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Episode reviews for Episode 10.23 - Analyzed Kiss

Avg. Viewer Review: 67.0%
Number of Reviews: 3

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Foil Helmet guy says his dog needs to speak with you, May 26, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia

"Analyzed Kiss" picks up the story where "Farewell Nervosa" left off, and it has that episode's same scattered quality. Like that episode, it feels like an array of individual bits that are supposed to form an episode, but instead form a slice of an arc. I have no objection to long-form storytelling, but this episode feels like the servant of two (three? four?) masters, and being pulled every which way doesn't help it one bit.

The subplots here are particularly forgettable, almost as if the writers conceived one interesting idea and then a clever punchline, but forgot to build the rest of the joke. Gertrude's absence bringing the customers flocking is a funny notion, but it's resolved in a tag where Millicent Martin appears (wordlessly) for the only time in the episode. Niles learning to shoot is treated not as an example of Niles and Martin bonding, or as a serious analysis of how two people with different views on gun culture can co-exist, but mostly an excuse for us to laugh at the idea of David Hyde Pierce firing a gun with a manic glint in his eye. Again, the final moment - Martin, Daphne and Niles fleeing some militia men - is worth a chuckle, but it doesn't feel like we had to strive much to get there. Still, I do enjoy this exchange:
Martin: "Niles, we think they wanna overthrow the government!"
Niles: "That's what you say about public television."

The title plot of the episode is a strange one, which I must attribute to the co-writer - Saladin K. Paterson - a man not beloved by "Frasier" fans, although he has written everything from episodes I highly admire ("Tales from the Crypt", "War of the Words") to my least favourite episode of the first ten seasons ("The Wizard and Roz"). While this episode doesn't exhibit one of his top-three flaws - characters not acting like themselves - his other two sure pop up a few times. His interest in standard sitcom lines (that is, jokes that fill like they came out of a Creative Writing workshop rather than being grounded in character) recurs, from Kenny's line about a monkey doing his job to the line quoted in my title. Most importantly, though, "Analyzed Kiss" takes about 18 minutes until we're actually analysing a kiss! Pitting Frasier and Julia against Avery is a smart way of developing their chemistry, although I still feel it's a shame that we didn't get to know Avery better. Casting John Hannah in the role seems like such a waste, although it does allow us to appreciate the character in spite of the actor's absence. Still, I'm not sure I buy the kiss - something in the scripting or direction is a little off, since I don't believe Julia's claim that she felt in the moment. All we really get is a couple of people whispering furiously to each other. Suddenly, they're going out by episode's end. There's not really an attempt for Frasier to psycho-analyse himself, or for this to be a story about him seeing himself as "saving" someone from a bad relationship, or about Julia falling for him in spite of herself. It's just a plot point the series needed for next week's season finale, and so the script had to get to it somehow. Overall, a waste of both character and actor.

Amidst all of this, Roz gets a serious subplot that again feels mostly like set-up but at least gets in a few decent jokes. I like how she's unable to grasp Julia's honest congratulations, and the latter's remark that Frasier's callers are simply "pathetic code-three whackadoos". Having Roz leave KACL is a pretty bold move, particularly since at the time I could imagine fans worrying that Peri Gilpin was actually being shown the door. Given how Roz's ambitions have become more prominent, it makes perfect sense that she would take on a new role. I can't help imagining that the show could have developed differently if Kenny had left in "Kissing Cousin" and been replaced by Roz, just to add a new dynamic. (Imagine Roz as the boss of Gil, Bulldog and Noel!) It all feels quite sudden how quickly she just leaves the building, which is a bit of a disappointment, but this will get picked up again next week. The Woody Wiswell scene is a great laugh, though, even if he's one of the most handsome men to have appeared on the show, so you'd think she'd remember more!

Much like the closing arc of season 8, "Analyzed Kiss" gives the feel of being far too many things at once, and none of them particularly satisfactory. My interest in all of the characters keeps this from being a hard slog, but it has the distinct feeling of being a mandatory chore for the writers rather than a joy, and that's a grave moment for any show.

Rating: 67%


ANALYZED KISS, Dec 17, 2005

Reviewer: Cake for Brains from Manchester, UK

After the brilliance of the previous episode ‘Fathers and Sons’ this one couldn’t be more different and contrasts the former gem enormously. I suppose the only good thing to come out of the mess that was ‘Analyzed Kiss’ was the satisfactory knowledge of knowing that this was the last time the credit ‘written by Saladin K. Patterson’ would come up on screen because this dreadful author left at the end of this season and was replaced by a team of much, much more competent writers. This episode also develops the relationship between Frasier and Julia, and after they share a kiss in a closet, Frasier is left wondering why she did this. I found the other plot with Roz receiving a call from radio station KPXY out of the blue, although offering Peri Gilpin a larger role to play in the episode, strangely unnecessary. I could be wrong here but I imagine NBC were trying to inject some emotional drama into the show in order to boost the ratings, but I felt that this storyline wasn’t needed.

I have still failed to notice any chemistry between Kelsey Grammer and Felicity Huffman, but I can’t say I was surprised to see them share a passionate kiss. I presume that this device was again an attempt to place some drama into Frasier, because this whole section was devoid of any laughs and felt very weak indeed in my opinion. The plot is basically Julia attempting to get some files from her ex-boyfriend’s office (Avery from Farewell Nervosa) and as an act of kindness Frasier agrees to accompany her. To escape being seen by the cleaning lady, they hide in the closet and Julia (apparently to shut Frasier up) kisses him, which leaves him wondering why she did this. To me, this sudden burst of desirous passion felt very soap-opera like, like a scene from a serial drama and not a sophisticated Emmy laden sitcom. I’m digressing here though, but I found this subplot very dull indeed, and although I liked Julia’s description of Frasier as ‘a teddy bear she just wanted to hug until its head fell off’ reasonably amusing, this episode amounted to nothing more than a contrived cliffhanger, to which I couldn’t care less about the outcome.

What is the point of getting Roz to leave KACL? Ratings, perhaps? Although there were a few smiles raised in this subplot, and although Peri Gilpin was excellent, I felt that this was (like the Frasier/Julia storyline) an excuse to boost the dramatic dynamic of the series. The one genuinely funny moment though was when Roz went for her interview, convinced that she wasn’t going to get the job because she had slept with the interviewer a decade ago, only to embarrassingly discover that she had slept with his father, who shared the same name. It must have been a good tactic though, because it won her the job, which is an issue that I’m sure will be addressed in the upcoming season finale. Again though, why bother? As far as I’m concerned it was unnecessary to engender such a pointless plot, and I think it shows how desperate the people at NBC were at this point. Peri Gilpin has had little to do over the past three years, and I think this rare opportunity to push her into the limelight has been wasted, and further determines that the writers didn’t have a clue as to what they should do with her character.

Even the subplot, in which Niles develops an interest in ‘hand-guns’ and forms a bond with some ‘regular guys’ feels oddly out of place. Although it was great to see David Hyde Pierce armed with a handgun, the rest of it just didn’t deliver the laughs. I liked the notion that Niles shouldn’t have a gun in the same house as Daphne’s mother, and liked the resolution which saw Niles ‘buddies’ revealed as people who were intent on overthrowing the government, but all in all it was too silly and basic to throw up any really big laughs. In conclusion then, this episode is on the whole poorly written, with three plots that fail to reach their potential. I couldn’t care less about Frasier and Julia’s relationship, Niles’ interest in guns wasn’t the most exciting of plots, and I can’t see why the writers’ have lost Roz her job at KACL. A question I’m sure will be answered in the season finale, which I can’t say I’m particularly excited about, which I imagine was the aim of this penultimate episode. But on the plus side, Saladin K. Patterson has left the building – yes!!! Finally somebody has flushed the toilet… (Sorry that was uncalled for).

Rating: 67%


'Analyzed Kiss' review, Oct 17, 2005

Reviewer: Jocelyn from London, UK

After a delightful diversion with 'Fathers And Sons', Season 10 comes crashing down to earth with a return to the least interesting storyline from 'Farewell Nervosa', concerning Julia's relationship with Avery, which has now come to an end. As it turns out this is merely an excuse for a contrived and unconvincing attempt to romantically bring Frasier and Julia together. Given that their initial working relationship had already felt like a pale retread of Season 3's Kate Costas storyline, having them then become an item smacks of idea shortage. Likewise, the subplot is also largely a rehash of the first Kate Costas episode 'She's The Boss' with Niles showing an unlikely interest in handguns, although this only reaches any sort of point with it's conclusion where he discovers the true nature of his colleagues at the shooting range. The other main storyline of Roz's audition for a post at a rival radio station provides the best scene here when she assumes she had slept with the interviewee, only for it to transpire that it was his father! This aside, I found the episode almost devoid of genuine laughs with Julia's constant description of Avery as Frasier's 'bastard accountant' displaying a script bereft of wit while the closing scene, like many of those before it, simply peters out without reaching any real point. As such, 'Analyzed Kiss' feels more like a trailer for the next episode's cliffhanger than a proper episode in it's own right.

Rating: 67%