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Episode reviews for Episode 10.07 - Bristle While You Work (1)

Avg. Viewer Review: 75.8%
Number of Reviews: 5

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I thought I got hold of a god batch, May 25, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia

The start of a three-episode arc, "Bristle While You Work" is the most outwardly serialised the show has been since the dying days of season 8. This makes part of the Niles storyline feel like set-up -- while the odds repeatedly going in his favour is a funny gag, it begins to drag - but perhaps it's all made up for by the devastated way David Hyde Pierce says "fanny pack". Yet, out of the immensely talented main cast, I've always felt Pierce was the true standout, as he manages to sell every joke and then shift abruptly to fear and doubt in the final scene. (I particularly appreciate the dark humour of Niles' freakout in the tag.)

Meanwhile, it would appear Frasier has had a washing machine installed since his war with Cam Winston, which is for the best. John Mahoney and Ana Gasteyer have great fun in their little subplot about the new failure of a housekeeper, wherein we learn such gems as the fact that Frasier was worried Daphne would steal, and Martin has genuinely believed he didn't need new underwear in ten years. Martin faking his bathroom confessional with Trish is just gorgeous.

The set-up aspect loses the episode a few points, as does the fact that the series clearly hasn't figured out (or doesn't care about) finding a legitimate replacement for Daphne. Think of the possibilities for guest arcs! Still, I expected more Martin/Frasier conflict stories this year with Daphne's absence from the apartment, and I'm glad to have got this one. Meanwhile, the always-welcome Edward Hibbert drops by as Gil, giving us some very funny material about the relationship between Gil, Deb, and their houseboy Chung. Hibbert is sorely underused, but even a minute of his screentime sparkles.

Rating: 84%


Bristle While You Work (1), Nov 24, 2008

Reviewer: Barney from Dallas, TX USA

This episode is hilarious. All the scenarios that Niles is narrowingly escaping and Martin covering up for Trish. You'll get your check sometime after the first---------(Closes Door)---------- ASTEROID HITS EARTH!!!

Rating: 96%


Bristle While You Watch, Sep 06, 2006

Reviewer: David Jones from North Wales, Great Britain

Surprisingly for what season it's in, I really enjoyed this episode and it's my favourite in this series. I also enjoyed the subplot with Niles beating the law of averages all the time.

Rating: 45%



Reviewer: Cake for Brains from Manchester, UK

I’ve been eager to see the three-part ‘Niles heart surgery’ story arc for some time now, ever since questions were raised about the purpose and motivation behind the production of these three shows when they were initially broadcast on NBC in November 2002. I suppose ‘Bristle While You Work’ wasn’t really what I was expecting; I suppose I was imagining Niles heart problem would take a more prominent role, but this plotline seemed to be shunted back somewhat and the main storyline focussed on Martin and Frasier attempting to replace Daphne, with a new housekeeper. I am guessing that, due to the fact that Niles ill health was only seriously addressed in the very brief closing scene, that it will be brought into the limelight in the next episode. However part one proved to be very entertaining viewing, even if the story did seem very far-fetched in places and all in all this was a nice entertaining experience.

John Mahoney’s performance as Martin seemed much more enthusiastic in this episode, because it seems as though Mahoney has been somewhat bored by the material he’s had to work with of late, so it was nice to see him performing well again. The main plot was a good one I felt, and Ana Gasteyer turned in a fine performance as Trish, the appointed housekeeper; who Martin only hired because she was late for her interview after queuing up to get tickets for a Sonics game. Of course, even Martin ends up being very disappointed with her lacklustre efforts; and I found it funny that she put off work of any form by making excuses; funerals, lunches, Monday’s off, etc. It was somewhat inevitable that Frasier would apologise to his father for assuming that he was a better judge of character, which of course leads to Martin pretending to do all the housework in order to prevent Frasier the satisfaction of knowing he was right all along.

Elsewhere the episode is graced by the much welcomed presence of Edward Hibbert, as the pompously lovable Gil Chesterton, who hasn’t appeared on the show since Season 8. Gil’s always been one of my very favourite characters on the show, and any scene he appears in is always fantastic. It is revealed in this episode (don’t tell anyone) that he and ‘Debs’ (does she exist) have a heart shaped bed! The other subplot concerning an increasingly worried Niles undergoing a string of unlikely coincidences feels a little bit contrived in places – such as him beating the odds of one in a thousand and winning a fanny pack (twice), getting his car hit by lightening and picking the Ace of Spades out of a pack of cards. For me, although mildly entertaining, I felt the writers could have brought the heart-problem issue into the fray in a much more subtle manner, but nevertheless I have high hopes for the next episode, when the story continues.

Although Niles situation is left hanging in midair, the situation regarding housekeeper Trish is wrapped up brilliantly, with a lovely scene, which sees Martin adopting all the chores. This plot concludes marvellously with Martin pretending to Frasier that Trish is in the powder room deeply upset, and as he tries to comfort her the real Trish walks in on the scene; although a little predictable, it was still very funny. For me though the highlight of this episode were Frasier and Martin’s little quips to the cleaners as they left. Frasier’s (when he learns Trish will be away until the first) ‘I’ll be sure to call you the second (closed door)… I lose my mind' and Martin’s ‘And there’ll be a check in the mail sometime after the first… (closes door) asteroid hits Earth!’ worked brilliantly. In conclusion then an above average episode that perhaps suffers slightly from relying far too heavily on coincidence and the awful scene in which Martin reveals that Frasier thought Daphne was a thief when she was first employed, which didn’t go anywhere and felt totally unnecessary. I am looking forward to seeing how Niles heart problem is addressed in the next episode.

Rating: 77%


'Bristle While You Work' review, Oct 04, 2005

Reviewer: Jocelyn from London, UK

The first in the trilogy of episodes concerning Niles' heart surgery, although here this storyline takes a backseat to a rather enjoyable main plot concerning Frasier's lazy and unreliable new housekeeper, Trish, which makes for an amusing scenario where Martin ends up having to do all the household chores himself in order to save face from his son. Perhaps the most welcome thing here, however, is the return of Edward Hibbert as Gil. His all too brief appearance in the opening scene displays just how sorely missed he was in the previous season. The biggest laugh here comes towards the end when Martin is pretending to talk to Trish in the powder room, only for her to walk in through the front door in full view of Frasier. I loved Martin's desperate attempt to keep up the pretence by exclaiming 'You never told me you had a sister!'. The Niles subplot is understandably less cheery, although David Hyde Pierce's perfomance is excellent, as a toothache and a series of coincidences convince him that something is not quite right with his health - which his doctor confirms in the brief closing sequence which sets up the next part of the story.

Rating: 77%