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Episode reviews for Episode 8.06 - The New Friend

Avg. Viewer Review: 79.5%
Number of Reviews: 4

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Closet space, May 16, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia

At last, a really solid episode for season 8. Gary Cole puts in an enjoyable guest turn as a man who - weirdly - comes between Roz and Frasier. Peri Gilpin has been underused of late and this episode shows what a silly decision that was. I can see how inadvertently the character could slip through the cracks in a writers' room environment. When a bunch of writers each pick their favourite subject, you can end up with numerous episodes that focus on the family relationships and Frasier's dating life, leaving a character like Roz on the outside. Season 8 also hasn't had a lot of time for KACL, sadly.

Still, "The New Friend" - in spite of its bland title - provides us with a very enjoyable Frasier/Roz conflict that plays around with physical comedy, moral dilemmas, and the quiet confusion of Niles. It's not a classic, but it's really solid.

Meanwhile, although this was filmed after some of the episodes that aired first, this is the start of Daphne's overeating arc. Has any other show treated an actress' pregnancy in this way? I don't think so, and I'm particularly impressed with how the series suggests that Daphne is the opposite of Roz (and many of us) - she's not a stress eater, she's a happiness eater. The overwhelming love of Niles has allowed her to set free her self-doubts and concerns. And food is now filling up some of those places. While I'd be very interested to see an alternate season 8 where Leeves' pregnancy came later, and the series could explore the conflicts between Niles and Daphne... this is actually an unusual tack for the series. I bemoan Leeves' reduced appearance for the next few episodes, but the development makes a lot of sense.

Rating: 80%


The New Friend, Jun 20, 2011

Reviewer: Jeremy from Dallas, TX USA

In my opinion, this is one of the most underrated episodes of Frasier. I think it often gets overlooked due to its being in season eight, but I found it to be quite enjoyable and more akin to the way the show was prior to season eight. Although it doesnít quite reach the same quality, there are at least hints of this quality spread throughout the episode. Here we get all the farce Frasier is known for, as well as some relatively good material for Roz and a good subplot between Martin and Niles (who rarely get subplots together). The premise is great and the subplot also works pretty well (I always enjoy the episodes where a subplot involves Eddie). I love the quibble between Niles and Martin over Eddie; Eddie running into elevator leaving Niles in a panic attack that he might again lose Martinís trust is one of the highlights of the episode. Another highlight is the scene in the coffee shop where Niles keeps overhearing Roz and Frasier change their plans over the phone with Rozís boyfriend. The only major criticism I would give this episode is that it lacks really good dialogue. For instance, the dialogue between Frasier and Rozís boyfriend is often lifeless in the comedy department. Another problem was that the writers made Daphne seem like some kind a gluttonous pig in her newly-developed eating habits, and I didnít really care for that. I thought they could have done a better job handling the ďDaphne becomes fatĒ story arc than doing it in such a crude manner. Nonetheless, in the context of season eight, this is a gem. This is exactly the kind of episode that, if it were in the hands of the pre-season eight writing staff, would have been a truly excellent episode in the context of the entire show. But itís still a very enjoyable episode.

Rating: 84%


THE NEW FRIEND, Jul 16, 2006

Reviewer: Cake for Brains from Manchester, UK

When I initially watched Season 8 back last year, this was one of the few episodes that I genuinely enjoyed watching, and thankfully, 'The New Friend' has retained its energy and fun on a second viewing. Of course, it comes nowhere close to touching any of the 'classic' episodes from previous years, but in the context of Season 8, it is one of my very favourites, let down only by a bad ending and a couple of way-too-obvious lines from Roz, after she tells Frasier what a good, trustful friend he is. Luke was a good character, and although I think it was wise that the actor was dealt with in one episode, the actor had good chemistry with Kelsey Grammer ('F' man), and it was nice to see Frasier make a friend for once. My favourite scenes included Eddie's trip to the 'spa', the hilarious multiple phone conversations by Frasier and Roz (heard by Niles) in Nervosa and Eddie running off into the elevator. Not a classic by any means, but a solid, fun and watchable episode of 'Frasier' nonetheless.

Rating: 79%


'The New Friend' review, Aug 20, 2005

Reviewer: Jocelyn from London, UK

The title of this episode, in which Frasier begins a friendship with Roz's new boyfriend Luke, is presumably a nod to Season 3's 'The Friend' - indeed, Niles even refers to Luke as 'much ballyhooed' just as he did Bob in the earlier episode. Despite the uninspired title, the episode does give Peri Gilpin some decent screentime for a change as she discovers that Luke is cheating on her, leaving Frasier's loyalties tested as he continues to see Luke while trying to console Roz - I particularly like his horrified reaction when she pours a glass of his most expensive wine down the sink. Elsewhere, there are a couple of fun scenes; the sequence at Nervosa where Frasier and Roz keep changing their plans by calling Luke on their mobiles is very amusing, chiefly for Niles' facial expressions as he eavesdrops on each call - an example of how David Hyde Pierce can add so much to a scene by doing so little, while there's an enjoyable subplot where a furious Martin discovers that Niles had dumped Eddie in a kennel when he was supposed to looking after him, resulting in a very funny moment where Niles panicks when Eddie jumps into the elevator. Sadly, the closing scene with Frasier and Roz bursting out of the cupboard on an inflatable rubber dinghy in front of Luke and his date feels a bit of a cop-out, as if the writer couldn't think of how to end this storyline properly, but this is still one of the better episodes of the season so far.

Rating: 75%