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Episode reviews for Episode 9.16 - Three Blind Dates

Avg. Viewer Review: 80.2%
Number of Reviews: 4

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Let's start calling babes!, May 21, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia


The amped-up pace of season 9 continues with a thoroughly enjoyable episode. I like it when the Daphne/Niles/Roz trio start scheming, and their plan here to get Frasier on a series of blind dates pays off in spades.

The first of the triptych is really just a funny excuse to have David Hyde Pierce get increasingly agitated while Kelsey Grammer rants and roars, but it's a lot of fun. The highlight is of course Niles reading "Heroes of NASCAR" (seriously, has to be one the best line readings of the entire series) and the fun physical comedy at the bookstore that climaxes with Frasier refusing to identify "an alphabetical misfile". Season 9 might not be as strong as the earlier years, but it's rediscovered that sense of character that went wandering sometime during season 7.

The second date gives a few funny moments to Peri Gilpin as an overly zealous Roz, but it's really an excuse for some thrilling badinage between Frasier and Allison Janney's artist character, Susanna. The entire segment nicely utilises that comedically thin line between self-awareness and absence of such, and the way the date falls apart suggests to us that Frasier and Susanna might have made a good couple. It's a very smartly written little piece, although I find it slightly unbelievable that Martin was at home and hadn't been told about (and/or kicked out because of) the blind date!

The final segment isn't quite as lively as the previous two, but it's not exactly a bust. Martin's choice of date, Kris (Bridgette Sampras), places Frasier in an unenviable position that I could easily relate to. The idea of dating someone incredibly attractive and popular can be tough at the best of times, particularly for someone with Frasier's childhood doubts. Seeing him gradually surrounded by uncaring, younger, more attractive men is a very funny little moment, even if the pile-on of issues never quite reaches a climactic climax. Still, the final kismet connection is very sweet and also nice how it incorporates all three dates in one. (And Frasier fixes the alphabetical misfile in the tag, which is also rather cute.)

Good fun.


Rating: 88%

 

Looking for dates in all the wrong places, Jun 16, 2011

Reviewer: David Sim from Skelmersdale, Lancashire


After the enjoyable double act of The Proposal and Wheels of Fortune, Season 9 makes it a hat-trick with Three Blind Dates(Three good episodes in a row! Count em!). Frasier's disastrous romantic life is something we haven't seen a lot of this season. That may explain why this episode compensates by showing us not one but several romantic interests.

Three Blind Dates seems to have borrowed an idea or two (or three) from the Season 6 episode Three Valentines, where it adopts an episodic structure as a framing device and shows us a trio of dates. Although highly praised, I felt Three Valentines was somewhat overrated. It made the woeful misjudgement of showing us the funniest one first, and left the episode with no legs to stand on.

Although it suffers from some of the same drawbacks, I thought Three Blind Dates was a rather more successful spin on the same idea. I felt the laughs dropped off a little at the end, but for the most part its a pleasingly energetic episode.

Since Frasier can't seem to find a woman on his own, Martin, Niles, Daphne and Roz decide to step in and set him up on individual blind dates. The first is Lisa, a woman who owns a bookstore and shares many common interests with Frasier. But she also happens to be a former patient of Niles', which makes it an ethical minefield for him. To get around that, Niles decides to take Frasier to the bookstore, where he can engineer a chance encounter.

What follows is a well directed sequence where Niles is trying to introduce Frasier to Lisa without her actually seeing him. But everytime it looks like Frasier and Lisa are about to cross paths, they seem to miss each other by seconds. That must have been difficult for Kelsey Grammer to act out a scene of visual comedy while directing it at the same time, but its perfectly seamless, and its even funnier watching Niles try the difficult juggling act of avoiding Lisa while trying to get close enough to her so she can meet Frasier.

The second date is even better. Roz brings Susanna, a friend of hers to Frasier's apartment. Again, she shares many common interests with Frasier, particularly the arts. And they seem to hit it off right away. But then things go horribly wrong when Frasier reads her art portfolio and compares her work to an artist she despises. After that, things go downhill and that's the end of another date.

What lifts this segment is the terrific Allison Janney, giving an appeallingly mercurial performance as Susanna. She's helped no end by Gayle Abram's peppery script. The caustic one-liners volley between Frasier and Susanna like a tennis match. The scene is a near-perfect delight. I say near-perfect because its spoiled slightly by Roz's embarrassing attempts to impress Frasier to Susanna. Happily, once Peri Gilpin leaves the scene the jokes just flow like tap-water after that.

After such an entertaining beginning and an even better middle-section, I was hoping Three Blind Dates would carry itself right to the finish line with a pleasingly strong grand finale. Unfortunately, it falls into the exact same trap Three Valentines did. It shows the funniest segments first and limps home with a pallid third act.

Martin sets Frasier up with Kris, a legal secretary planning to go to law school. After such witty byplay and visual comedy, this third date couldn't be more different. As well as the fact that the age-difference between Frasier and Kris kills any plausibilty the scenario might have had, its all just so deathly dull. The two go to a bar, where Kris seems to be a friend to all man. She spends her time shooting pool with just about every fella at the bar while poor Frasier watches forlornly from the sidelines.

And that's it. There isn't anything more to the scene beyond that. Its as if Gayle Abrams exhausted herself with the other two dates, that she couldn't be bothered thinking up anything for a third. It does end on a bit of an irony though when Frasier gets a date (Lisa as it turns out) without help from anyone. He meets her in a laundromat next door to the bar, where she needs help getting spray paint out of her coat (Susanna as it turns out) when she attended an art exhibit. Its a nice case of all three dates converging on one another.

As long as you can excuse a dispiriting third act, Three Blind Dates is still three quarters of a good episode. It has much to recommend, laughs aplenty, and Kelsey Grammer's direction keeps things moving at a sprightly pace. What more could anyone want? (To skip the next episode altogether perhaps?)


Rating: 75%

 

Review of 'Three Blind Dates', Jul 28, 2006

Reviewer: Beer Necessity from York, Engalnd


An enjoyable episode split, as the title suggests, into three distinct parts. The middle segment is the real highlight; with snappy dialogue and crisp one-liners one could mistake this for an episode from Frasierís classic years. I loved how seemingly mild-mannered artist Susanna became completely deranged as her date with Frasier wore on. The other two segments arenít bad either, but the middle section alone makes this an excellent episode.


Rating: 81%

 

'Three Blind Dates' review, Sep 19, 2005

Reviewer: Jocelyn from London, UK


A smart idea for an episode that sees Niles, Daphne, Martin and Roz each attempting to set Frasier up with a different woman, resulting in three predictably disasterous dates. The first of these is easily the best and something of a non-starter for Niles as he drags Frasier off to a bookstore in the hope of getting him to meet the owner Lisa but, in an excellent sequence of visual comedy, the pair manage to keep just missing each other by seconds. The second date with Roz introducing Frasier to an artist called Susanna is marred by Roz's rather irritating attempts to talk Frasier up, although the outcome - Susanna finding out that another artist has ripped off her work - is pretty funny. The final date, with Martin attempting to set his son up with the young Kris, proves the least successful segment if still moderately amusing as Frasier meets her in a bar only to find that she's rather too friendly with all the other men there. In a neat bit of irony, a brief closing sequence shows Frasier seeming to have finally met a suitable woman, purely by chance and without anyone else's help, making for a nice ending to a mostly enjoyable episode.


Rating: 77%