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Episode reviews for Episode 7.05 - The Dog That Rocks The Cradle

Avg. Viewer Review: 76.7%
Number of Reviews: 6

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Vale, Bulldog, May 12, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia

I'll put it out there. I really like Bulldog and his portrayer, Dan Butler. Yet I think he works much better as a supporting character. I didn't love his previous episode, "Bad Dog", and other Bulldog vehicles leave me at least a tad cold.

However, I really enjoyed this one. It's odd, admittedly, to see him taken this seriously, but his overhyped machismo and feelings of inadequacy have all been key elements of his psyche over time. Here, this is combined with Roz's growing fear that she's undateable, which has reared its ugly head often since she first became pregnant two years ago. The episode isn't a laugh riot, although it gets some decent mileage at of Bulldog's new position. Dan Butler and Peri Gilpin both put in spirited performances, as does Kelsey Grammer. The confrontation scene is funny but also really rather sweet, as Roz lets Bulldog get out of his confession while saving face. (On original viewing, I really did think these two would end up together at series' end in spite of everything. Perhaps that just says a lot for the character chemistry, or maybe the idea was thrown about in the writers' room but didn't end up working out. Who knows?)

The less said about Martin's uninspiring graveyard plot the better, although it is bleakly funny that the brothers Crane are as much concerned about their social position in death as in life!

It's a real shame that - since KACL returned to normal midway through season 6 - the radio station has been given the short shrift. That continues here a little, since I find it unlikely that Bulldog couldn't get another job. He's consistently been shown as the most popular mainstream broadcaster at KACL (shut it, Tootie The Story Lady), and it's odd that he'd fall so far in a year. But, that's a quibble. I'll be interested on this rewatch to see how the slowly shifting writing team deals with Frasier and Roz's careers.

Rating: 89%


Review, Jun 27, 2010

Reviewer: Tommy from London

I dont have a lot to say about how this fits in with other episodes, i'm not an avid viewer but have to say i really enjoy the humor in Frasier as well as how it deals with the almost ethical situations encountered. For me very few scenes i've come across in this show are comparable to Roz giving Bulldog a chance to opt out as opposed to say she doesn't love him, the way all emotion is laid out for us to see and yet the dialouge presents him with an empty get out clause brings a lump to my throat every time, the acting is superb and the writing, if only for that scene alone is genius.
Bulldog was always a lively, happy go lucky character but that doesn't mean he cant be vulnerable... Admittedly his undying love for Roz was a bit much and very unexpected, but the way he tries to save himself with what at the time seems like a hollow attempt at his former liveliness is testament to the fact that minor characters dont have to be one dimensional.

Rating: 80%


Bulldog Farewell (for now), Jun 22, 2008

Reviewer: Fergus from Dublin, Ireland

Basically one of the main problems with seasons 6-9 is that the writers deveoped an aversion to the KACL radio station environment that had been such a mainstay of the early seasons. Bulldog is scarcely believable as a pizza delivery guy - how could a hugely popular if controversial sports radio jock have fallen so low? And his attraction/love regarding Roz feels so contrived - though scaring off her dates does provide one great scene: dislocating his own finger to intimidate a far bigger rival. As pointed out, making Bulldog the centre of the episode doesn't work - Frasier comes across as a guest star on his own show. Bulldog was the one chracter who didn't ever need sentimentality. In seasons 1-5 he was casually attracted to Roz but he was already enjoying enough politically incorrect sex to not care about her rejections. Sadly he and Gill would only provide cameo appearanes during the closing seasons. Why would a show write out its best supporting characters? Seasons 8-9 were a wasteland without them.

Rating: 68%



Reviewer: Cake for Brains from Manchester, UK

I generally try to tackle my reviews with a certain amount of enthusiasm, but when it comes to episodes like ‘The Dog that Rocks the Cradle’, I find it incredibly difficult to find anything positive to say about it, due to the fact that it seems to fail on all levels. It’s the first script from writer Bob Daily for the show, which is surprising because his scripts were often highly amusing, so perhaps we can put this mess down to the excuse that Daily hadn’t yet found his footing, because his subsequent efforts would prove far, far funnier. In fact, Bob Daily said on a documentary included on the Season 11 DVD collection that prior to working on the show, he would watch and re-watch tapes of ‘Frasier’ trying to fathom out the characters and how to write for the show, and unfortunately this episode completely demonstrates how not to write for the show, because it feels wrong in humour, tone, pace and character. This episode provides yet a further disappointment because it is the last regular appearance of Dan Butler as the larger-than-life Bulldog, and it is a shame that his tenure (until Season 10 anyway) had to end in such a dull, underwhelming manner. I think the fact that Bulldog is given such a major role to play in this episode is a definite contributing factor regarding its poor quality. I genuinely like the character of Bulldog, but because he’s perhaps not the most interesting or engaging character to appear in the series, I often find that episodes that are heavily centred around Bulldog are missing something, because I don’t think the protagonist is strong enough to carry the episode on his own. The ending of this episode also shattered the personality of Bulldog that had been established over the past seven years, and Bulldog suddenly showing his true feelings and letting loose his emotions towards Roz just didn’t ring true and felt hideously out of character to me.

I also have a vast amount of quibbles regarding the storyline of this episode, and I felt that both plots were slow and completely devoid of laughs, seemingly aiming for a more drama-based episode, as a opposed to comedy. I think the episode would have worked if one of the plots had managed to achieve a couple of laughs. What with the dramatic and rather serious nature of the Roz and Bulldog plot, it would have been much more effective in my view to juxtapose this drama-driven plot with a subplot that was out to get laughs, and therefore Bob Daily would have struck a balance in the episode’s tone. Instead, standing alongside the dramatic features of the central plot, we get a banal subplot that tries to display black comedy, because it tackles the subject of death and where the Crane men are to be buried after they die. Therefore, with both plots being rather downbeat, this episode seems to adopt a very negative tone, and this doesn’t work for ‘Frasier’, because there are no laughs or fun to be had. The plot of this episode had a real potential too, and although Dan Butler and Peri Gilpin give solid performances, it isn’t enough to save this episode from being one of the weakest episode produced up until this point in the show’s history. The basic storyline witnessed Frasier discovering that Bulldog (after being fired from KACL at the end of Season 6) is now working as a pizza delivery man, and so (feeling sorry for him) recommends him as a babysitter to Roz, who accepts after seeing how good he is with Alice. Bulldog soon begins to realise how much he enjoyed his relationship with Roz and regrets dumping her, and as a result begins threatening Roz’s dates, hoping that Roz will give him a second chance. The ending is particularly awful, as the viewer is expected to accept this new side to Bulldog, and given his previous vibrancy and energy, I was unable to do this, and as a result I deem this episode a failure. The funeral plot subplots feels too dark and depressing to be truly funny (Frasier has tackled death more successfully in episode such as ‘Death and the Dog), and although Niles was given a handful of amusing lines, it wasn’t enough to restore this episode from being a complete waste of time and a rather painful and embarrassing viewing experience.

Rating: 64%


The Dog That Rocks The Cradle, Apr 15, 2006

Reviewer: Amz from Wiltshire, UK

I loved this episode. It was one of my favourite Bulldog episodes. I also loved the story line about Martin's funeral, and Daphne was having everything that Martin wanted at her wedding. The part when Martin says to Frasier and Niles "congratulations you're standing on your very own graves" was just fabulous. Then we end with the Roz and Bulldog scene when she finds out he's been getting rid of her dates. Dan Butler is great as Bulldog in this episode. Fantastic.

Rating: 92%


'The Dog That Rocks The Cradle' review, Aug 02, 2005

Reviewer: Jocelyn from London, UK

Dan Butler makes his last appearance on the show for two years here when Frasier discovers that Bulldog is working between jobs as a pizza delivery man and, on seeing how well he gets on with Alice, encourages Roz to hire him as a babysitter so she can return to the dating scene. The few comic highlights on offer here come near the beginning; Niles giving Bulldog a too generous tip is funny and there's a good scene at Nervosa where Frasier and Niles are enquiring about their graveyard plots on their mobile phones which is part of a subplot which, while promising, proves rather pointless since it completely grounds to a halt. Sadly, the main plot with Bulldog scaring away Roz's dates while babysitting doesn't really bear repeated viewing, with the scenes between Bulldog and Alice coming across as rather cringeworthy. The scene where Roz gets her revenge by locking a naked Bulldog out on the balcony is quite amusing but having Bulldog tell Roz that he loves her feels out of character to say the least and makes for a rather dull ending to this below par episode which on the whole displays why Bulldog's character would disappear for such a long time afterwards, as the writers had clearly run out of credible storylines for the character.

Rating: 67%