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Episode reviews for Episode 7.14 - Big Crane On Campus

Avg. Viewer Review: 70.8%
Number of Reviews: 4

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Prom queen, assistant principal: you can't go home again, May 16, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia

"It was a time known as the Jazz Age"... Frasier attempting to describe "The Great Gatsby" to Roz was the first indication I would enjoy this episode. There are some very enjoyable character moments throughout, with the idea of dating the prom queen ricocheting through both Niles and Frasier's lives. David Hyde Pierce is hysterical with his geeky snigger and puerile fighting with his brother. Meanwhile, it's enjoyable to watch Frasier finally achieve one of his dreams only to realise that it was perhaps a boyish fantasy more than anything else.

This is definitely the Frasier Crane we know: someone who wants to have ethics and dignity but will end up putting them aside just so he can go to a prom with the queen. I particularly like the way Kelsey Grammer plays his growing realisation of Lorna's dark side: "I woke up with Carrie".

Perhaps not everything works. Frasier's voiceover on his date night is quite funny but feels a little odd coming as it does out of nowhere in an episode that doesn't otherwise use the device. The single little scene of Daphne's feelings is a good sign the writers haven't forgotten the events of this season, but it doesn't really tie into the rest of the episode. (Then again, I suppose we had six years of Niles' feelings being an unspoken thread, it's fair for Daphne to spend half a season in the same situation.)

As Lorna, Jean Smart brings a vibrancy to the role. She's always been a reliable performer, and she effortlessly turns from the sweet woman who has transgressed her old personality into the shrieking harpy of Frasier's nightmares. At the same time, the fact that this becomes the entire characterisation of Lorna does start to wear thin after a while. Her final scene is quite funny though. It's just a shame they couldn't have perhaps had one extra comedic twist up their sleeve.

(On a side note, the little old lady who gets abused by Lorna in the elevator is perfectly cast.)

Ultimately, in spite of my quibbles, I enjoy this episode. Roz's little sideplot ultimately ties in to the episode's theme. Yes, Frasier was using Lorna. But - as she points out - on some level, Lorna was using him. She just wanted to ease back into dating with a demonstrably sweet and doting man. On same level, the episode suggests, we're all using others. Sometimes it's with their complicity, sometimes it's completely harmless and innocent. But unlike so many "Frasier-ruins-his-date" episodes, this one suggests that the fault is rarely as bad as it seems. Worth pondering.

Rating: 79%


Big Crane On Campus, Sep 17, 2012

Reviewer: Lucy from London

An enjoyable episode, which sees Frasier bumping into Lana, the prom queen from his old high school and someone Frasier always had a crush on.

As he is cannot pluck up enough courage to ask her out on a date, he makes out that he planning to sell his apartment as that is the work she is now involved with.
She ends up staying the night much to the delight of Frasier until he realises the next morning what she is really like, which is a loud, uncouth, chain-smoking nightmare!
I thought the witty dialogue from Frasier and Roz was inspired, ‘so you went to bed with the prom queen’. ‘yes and I woke up with Carrie!’

Whilst watching this, it struck me as odd though that two boys who were exceptionally bright and went to Bryce Academy ended up going to a normal high school.

Frasier struggles with his ethics towards the end as he wants to fulfil his high school desire of having the prom queen on his arm, but knows there is no future in this relationship.

Though I quite liked the feisty, refreshing character of Lana, her shouting did get very grating after a while.

Away from the main storyline, I thought the intimate moment between Niles and Daphne was a nice development in that whole story.

Not the best from season 7, but certainly not the worst.

Rating: 70%


'Big Crane On Campus' review, Sep 26, 2009

Reviewer: Melanie G from Leeds UK

Unless I missed a reference in some other episode to Frasier & Niles' educational history, I cannot see why two boys from the upmarket boys only Bryce Academy should end their school days in an ordinary co-ed High School.
Also, do Frasier and Niles start by referring to the character as 'Lorna' but then call her 'Lana' in the other episodes she appears in?
I agree that Jean Smart is initially great as the loud mouthed prom queen but does start to grate after a while and David Hyde Pierce is, as ever, the standout member of the cast.

Rating: 60%


'Big Crane On Campus' review, Aug 06, 2005

Reviewer: Jocelyn from London, UK

A blast from Frasier's past arrives in this episode in the form of Lorna Lynley, who was the much desired prom queen at their old high school. Much to Frasier's delight the two get reaquainted, even spending the night together, only for her true nature as an uncouth chain-smoking, heavy drinking harpy to be revealed the next morning, which leads to the episode's best exchange of dialogue from Roz to Frasier: 'You went to bed with the prom queen?/Yes and I woke up with Carrie!'. Although Jean Smart plays Lorna with considerable pizazz, her screeching routine does begin to grate after a while and the voice-overs depicting Frasier's childish glee at going out with her don't really work, although Niles' similarly childish giggling whenever he's in her prescence is highly amusing. A further development of the Niles/Daphne storyline with Martin interrupting an intimate moment in the kitchen adds some interest to an episode which contains some excellent moments but on the whole doesn't rank among the highpoints of this season.

Rating: 74%