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Episode reviews for Episode 11.15 - Caught In The Act

Avg. Viewer Review: 95.4%
Number of Reviews: 13

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Orphans get all the breaks, May 30, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia

My favourite episode of season 11, "Caught in the Act" is hysterical from start to finish, with a final act of epic comedic scope.

As Nanny G, Frasier's first wife (seen once on "Cheers" and once on "Frasier", and referenced occasionally in the series), Laurie Metcalf is an absolute coup of casting. Metcalf is of course a sitcom veteran but also a highly-trained Broadway actress, and she brings all of these attributes to the performance. While it's of course sad not to have Emma Thompson reprising the role, Metcalf makes you forget any such woes straight away. She so believably fills out the role of a children's performer, but at the same time is comfortably cast as the slightly bitter, lustful husk of a woman she has become. The clever script is one of the series' most delightfully dirtiest, from Niles reading Nanny G's track listing to Frasier's sly "weekly handshake" joke. As someone from Australia, I don't have any concerns about risque humour anyway, but it's particularly appropriate for this episode. Season 11 has analysed how Frasier's loneliness has reached an all-time high, and we'll see for the remainder of the season how much he is pining for love. But of course he's also pining for sexual affection, and this episode is a pinnacle of Frasier's rampaging lust. "Caught in the Act" creates such simple but implacable barriers between two people who just want to get their rocks off: a meek husband, a busybody family, and a career and schedule that waits for no man. It also makes perfect sense that Frasier and Nanny G would fall into that pattern: they're acquainted as sexual partners, are both reaching points in their lives when they are not being satisfied, and bring out a reminder of youth in each other. There's plenty of grand humour throughout, from "SpongeBob Hotpants" to Roz's "next time you say something like that, cover MY ears!", and Daphne's subplot as she destroys Niles' happiness along with his sweater. The best line reading must surely go to Kelsey Grammer for his chagrined "no hugs for Frasier". There's a decent little sincere moment where Niles rationally tries to talk Frasier out of committing adultery, which shows this series' usual maturity approaching such subjects. However, by explaining that the marriage is one of convenience, the series has given us enough of an ethical loophole to - if we so choose - ignore this. It's nice to see Ashley Thomas as Alice again, and give Roz a chance to show off her mothering skills now that she has a school-age child. (The structure of the episode caters to the cast dynamic very nicely, I must say.) And of course the audience goes wild for the most meta joke in the series' 11 years, even if one suspects that they would have had to be warned of this for any newcomers or tour groups in the audience.

When this episode's plot was first announced, I was surprised by the decision of a retiring series bringing back a very minor character from its past. Yet, the comparison of Nanny and Frasier ties right into the season's themes, and allows this to be one of the series' trademark "Frasier almost gets some" episodes while also being both an enjoyable character piece and a sidesplitting tale. It's all leading up to that magnificent final setpiece, filmed on location at a Theater in Los Angeles, in which Nanny prepares for her show. The sequence is surprisingly lengthy but carries with it a frantic comic pace. Frasier's lust quickly subsumes his ethics, Nanny has a wonderfully believable collapse, and then - with the very funny line "For the children!" - we're off. The music is spot on, Metcalf brings an incredible energy to the part, and the comic imagery of everything that happens on stage makes this a surefire win. (Grammer is often depicted as having been slightly isolated during filming and, by implication, self-centered. I'm sure that much of this is just harmful rumour - particularly after seeing this. Only a generous and self-humoured comedian would allow themselves to be so thoroughly degraded on screen!)

Perhaps the greatest praise for "Caught in the Act" isn't its solid structure, brilliant acting, or funny lines. It's that an episode that ends with Frasier in a nappy saying "waaah" is the kind of an image that the most puerile scriptwriter (someone far worse than we got even during the wilderness days of season 8) would come up with. Instead, it feels comically justified and downright fitting.

Rating: 100%


Utter Brilliance, May 15, 2011

Reviewer: Jim from Dublin, Ireland

They say a good actor is someone you can see acting well. A great actor is so believable you don't realise they are acting. This episode is littered with great performances, but none better than the actress playing Nanny G. She was so great and so convincing I found myself wondering whether she was some famous real child entertainer brought onto the show to play a child entertainer as a type of in-joke for the audience. Her performance was a master class in how an actor could join a cast of brilliant actors and be as good if not better than them.

All the regular cast were on top form. The one liners were classics. That joke about being the same character for 20 years had me almost choke on a coke I had been drinking I laughed so much.

I have to put this episode up with Sky Lodge, Ham Radio and the Voyage of the Damned as episodes I can keep watching over and over and still laugh out loud at.

This episode shows for me why in my opinion Frasier was the best comedy ever produced - brilliant acting, extraordinary characterisations, great scripts and masterful scripts littered with classic one-liners. Utter and complete brilliance.

Rating: 100%


Frasiers just a big baby, Sep 18, 2009

Reviewer: D. Wigg from United Kingdom

Wonderful episode, with brillant performance from the lady who used to be in the terrible comedy Roseanne. From the brillant scene where she embraces Frasier when she goe's to his flat and then sees Martin and says hello. Then when she says to her husband about taking his call elsewhere and then when he leaves, she embraces Frasier again. Then when her husband is holding a plate of tarts, and says whats one little tart, and everyone watching you know is thinking of Nanette. One thing I would like to know, you see her give Frasier a bonnette to put on, but where did he get the material for the nappy, I thought it might be the sheet, but you see it isn't when he is dressed up.

Not too sure about Niles saying the word Pe**s, to Frasier.

Rating: 97%


My favorite episode, Mar 12, 2009

Reviewer: Brad from Cleveland, OH

One must be comfortable with dark comedy to really enjoy this episode. During the scene when the bed comes up to the stage and Frasier becomes a part of the show, I laughed so hard and for so long I couldn't catch my breath.

This was television comedy at its absolute pinnacle. I applaud the writers, Laurie Metcalf and Kelsey Grammer in particular but also the whole crew of those who worked on this episode. I only saw it once. Would love to see it again.

Rating: 98%


Caught In The Act, Jan 20, 2009

Reviewer: Tom M from Cumbria, England

I'm in the minority by not been a great fan of this episode. Don't get me wrong, it has its good points: the climatic scene where Frasier is hoisted up onto stage is great! However, it just took a little long to get there for my liking. However, there are a lot worse episodes!

Rating: 82%


Riding High With The Best Of 'Em, Jan 01, 2008

Reviewer: Dean Mather from UNITED KINGDOM

Excellent slice of farce coupled with hilarious situations,with a great character called Nanny G,Frasiers ex wife and complete nympho(for Frasier) desperate to rekindle her passion from years gone by, resulting in a truly amusing show for the kiddies at the climax, borders on classic.

Rating: 95%


The perfect antidote to depression, Aug 14, 2007

Reviewer: Streetworker from Manchester, UK

One of the all-time great Frasier farces, this is up there with eps like The Ski Lodge for me. As others have said, the last five minutes of this episode are amongst the most hilarious the series ever produced. How wonderful that the show was in such tremendous form as the end approached.

Rating: 99%


funniest episode, Aug 09, 2007

Reviewer: steve exton from oldham england

I cried laughing a classic fraiser in all its glory

Rating: 97%


Funniest Ever!, Mar 17, 2007

Reviewer: Tamanal from Clearwater, Florida

My wife and I watch this episode again and again.......Still laughing until we cry everytime!

Rating: 100%


Laurie Metcalf Shines!, Apr 28, 2006

Reviewer: Sparky21 from England

This episode just brought home that fact that that not all sitcoms have to trail away into the distance with poor final seasons like Friends, Roseanne etc. among many others.

This gem of an episode sees Laurie Metcalf come out with some killer lines, amazing 'Aunt Jackie-esque' madness and Bebe Glazer style gesturing.

In agreement with others, I believe that this episode brings together physical farcical comedy with the snappy lines that have made Frasier great.

Final seasons rarely do justice to the history of the programme itself and limp home to weak laughs, returning gags and unusual plot twists. Conversly, this episode from season 11 keeps the classic comedy from previous seasons and builds on it.

This episode shines amongst season eleven, and compared to episodes which merely tie up loose ends, actually has an individual storyline.

Good to see the casting directors getting paid for work like this.

Rating: 100%



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