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Episode reviews for Episode 8.09 - Cranes Unplugged

Avg. Viewer Review: 81.0%
Number of Reviews: 5

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We leave at daybreak!, May 17, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia

Continuing on from the bumpy but analytical eighth season, "Cranes Unplugged" isn't quite a classic but it has a confidence in its direction that has been missing thus far this season.

It hasn't been all that long since we last saw Freddie, and he sure has changed a lot. Yet, the character as written and played by Trevor Einhorn has always seemed - although appreciative of his parents' intellect - not necessarily someone who would want to read "Walden" in the first place. This is a perfectly logical step for an 11-year-old boy, and I'm glad the series remembers past episodes. We've already seen Frasier trying to get to know his son. We've already seen Frasier facing off against the outdoors. Instead, we can look at the evolving relationship between the three generations of Cranes. Parenting is one area where Martin can genuinely provide insight for his son, and the cabin scenes - with just three actors confined in a small space - are very well written. (David Hyde Pierce also has fun in his little boasts about finally winning Daphne "over" Freddie.)

This is really Kelsey Grammer's episode. After roughly twenty years in the role, so many facets have been added to Frasier that it would seem impossible to play them all in the space of one 22 minute episode. Yet here we explore his loves and lusts, his psychological approach and his attempts at family connection... it's all very well done. "Cranes Unplugged" is perhaps by its construction a minor episode: it chooses to tackle one character problem rather than focus on farce or lengthy comic sequences. The drama is well done but very small scale. Still, the ending is quite sweet, with Frasier realising he does play a role after all. Perhaps this is something all parents feel: there are times when you are exactly what your child doesn't want. And other times when you are the only solution. It's about somehow being able to take the one with the other.

Meanwhile, Niles and Daphne try and fail to get Roz's dating life back up and running. Although the idea has been inconsistently handled, it makes sense that Roz finds it harder to date now that motherhood and work take up much of her time. (I don't think the Roz of season 1 would've spent so much time pursuing Simon Moon!) It's nice to see Peri Gilpin take the lead in a little farce. It's again quite lightweight stuff, but uses the characters well. This was the last episode Jane Leeves filmed before maternity leave (although obviously aired out of order), and it's clear that the writers are now content with the Niles/Daphne pairing. They could really already be married here.

Overall, a nice little show.

Rating: 78%


A solid episode, Mar 27, 2012

Reviewer: Tid from SW England

Series 8 is notorious for being one of the worst, but this is one of its
better - best even? - episodes. Mixing comedy with a good helping of
character development and emotional issues (like 'Friends' at its best),
it's a solid helping of what makes 'Frasier' such a good show.

Ok, it has to be admitted that the comedy was not the most sparkling.
Niles for once is not given much to work with, nor is Daphne, while Roz
is fairly predictable. But Frasier, Martin, and Frederick are on their best
form, never more clearly than when they are sharing a boring weekend
in the cabin. We get some insights into Frasier, particularly his childhood
and subsequent relationships with his own son and his father, and there
is a warmth here; sadly lacking in some episodes that are played purely
for comedy.

Highly enjoyable and watchable, even though the belly laughs are few.

Rating: 89%



Reviewer: Cake for Brains from Manchester, UK

Frasier, Martin and Freddie all go camping... what a great premise for an episode, especially as we're always hearing stories about how fussy Niles and Frasier were on childhood camping trips. Sadly, the end result lacks big laughs and is (on the whole) a wasted oppertunity, although it is consistentally amusing and rather entertaining throughout, and certainly among the best of Season 8. The plot with Roz was okay, but nothing particularly special or original, and Niles didn't get any very good lines and Daphne came across as quite annoying, bossing Niles around when Hans arrived.

The main storyline was good though, and its always nice to have a visit from Frederick. Although its one of his weakest appearances on the show (although far better than 'Good Samaritan' in Season 6), there are some nice moments, and Martin and Frasier had some nice moments together in the cabin. My favourite moments were Martin watching MTV, Frasier referring to Freddie's friends as 'you young people' and Martin quip: 'I'm sure he'll come running over when he sees us pressing leaves in the sun!'. The ending is a tad predictable, but on the whole there are a couple of nice, funny and entertaining moments in a solid, yet farily average episode of 'Frasier'. Kelsey and John Mahoney were particularly good in this one, but although I enjoyed 'Cranes Unplugged', I can't help but think a camping trip could have created some much funnier comedy material.

Rating: 77%


Cranes unplugged, May 16, 2006

Reviewer: PatGMcHugh from Ayrshire, Scotland

An enjoyable episode that sees the re-appearance of Frederick and Frasier's attempts to bond with him. Some great moments, including Frasier's constant cries of "we leave at dawn" and Martin being introduced to dancing girls on MTV.
The subplot revolved around Daphne and Niles attempting to set Roz up on a date. Again some great little moments including Niles waiting on both women and the grimace on his face when Daphne and Roz sit down to watch titanic.

Overall all a good effort though it feels stranglely unfinished at times, a theme that has been constant throughout this season.

Rating: 86%


'Cranes Unplugged' review, Aug 23, 2005

Reviewer: Jocelyn from London, UK

The main plot of this episode is somewhat reminiscent of 'Breaking The Ice' as, in an attempt to bond with his increasingly distant son, Frasier invites a reluctant Freddie (along with an even more reluctant Martin) to join him on a camping trip in the woods. It's nice to see three generations of Cranes sharing a log cabin and I like Frasier's constant cries of 'We leave at daybreak!' as he faces an uphill struggle to persuade not just his son to enter into the spirit of camping, but also his father - prompting a peeved Martin to write down angry thoughts in his journal. The subplot with Niles and Daphne's failed attempts to set up Roz with a man are also quite fun but with no attempt made to integrate the two plots into a coherent whole it doesn't quite satisfy, making it an enjoyable but not brilliant episode.

Rating: 75%