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Episode reviews for Episode 10.15 - Trophy Girlfriend

Avg. Viewer Review: 66.6%
Number of Reviews: 7

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Not as bad as I thought, May 26, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia

I remember finding "Trophy Girlfriend" phenomenally weak on first viewing. In retrospect, I overcriticised the episode, although it's still not great.

What strikes me here is the same element that has struck me about most of this writer's scripts: an ability to write good lines (even if they feel like generic sitcom zingers sometimes) but an inability to structure. Even my favourite of his scripts, "War of the Words", never quite decides whether it will be a tale about Freddie, Niles, or Frasier. Here, "Trophy Girlfriend" sets itself up to be a story about sibling rivalry, with Niles abandoning Frasier at the squash court, but becomes a tale of Frasier's residual feelings of childhood inadequacy. Jeanne Tripplehorn puts in a solid performance as Frasier's date, a gym teacher, and Bob Hoskins is effortlessly funny as Frasier's boyhood Coach, who takes Chelsea's place in Frasier's mind. As others have noted, the law of diminishing returns takes hold here. The scene of Coach Fuller giving Frasier a bubble bath should be hysterical however, much like the repetitions of the robe scenes in "The Wizard and Roz", it feels as if there's no further comic development. Seeing Coach Fuller doesn't lead Frasier on to any further comedy, it's just a lazy excuse to pad an episode. Having said this, the basic idea - Frasier's terror at dating someone so crucial to his childhood fears - is sound, as is the final comedic twist that Chelsea is now suffering the same issues. And whatever else one may think, Hoskins has a lot of fun as the sleazy Coach Fuller. (I have to wonder what the audience saw during filming of the rope scene. Did the actors film it literally, or was it filmed previously and shown on a screen - as with the bike sequences in "Fraternal Schwinns"? Or was it something in between, a "mock-up" done on set to get the point across before actual filming?)

The subplot arrives reasonably late in the piece, again feeling like a poorly structured development, but it's nice to see Julia being part of the cast in more ways than just a lightning rod for Frasier. Felicity Huffman remains a great addition to the cast, even if it's odd to introduce such a non-quirky character at the usually-quirky KACL. And the idea that the women just want to have a cold rivalry despite Frasier's interventions is quite a neat spin on an old concept. This writer may not really suit "Frasier", but he knows how to write sitcom dialogue, and Roz and Julia's verbal interplay is the highlight of the episode. Gilpin and Huffman find just the right balance between hatred and relishing their chemistry.

Sadly, though, "Trophy Girlfriend" is the weakest episode of season 10 to date. It simply feels like one interesting idea stretched beyond breaking point, without adequately tackling the psychological notion at heart but also without providing enough rampant comedy to overcome this. A well-cast misfire.

Rating: 67%


Not a trophy episode, Sep 12, 2012

Reviewer: Lucy from London

I really didn’t like this episode. It was such a weak premise for a main storyline.
Frasier witnesses his new gym teacher girlfriend using bullying tactics to one of her students.
This reminds him of his own gym class nightmares at school featuring Bob Hoskins as his gym teacher.
This brings about several sequences where Bob Hoskins takes his girlfriend’s place, which is quite amusing at
first, but after a while does become rather tiresome, boring and unfunny. I feel this episode relies too heavily on this.
I did expect more from this show.

Rating: 60%


The Curate's Egg, Jun 17, 2008

Reviewer: Frasier Tid from Southwest England

This show was so mixed - in places I even wondered whether I was watching a comedy, it
seemed such a laughter-free zone. The redeeming factors were Martin's reactions to one
of his sons succeeding at sports; Frasier's memories of his own gym experiences at school;
Bob Hoskins' FIRST appearance (as the other reviewers have mentioned, this was a gag
that fulfilled the law of diminishing returns, and became progressively more embarrassing
and unfunny).

However, this episode is totally saved by the scenes involving Julia and Roz, which
sparkled with genuinely hilarious, sharp, bitchy humour. One of the best moments
involves Kenny desperately trying to leave the Café and Julia's company: Roz enters, says
"hi" to Julia, who says "hi" back - at which point Kenny says "Oh, I know girl talk" and
leaves in an obvious hurry! My % rating is based solely on these scenes, which make the
episode well worth sitting through.

Rating: 77%


favourite line, Oct 30, 2007

Reviewer: Nick from Australia

One of my favourites lines was after Frasier takes Chelsea to the elevator (mind you they've just won the squash tournament) and she says "You know, I don't mind i you want to take this to the next level" (she's talking about relationship). Frasier replies a bit taken back with "Oh, I gave up on the dream of professional squash playing years ago". Fairly funny

Rating: 92%


Trophy Girlfriend, Jul 12, 2007

Reviewer: Bosun from Kent, England

This episode started off with promise but in the second half you could be forgiven for thinking you had tuned into a show for children. The oft repeated gag of seeing Bob Hoskins as Frasier's girlfriend wasn't funny the first time.
Sorry but this was cringe-inducing and embarrassing.

Rating: 43%



Reviewer: Cake for Brains from Manchester, UK

After delivering a rather enjoyable episode earlier this season in the form of Halloween based episode ‘Tales from the Crypt’, this effort sees writer Saladin K. Patterson resort back to his general writing trends, and unfortunately ‘Trophy Girlfriend’ just further demonstrated to me, why Patterson is by far the worst writer on the Frasier staff. This episode had very little momentum, and a lot of the humour seemed drawn out and seemed to repeat itself over and over again; thus completely ruining all the ‘jokes’, because they are all stretched out too far to be actually funny. The plot itself is a big letdown, and I found that the notion of Frasier dating a gym coach (named Chelsea) who triggered recollections of Frasier’s own painful school days was particularly weak. I was somewhat disappointed from the off though with this episode, because the first couple of minutes looked promising, and I was hoping we may embark on a sibling rivalry episode between Niles and Frasier, because Niles has ditched his brother for another squash partner, which could have led to a great episode. But it was not to be, and instead we are left with 22 minutes of utter garbage (by Frasier standards anyway), with just a few sharp lines and quips here and there to save tbis episode from complete oblivion.

That said, this being Frasier, there were still some fairly enjoyable scenes, most noticeably a proud Martin’s delight that Frasier has finally won a trophy for sports – which is something he can tick off on his ‘before I die’ list. There were some fine Niles moments as well, a highlight being when Martin accuses his youngest son of being immaturely jealous by reminding him that Niles was envious that Frasier’s name came before his in the alphabet, only for Niles to reply in a grumpy, petulant voice; ‘Well, that’s your fault!’ The sporting relationship between Frasier and Chelsea soon progresses from being a professional partnership, and as they take their relationship to the next level, this is when the episode totally slips and falls flat on its face, and even becomes surreal and abstract in places, because Patterson recycles his device of employing the characters to see other characters instead; so for example we get Frasier now seeing his new girlfriend as his bullying heartless sports teacher, Coach Fuller, because Frasier was haunted by the fact that he saw Chelsea shouting at a child for not being able to climb the rope.

In my opinion, this device doesn’t work at all and feels really contrived and out of place in the format of the show. Although it was funny to see Kelsey Grammer attempting to climb a rope, this effect soon grew very tiresome indeed, and Patterson seemed to be drawing this feeble plot out as much as he possibly could. The sight of Coach Fuller rubbing Frasier in the bathtub and kissing him and Niles rather passionately in Café Nervosa had me clutching at the television remote control to see if I had accidentally changed the channel, because these scenes felt so out of place in my beloved show. Although the actor playing Coach Fuller was good, his performance seemed invisible judging on the material he and Kelsey Grammer had to work with. The plot concludes in the most obvious way possible, with Frasier confronting Chelsea about his haunting recollections, and she then picturing Frasier as the girl who couldn’t climb the rope, which leads to a seriously weird and deeply unsatisfactory conclusion.

The saving grace of this episode though is the subplot between Roz and KACL stock-reporter Julia Wilcox, who Frasier encourages to try and find some common ground so that they can establish a respectable working relationship. After they find they can insult Frasier together and then finding it even more fun to insult one another, we get some great one-liners and finally Peri Gilpin gets something good to work with. They both have some great lines, my favourites being: ‘There’s a plunger in the bathroom, what do you say we go look for your career?’ and ‘Who did she sleep with to get this job – and then I found out, everybody!’. This scene saved the episode from being one of the worst in Frasier’s history, but in conclusion though this episode was on the whole a messy concoction of repetition, cringe-worthy dialogue, and most of all awful, awful writing. In a word, poor.

Rating: 64%


'Trophy Girlfriend' review, Oct 12, 2005

Reviewer: Jocelyn from London, UK

A bizarre and weak episode which manages to waste the talents of Bob Hoskins for the sake of a childish and repetetive visual joke, which arises from Frasier's new girlfriend and squash partner, gym teacher Chelsea, constantly reminding him of his bullying old gym teacher Coach Fuller. Written by Saladin K. Patterson, it's basically a variation on one of the author's earlier efforts, 'The Wizard And Roz', where Frasier kept seeing his mentor in Roz's bathrobe and, once again, it ceases to make sense when the viewer can see Fuller and Frasier in the same shots. This thin idea reaches it's nadir in the scene at Nervosa where Fuller introduces himself to Frasier's family, which was presumably meant to be hilarious but just left me feeling embarrassed that a show of 'Frasier''s calibre should resort to such cheap and obvious humour, while the closing scene where the situation is reversed with Chelsea seeing Frasier as the girl she had bullied in gym class ends things with a toe-curling 'moral', more suited to a children's programme than a witty adult sitcom like 'Frasier'. As usual, there are a few bright spots along the way; it was nice to see Martin's pride in his sons for winning their first ever sports trophy, while Kenny tactfully walking away from the constantly bitching Roz and Julia by exclaiming 'I know girl talk!' raises a smile but the cringeworthy nature of the central plotline - sadly typical of it's writer's work - leaves this a below par effort, spoiling what has been a rather good run of episodes in the middle of Season 10.

Rating: 63%