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Episode reviews for Episode 7.01 - Momma Mia

Avg. Viewer Review: 81.2%
Number of Reviews: 4

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Hester She Ain't, May 12, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia


What an interesting choice to open the season. Coming off its highest-rated year, "Frasier" chooses a character piece that pays off far more for long-term viewers than newcomers. Unusual.

There's a lot of comedy here, such as the farcical open with Frasier and Roz asking out the wrong people, and the interactions between David Hyde Pierce and John Mahoney at the cabin. However, the crucial situation - that Mia looks like Frasier's mother - always teeters hesitantly between comedy and drama. Some moments are clearly pitched (Mia getting sexual with a disturbed Frasier, for instance) but sometimes the melancholic tones of Frasier's wistfulness take this episode toward a deeper vein than the farce it was perhaps initially pitched as. Perhaps I'm overthinking it (although what better show?) but it seems as if what was originally a purely comic idea evolved as the writer and later the cast sunk their teeth into it.

I'm not convinced that this is a classic, largely because the first act can't quite make its mind up about what it wants to achieve. However, Frasier's ultimate realisation and disgust is played very well. What makes this a worthy episode, however, is that stunning final scene. Three men - all at a questioning point of their lives - who have wildly different traits and have struggled to get along over the years, watching video of the one woman they all uniformly loved, and who is lost to them forever.

Only "Frasier" could do this, folks.


Rating: 79%

 

A splendid start to Season 7, Oct 09, 2007

Reviewer: Streetworker from Manchester, UK


For those of us who thought Season 6 was a dip in quality, Season 7 was a Godsend; it is, in fact, one of my all-time favourite seasons of the show. And the season gets off to a fine start with this episode which is, by turns, laugh-out-loud and poignant. At its best, the quality of writing in Frasier meant that it could always embrace farce, wit and real emotion adroitly, often switching from one to another in the course of a couple of lines of dialogue. That is demonstrated particularly well in this episode.


Rating: 92%

 

MOMMA MIA, Aug 05, 2006

Reviewer: Cake for Brains from Manchester, UK


And so begins the seventh season of ‘Frasier’, which is arguably one of the most important years in the show’s long history because it finally addressed the attraction that Niles had for Daphne and set in motion the events that would lead the viewer to the emotional season finale. Season 7, in my opinion, is rather an odd collection of episode, and I know that it divides the fans right down the middle. Many people, who disliked the darker nature of Season 6 felt that this season represented a return to form for the show, but many people (including myself) felt that Season 7 was too heavily driven by its dramatic storylines and also recycled several plot devices that had been used before in previous years. Season 7 is still very enjoyable however, and although classic episodes are rather scarce, the standard is pretty consistent throughout and there are few weak episodes to be found. ‘Momma Mia’, the season premiere is definitely not one of them, and on the whole it is a fun and enjoyable beginning to the show’s seventh year. Although the episode gets by on one joke that recurs throughout, I think the writers just about managed to sustain the humour for the whole twenty-two minute duration, although I must confess to finding the final few minutes rather lifeless, although the moving ending was lovely. The premise of the episode is simple; Frasier begins dating a woman who is completely identical to his late mother, and despite Niles and Martin’s immediate notification, it takes Frasier a while to address the situation. Poor old Martin, it seems he can never just have an ordinary birthday, and ‘Momma Mia’ fits nicely alongside ‘My Coffee with Niles’, ‘Dark Victory’ and ‘The Gift Horse’, because the celebrations are (as usual) cut short and turned into chaos.

The episode has a nice, amusing opening, with Frasier accidentally approaching three different women all at once in Café Nervosa, one of which happens to be Mia Preston (played excellently by Rita Wilson) who Frasier begins dating. Aside from identically resembling his mother, Mia is also a children’s author who writes books about a panda bear. The majority of this episode’s action takes place in the cabin in which Martin and the boys used to stay when their mother was still alive, and in order to complicate matters Frasier brings Hester along for Martin’s birthday weekend. As a consequence we get some nice scenes, particularly Niles’ Latin graffiti ‘Always wear underwear!’ and the funny recurring jokes about Niles bug phobia. I loved Niles bulging suitcase of insect repellent, ‘the raging crickets’ and when he was ‘startled by a moth’, or was it a bat? Due to the fact that Frasier gets his thumb injured, Mia assumes more and more of a motherly role as she spoon-feeds Fraser his dinner and tucks him into bed. The best section of the episode however are the events at the dinner table, in which Niles gets some fantastic one-liners, all involving Frasier’s attraction to Mia, which according to Niles represents Freud’s theory that ‘every man subconsciously wants to sleep with his mother’. Niles comment regarding Mia that ‘Frasier has struck the mother load’ is hilarious, as are his comments regarding her panda stories as ‘worthy of mother goose’. The final quarter of the episodes however seems to fizzle out a little however, and I think at this point the one-joke of the episode begins to wear pretty thin, as Mia’s increasingly motherly behaviour prompts Frasier to confront his situation, which he finally realises he cannot do, resulting in the ending of their relationship. Luckily the episode ends wonderfully, as the three Crane boys wistfully watch the home video’s of their childhood. It’s a nice low-key beginning to the season, and although it may not be the most subtle or sophisticated of episodes, it’s still pretty fun nonetheless.


Rating: 78%

 

'Momma Mia' review, Jul 31, 2005

Reviewer: Jocelyn from London, UK


It seems surprising that it should take a show about a psychiatrist seven years to tackle the Oedipus complex but this season opener finally gets around to it as Frasier finds himself dating a woman, Mia, who is the spitting image of his mother although, unlike Niles and Martin, he remains blissfully unaware of this until a chance viewing of an old home movie during a stay at an old family cabin to celebrate Martin's birthday. There's a fun opening scene at Nervosa when Frasier's first meeting with Mia is embarrassingly interrupted by advances from other women who he's been expressing an interest in while David Hyde Pierce provides some good moments of visual comedy courtesy of Niles' attempt to rid the cabin of bugs with the help of a suitcase full of bug repellent. The comic highlight comes with the dinner where Mia is seen to be increasingly treating a still oblivious Frasier like a child, causing Niles to drop ever unsubtle hints which makes for a funny scene, although generally I felt more humour could have been extracted from this situation as the episode seems to run out of steam towards the end. That said, the final shot of the Cranes watching an old home movie of Hester is very touching indeed.


Rating: 76%