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Episode reviews for Episode 9.04 - Love Stinks

Avg. Viewer Review: 71.1%
Number of Reviews: 8

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Bobby Fischer's autograph, May 20, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia

With some reservations, this one's a joy.

"Love Stinks" opens with a wonderful scene in which Frasier and Niles critically dissect some "toilet wall graffito" about Frasier; how can I not love it? Niles' delightful analysis, ending with "the scansion leaves a lot to be desired" is a perfect little opening. One could argue (as I have somewhat with both of this scriptwriter's earlier episodes) that this is perhaps an older incarnation of Frasier and Niles, more where the characters sat about season 4 than where they are now -- but isn't a big complaint about the later seasons that they aren't more like the earlier ones?

Roz has never really had a partner for more than one episode (excluding Bulldog) so it's great to see Roger enter her life. For the most part, I appreciate how the script is structured around Roz's gradual loosening of her bigotry, although I think the plot is more sweet than funny. In fact, the only moment I take issue with is the early scene where Roger gives Roz a gift, and proceeds to explain that he retrieves things from the trash. My issue is that the line as scripted seems like a typical sitcom gag ("I found a great pair of shoes") that doesn't fit with reality but is added solely for humour. This is not "Frasier"'s usual thing, and it wouldn't surprise me if the actors and director changed it from the farcical scene it was supposed to be into the sweet and half-joking scene that we end up with. Still, the episode ends with the cute AND funny notion of Roz and Roger riding away on the garbage truck...and then stopping at the next house, and it's the first appearance of young Ashley Thomas as Alice, who has an adorable scene at the end.

While I'll concede it isn't the funniest plot in the world, "Love Stinks" is just as much about seriousness of character. This is the last episode in a quartet of stories about all the main characters this season - first Frasier, then Niles and Daphne, then Martin. We're catching up with them, revisiting their foibles and fears, and setting things up for the year ahead. And I for one don't mind that.

Over in the subplot, Frasier tackles one of his lifelong bugbears: his quest for popularity. There's not much new here: Patrick Kerr's Noel is exactly as he always is, but it's nice to have a recurring KACL staff member from the old days. Tom McGowan has more fun playing Kenny as "Frasier's patsy" - not a character I would've assumed had this much longevity when he was rather meekly introduced back in the final days of season 5. Do I think that the entire male staff of KACL would decide to be Frasier's friend because of one party? Of course not - in fact, he's thrown them before in the history of the series! But ultimately this is a much smaller episode than that. All that really happens is that Frasier throws a party, some guys ask him to go watch a fight, and he stands up for his own interests. Ultimately, he chooses to be himself rather than a series of social codes, and this ties in nicely with Roz's story. (Plus, I really enjoy the exchange:
"I thought you wanted to be loved by the common men."
"Yes, but couldn't they have sent just one representative?")

Or maybe I just like this episode because Niles drawing the battle scene from Aida at age 6 is scarily like me. Either/or.

Rating: 84%


doesn't stink so much, Aug 19, 2012

Reviewer: MT from Denver, Colorado, USA

I can't quite agree with the other so-so reviews of this episode. I'm watching this season on DVD for the first time and I find this the funniest episode so far--it's full of funny lines that made me crack up again and again.

Rating: 90%


Better than reviews suggest , Apr 10, 2012

Reviewer: Tid from SW England

I don't know why some people hate this episode so much. Just because
it's written by Saladin K Patterson doesn't mean it is doomed outright.
This is actually one of his better ones I thought. While Roz and Roger's
romance isn't the hilarious farce that makes many Frasier episodes
shine, it's certainly thought-provoking - it engages emotionally in an
entire episode built around the Crane boys' snobbery and elitism.

And it contains one of the best lines too, in Nervosa :

Frasier: "Niles, do you think I'm elitist?"
Niles (reassuringly): "Well, of course I do. Don't worry about that."

Rating: 87%


Not as terrible as people think, Jul 08, 2009

Reviewer: Sammy J from Canberra, Australia

I'm not fan of Saladin K. Patterson - he's definitely the worst of
the later-season "Frasier" writers - but this episode has its heart
in the right place, and is quite enjoyable.

The best of the three storylines is Frasier's attempts to get along
with his co-workers, which sparkles with typical Frasier dialogue
and good use of Tom McGowan's (sometimes overused) Kenny.

The worst is Niles and Daphne going through an old box. It
certainly isn't painful to watch, but it just has that much gentler
style humour that pervades the later years and, while it's nice
enough to watch (since we know these characters so well it feels
like family), it simply isn't up to "Frasier"'s standards.

Meanwhile, the Roz storyline is actually quite good. Peri Gilpin has
always been one of the strongest, and also the most underused,
of the core five and I think there's a simple reason: Roz is the
most self-aware of the characters. One of the bases of comedy is
characters who lack self-awareness. Hence, Frasier, Niles, Gil,
even Bulldog make for ripe comedy, and Martin and Daphne also
do pretty well out of this. Roz, instead, was a character who could
never have A-Plots because she simply works best as a foil to
those like Frasier, who are constantly in some form of denial.

Here, the storyline certainly isn't gut-wrenchingly funny, but it's
nice to see some true character development, and it does have its
fair share of amusing moments - particularly at the party. And
Gilpin pulls it all off with strength and charisma.

In short, this episode is certainly indicative of the weaker humour
of seasons 9 and 10, but it's definitely not as poor as public
opinion seems to be.

Rating: 70%


This episode stinks too, Apr 26, 2009

Reviewer: Daniel Argent from Grays, Essex

This is another awful Season 9 episode which is redeemed by the subplot of Frasier trying to increase his popularity. Martin overhearing Frasier discuss sports is very funny, and so is Frasier and Niles' opening scene.
The main plot of Roz and her garbageman is weak to say the least. Roger and Alice are both so annoying they make me cringe, and personally, I don't think Roz is a good enough character to have episodes revolve around her. She should remain around the radio station as a foil to Frasier's pomposity, with a sarcastic barb here and there, as she was in the first couple of seasons. The other subplot of Niles, Martin and Daphne looking at Niles' childhood is also boring and cringeworthy, like all Niles and Daphne things in the latter seasons. It just shows how the quality of writing went downhill that the writers cannot think of a story to contain 22 minutes, so they come up with pointless subplots that add nothing to the story.

So, in conclusion, Frasier's quest for popularity saves this episode from being the worst ever, but it is definitely down there.

Rating: 37%


Another one of the better Season 9 episodes, Apr 21, 2009

Reviewer: AJ from Ontario, Canada

I like this episode a lot.

I like Tony Goldwyn and I quite liked Roger, and I also appreciate the message that the episode tried to send out. When Roz tries to rebel against her garbage-man shame, and brings up a good point about people defining themselves far too much by their careers, it is hard for me to not relate to her and to agree with her as well.

The subplot is even better. At this point in the show, it had been quite a while since Frasier and Niles had some good moments together-- especially for those like me who consider their relationship the heart of the show. With this episode comes a fantastic opening scene as well as the entire subplot of Frasier feeling guilty about his snobbery. It brings some great laughs and is the comic relief to Roz's more serious storyline.

The only scene that is a bit labored is the one with Roz and Alice, but it doesn't last long enough to ruin the episode.

Rating: 86%


Review of 'Love Stinks', Jul 28, 2006

Reviewer: Beer Necessity from York, England

The first truly bad episode this season revolves around Roz being embarrassed dating a garbage disposal worker. Itís a shame Peri Gilpin was given such weak material for a rare Roz-centred episode, most of the dialogue is cringing. Rozís boyfriend, Roger, adds nothing to the show and despite this being his only appearance, his regular referencing ensures his character lingers throughout the season. Very poor episode.

Rating: 52%


'Love Stinks' review, Sep 10, 2005

Reviewer: Jocelyn from London, UK

A rather bland and unfunny episode that is only really redeemed by the subplot of Frasier throwing a party for the KACL staff in an attempt to increase his popularity. Despite the absence of Gil Chesterton, the scenes with Frasier's forced attempts to bond with his co-workers are quite amusing, with the biggest laugh coming from Kenny's prompting of Frasier when he can't remember any of the guests' names. Unfortunately, this is an episode which needs all the laughs it can get as the main plot of Roz dating a garbage man called Roger has to be one of the most boring in the entire run of the show, not helped by Roger's total lack of personality. The scenes at Roz's apartment with Roger and Alice feel so lifeless I had trouble believing I was watching an episode of 'Frasier' at all, while the main storyline of Roz constantly attempting to conceal Roger's occupation from everyone is singularly lacking in humour. Another minor subplot with Niles and Daphne learning of each other's childhood nicknames raises a smile but it's not nearly enough to lift this rather mundane episode out of the dumps.

Rating: 63%