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Episode reviews for Episode 10.12 - The Harassed

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

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After today, I guess it's back to patootie!, May 25, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia



An odd episode that feels more like it's catering to the regular audience than any newcomers, but which finds a lot of fun in the KACL interactions. As Julia Wilcox, the station's new financial analyst (and yes, I think it's a bit of a stretch to assume that the housewives' psychology hour is the best time to add in stock quotes), Felicity Huffman makes a strong first impression. As others have remarked, her closest analogue is Kate Costas, Frasier's previous boss and lover, and it's a nice change that Julia is dismayed by Frasier's sudden sexual advance. But the interesting choice is that Julia isn't painted as having Kate's gentler side. She's a damaged soul, as Frasier diagnoses at episode's end, which makes it an altogether more challenging choice on the writers' part. While the rest of the Crane clan largely sit out the episode (there's a quietly funny scene with Niles hosting therapy at home, but again it seems like a necessary addition just so the rest of the cast get something to do), we're treated to some fun character work at the station. I find the early cafe sequence, with Roz and Kenny imitating each other's genders, a little befuddling, but the crew's negative reaction to Julia is great. Once we hit the sexual harassment seminar, it's a joy to see the entire recurring cast together for almost the last time (and the last time in an out-and-out comedic episode). Peri Gilpin has great fun throughout the seminar, as does Edward Hibbert who is, as always, a marvel. Gil's increasingly suspect sexuality earns some of the best confused looks from the KACL team. Some of the comic business here, such as Bulldog and Noel's little battle, would probably not be funny to newcomers to the series, but I guess that's not a real issue ten years on. Finally, they all turn against seminar leader Van, and the episode manages to get plenty of comic and psychological mileage out of the situation.

It would be tempting to knock off some points for how poorly integrated the family is into all of this. But then again, Roz and the KACL team have been completely divorced from so many family storylines that it seems only fair for the shoe to be on the other foot. The final moments make it clear that Julia is here to stay, setting us up for a slightly jarring atmosphere: this was a stand-alone episode until the last minute, and now it's clearly the start of something more. Although most of Huffman's episodes were filmed consecutively, it makes sense to scatter them throughout the season, as the sense that Julia is a mainstay at the station will ultimately prove fruitful. So for now, it's a fond farewell to the comic team at KACL.


Rating: 86%

 

THE HARASSED, Nov 19, 2005

Reviewer: Cake for Brains from Manchester, UK


This episode marks the debut appearance of stock-reporter Julia Wilcox, portrayed with comic coldness by Felicity Huffman; and right from the very beginning of this episode there is a great sense of tension created between her and her fellow KACL colleagues. Her character vaguely resembles the harshness, arrogance and rudeness of Dr. Nora from Season 6, but all in all her performance is solid. Roz declares war on her from the off (because Julia treats her like a slave and insults her coffee) whilst Frasier, initially believes that he can win her over and get to the route of the problem. There is a very funny scene which is set in Café Nervosa, and I loved Kenny and Roz’s lively squabble, especially Kenny’s female impressions. There was also a nice line in which Roz suspects Frasier of harbouring affections towards the new co-worker: ‘She is right up your alley. Smart, tough, a total b*tch!’

The subplot for this episode which involves Niles being forced to see his patients at his home, because his office is undergoing work, manages to throw up the occasional laugh but isn’t overwhelmingly funny. Nonetheless there were some lovely moments, most noticeably Niles and Daphne’s lyrical ‘Nobody’s here’ answer phone message, which was hilarious; but the idea of Daphne bursting in and asking if there was anything Niles wanted from the shops felt a bit contrived I’m sorry to say. I felt a little sorry for John Mahoney as Martin in this episode too, because he was given very little to do, and the few lines he had weren’t really very funny, as all he did was basically make fun of Frasier, and the ‘ran into a fan’ section was deeply unfunny for me.

Luckily the main plot was strong, and there was a scene that created a sort of skit on the argument between Kate Costas and Frasier from ‘Sleeping with Enemy’. It must have been the writer’s deliberate intentions to mimic this scene, because the dialogue feels incredibly similar (I think the word ‘shrew’ was used in both actually), but what was rewarding about this scene was the twist at the end. I was expecting the scene to conclude in the same way that Sleeping with the Enemy did, with Kate and Frasier passionately kissing one another, but as Frasier asked if Julia was ‘turned on’ (a phrase which according to Bulldog hasn’t been fashionable for twenty years), Julia pulls away, repulsed and revolted and crying sexual harassment! I expected this scene to be very predictable, but I found this scene was funny because of the new approach to the material. What follows is the best part of the episode, a sexual harassment seminar, led by Van (played by King of the Hill creator Mike Judge), who, aided by puppets attempts to teach the KACL staff a thing or two about sexual harassment.

It was great to see the entire KACL staff assembled together in one room, from Noel, to Gil, to Bulldog, there were all there and there were some lovely moments. I really liked Roz and Bulldog’s role playing, in which Bulldog feigned consideration and care towards Roz, and Noel insisting that he should get a turn with Roz! Gil’s pompous speech was great fun too, and I loved Edward Hibbert’s delivery of, ‘Know this, Gil isn’t going to stop loving the ladies!’ The episode ends excellently with Julia insulting the whole radio station, and Frasier accusing her of being frightened that she’ll make a fool of herself like she did in her last job. In conclusion then, I enjoyed this episode for the most part, and although it had its flaws, it was entertaining and proved a nice introductory episode for the character of Julia.


Rating: 78%

 

Welcome Julia, Oct 11, 2005

Reviewer: TheMurphy from London, UK


Firstly, I can only hope that Alex Foligno from Bream, Gloucestershire, UK will forgive me for daring to have an opinion. I liked this episode a lot, more for the potential it offered for the rest of the season than anything else. Julia Wilcox makes for a very welcome addition to the KACL team as it introduces someone who can tackle Frasier head to head just like Kate did back in season three. I found Julia’s total disregard for everyone else very funny and Frasier’s inability to just let it be and accept she doesn’t need help was a fine example of Frasiers endearing mix of wanting to help others and pomposity. Frasier's astute reasoning as to why Julia was being so distant was also a nice moment. The harassment seminar was fun except for Noel trying to look tough to Bulldog which I found cringe inducing. It’s such a shame that more wasn’t made out of Frasier and Julia’s spikey relationship other than going for the tediously obvious romance plot. Still, this episode was definitely above average. Oh, there was a subplot concerning Niles treating patients at his home which was nice enough but pretty forgettable.


Rating: 79%

 

'The Harassed' review, Oct 09, 2005

Reviewer: Jocelyn from London, UK


The debut appearance from Felicity Huffman as KACL's new financial analyst Julia Wilcox draws obvious parallels with Frasier's turbulent relationship with Kate Costas in Season 3 - even down to the references to Frasier's Harvard (and in this case, Oxford) degree. Although Huffman is certainly very good in the role, the character lacks the spark and humour that made Kate Costas such a fully-rounded character and similar to the earlier storyline, Frasier and Julia get off to a frosty start only for Frasier to hit upon her in a moment of madness leading to the whole KACL staff reluctantly having to attend a sexual harassment seminar. This proves the episode's highlight, not least because it features all the old KACL regulars for the first time in many years, with Bulldog and an increasingly sinister Noel almost having a fight over Roz and a wonderful moment where Gil apologises about his 'wandering eye for the ladies'! This scene aside, the episode isn't quite as funny as it could have been, with the subplot with Niles having to practice his surgery at home too brief to warrant much attention, but overall an effective introduction to Julia's character.


Rating: 75%