who are concerned about the "agenda" aspect of this show - this is a very funny episode, period! Get over it! I scarcely knew who Dr. Laura was when I first watched it. When I learned more about her I realized that the writer was hardly exaggerating at all. DOESN'T MATTER - all you need to know to appreciate the episode is that here's a character who has managed to pass off rigid puritanical moralizing as therapy (unlike Frasier's warm & fuzzy approach). She's able to do this because there's enough people out there like Martin, who has nostalgia for "old fashioned values"; and Daphne, who confuses (in her typical way) parental abuse with love. There are actually some very wise observations here, hidden among the riotous goings-on.

My favourite line: "This is a woman who believes the Spanish Inquisition was just tough love for heretics!"

Rating: 95%


Fantastic, Aug 19, 2007

Reviewer: Anonymous from Anytown, AT 55555

Dr Nora

A great episode. It reallly makes for good viewing when Kelsey Grammer has an actor of strentgh to work with and Christine Baranski is a formidable foil for him.

A great episode and Roz/Frasier's reactions to Dr Nora are perfect"

Great episode

Rating: 100%


Better than the rating suggests, Jan 01, 2007

Reviewer: Dorian from California, USA

I am writing my first and probably only review because I feel the anger of a few reviewers over the political agenda of the episode is unfairly dragging its rating down.
I dont care if you like dr Laura or not, the reviews are supposed to rate how funny an episode is and this is definetly a good run-of-the-mill episode, especially considering how dragging the first half of the season was. I certainly agree the confrontation with the mother was a little overdone but so many great lines in that episode (the verbal fight between Nora and Roz was so witty), the Niles mustache subplot was brilliantly subtle and God bless DHP once again for his performance, and Christine Baranski was truly well used as a guest star (instead of being wasted like it happened too often with others).
The same way some reviewers wish Joe Keenan wouldnt write episodes with an agenda ... I wish reviewers wouldnt review episodes with their own bias on the table.
Ironically you have to be aware as a fan of the show that this "bias" influenced the show greatly, in ways less obvious but as fundamental. So many things would be different about FRASIER if Joe Keenan wasnt who he was. Did you know the show was supposed to be set in Denver but was moved to Seattle because Colorado passed anti-gay legislation at the time they were writing the pilot, therefore offending the creators ? Bottom line is, you may disagree with the message in this particular case but you cant take it out on the quality of the show which is brilliant when it wants and superior to much of whats on TV today when it s just average - such as with this episode.
Political agenda or not, I give it a generous 85%.

Rating: 85%


Skip this Episode, Dec 14, 2006

Reviewer: Nomad from Chicago, IL

The writer shoving his opinion about one particular person in your face is so obvious that
it's just ridiculous. This episode demeans an otherwise relatively sophisticated sitcom.
Regardless of my opinion about Dr. Laura, if I worked on the show I would be
embarrassed to be associated with this shamelessly self-serving episode.

Giving it a 40 rating (as opposed to a 0) b/c the parts where the writer is not on his
soapbox are as great as usual.

Rating: 40%


Watchable, 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.

The dialogue in the first 10 minutes saves this one.

Rating: 80%



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