Episode Reviews (2)
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It is too bad that the writers of the Dr. Nora episode did not put more effort into the third act.
I have heard Dr. Laura on the radio and I read about the contraversy surrounding this episode so I was curious about it. I dialed it up on youtube and Iaughed out loud during the first two parts. "Dr. Nora" skewered Dr. Laura, but in good fun. And then I watched part three. I stopped laughing. It was mean. The secret to good comedy is to demonstrate the absurdity in a truth, not to make the truth absurd. The producers of this episode squandered the opportunity to make a point. And although Frasier is a darling of the Emmys, it is inconcievable that Piper Laurie should recieve a nomination for such a ridiculous role.moreless
This episode is an obvious lampoon of Dr. Laura's radio show. Dr. Nora is the polar opposite of Frasier as a radio psychiatrist. She believes in a tough-love approach, as opposed to Frasier's belief that everything can be solved by talking it out.
This was the first Frasier episode I ever watched from beginning to end. When I watched it the first time, I would have agreed with the reviewer who said it was too much of a personal attack on the real-life Dr. Laura. However, after watching it a second time and being more familiar with the series, I can take a more balanced view.
The irony is that in reality the episode itself proves that Dr. Nora's brand of advice is more realistic than Frasier's. Dr. Nora advises a caller to cut a difficult person out of their lives like a tumor. Frasier thinks Dr. Nora's problems could be resolved by a visit from her mother, the relationship from which her lifeview stems. When we meet the mother, however, we realize that she is too unreasonable for Frasier's type of therapy. Not everything can be analyzed into a satisfying resolution. Some things just have to be accepted or ignored. The episode ends up demonstrating that Dr. Nora's approach is the more effective one in terms of dealing with toxic relatives. As usual, Frasier's meddling leads to disastrous results.moreless