This is the best episode ever. The pretentious brothers buy an aging restaurant and hilarity in sues. One catastrophic event after another gets funnier as each character becomes involved. .I laugh until I cry.
The "Innkeepers" episode is hands down the funniest episode in the great Frasier series and that is saying much. It is probably one of the funniest shows ever aired on television. From beginning to end, it never misses a beat or misses a chance to capitalize with great humor on the growing disaster the brothers find themselves in after buying a restaurant. From exploding cherries jubilee to Daphne killing an eel to Otto the ancient waiter who is way past his prime, the show is hysterical. David Lloyd wrote The Innkeepers (he also penned "Chuckles Bites The Dust" for the Mary Tyler Moore show) and it is brilliant. Frasier was always good at mixing high brow humor with slapstick and farce in a way no show before or since has been able to do. God bless the late David Angell, Peter Casey, and David Lee for creating such a wonderful show.
This episode exemplifies the brilliant script-writing typical of the early years of Frasier, combining witty dialogue and slapstick/farce. Frasier and Niles decide to run a restaurant together, which they dub "Les Frères Heureux". But we know the brothers, so we know this isn't going to end happily.
Like watching a slow motion train wreck we see how inevitably Frasier and Niles' joint egomania causes one thing after another to go wrong on their opening night. First they cause injury to the waiters. Then they antagonise the chef. Finally Niles scares away the remaining kitchen staff by name-dropping the head of the immigration department - as always in Frasier, social commentary lurking just beneath the surface.
Left to run the restaurant alone, the not-so-happy brothers press-gang Martin, Daphne and Roz to help out. And of course at that moment Gil Chesterton the snooty food critic turns up to review the restaurant, demanding fresh eels. This is classically constructed comedy, brilliantly executed. One of those episodes that lives in the memory even a long time after watching.
An old restaurant is going out of business so Frasier and Niles get a brilliant idea: Run their own restaurant! Like in "Ham Radio," the chef quits because Frasier and Niles keep bossing him around. The two brothers, Roz, Daphne, and Martin end up running the restaurant on their own and everything bad that can happen, does. Soon enough, the resaurant catches on fire and everyone leaves. Nice going Frasier and Niles! This is quite possibly the best episode of "Frasier." Nearly every line in this episode is meant to be really funny and they are. You must watch this episode to understand comedy.
This episode definitely makes my top three favourite episodes. After visiting their childhood memory filled restaurant Orsini, with hilarious waiter Otto, Frasier and Niles make the obvious decision to buy the restaurant. Martin as usual warns them about the difficult task of running a restaurant, but the thought of sending away their enemies at the door and being able to walk around as snooty as possible is just to much fun for Frasier and Niles. As in most of the episodes, disaster tends to ensue as soon as they cooperate. The end of the line is that the main cast ends up working in the restaurant, where Daphne and Niles make a loving cooking couple in the kitchen. Niles' face when Daphne hands him an eel that she just smashed against a kitchen counter is brilliant! The behind the kitchen scenes are the best part of the episode and possibly some of the best of the series. I nearly choked with laughter when Frasier is outside the kitchen dealing with customers and pronounces that the chef is in the process of preparing the eels and the electricity flashes, which follows a statement from Frasier to Niles saying he should throw in a toaster with the eels to kill them if need be. Needless to say, after the lovely delayed fire extinguisher service, flamed cherries and an additional drive through window, Les freres heureux is definitely closed for business. Too bad!
One of the Crane Brothers' favourite restaurants is closing- and, of course, they cannot allow that to happen. They buy out the restaurant, despite warnings from their father. And boy, they should have listened.
It doesn't take long before the brothers end up scaring off all of the staff, and are forced to run the restaurant- including, of course, the kitchen- entirely by themselves- which, as anyone who watches Frasier would know, is a recipe for disaster.
And how fortunate are they that everyone shows up: Roz, Martin and Daphne, Bulldog, and even radio food critic Gil Chesterton. Roz is put to work in the kitchen, but it is of no use; a dessert explodes, and everybody is forced to leave the restaurant- while it may seem like a curse to most, Frasier takes it as a blessing. Naturally, Bulldog remains blissfully unaware of what is going on in the restaurant from his special seat by the restroom.
The episode is very funny throughout, and certainly deserves its place as one of the best episodes of the series.
The Innkeepers is among the very best episodes of a great series, one that pulled of out and out farce with great elan on more occasions than just about any other long running comedy. From the setting, to the extra casting, to the supporting performances, perfection runs amok. The timing of moments such as the explosion of the cherries jubilee, or the introduction of the drive-thru window is exemplary. Grammer and Hyde-Pierce are at the very top of their game and Mahoney shows that Martin Crane was one of the most under-rated supporting characters ever ignored by the Emmy Gods.
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