Season 7 Episode 16

The Cranemakers

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Mar 02, 1989 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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  • Watch out -- the Cranes are one with nature!

    I think I like this episode a lot more than I should. If anyone were performing Lilith besides Bebe Neuwirth and if anyone were Frasier besides Kelsey Grammer, I may have thrown something at my TV when I watched this episode. But this episode survives because their uncharacteristically strong (and quirky) chemistry, and this show thrives on these eternally underappreciated supporting actors.

    Lilith's mammoth "spiels" on being the creator of life, while almost painfully long, are on-the-dot character precision. Being a scientific dud never was so funny. And Frasier's confliction with supreme sophistication amidst his yearning for "being one of the guys" is almost overwhelmingly comical. So even though the scenes with Lilith and Frasier kind of grind the stone a little too zealously, I can't help but laugh at the humor, the chemistry, and the quirkiness that this show so effortlessly created.

    Cheers existed in the golden age of comedy and really was probably the best of the 80s sitcoms. I have a feeling that sitcoms have fallen off the radar in recent years because they have forgotten what really makes a sitcom successful: character. Seinfeld is a pure definition of this. Always touting that the show was "about nothing", Seinfeld's creators knew how to make a show funny -- focus on the characters and their reactions to situations. Don't focus on the situations themselves (This focus was lost in the later years of that series, which proved to be its downfall). Cheers never lost this focus, and actually it's best seasons ended up being the last few.

    Shows even as "mediocre" as The Cranemakers seem funny (really funny) because Cheers had a situation and focused on the characters' reactions to it -- in this case, the unmatchable Crane couple. The creators of Cheers had something special, and they never lost sight of that fact. The Cranemakers may be a weaker example, but I'd watch this episode over any episode of any sitcom on television today. And that, my friends, is saying something.