Almost four decades since the character was first introduced, the upcoming Frasier reboot can bring Frasier Crane’s (Kelsey Grammer) original role on Cheers full circle. When he was introduced in the Boston-based sitcom, Frasier was the self-important psychiatrist who mingled with commoners in the Cheers bar. Without Frasier realizing it, however, spending time with the likes of Sam, Carla (Rhea Perlman), and the perpetually-drunk, Norm (George Wendt) subtly impacted him, making him even just a little like them. This resulted in a toned-down version of the character in Frasier,
Now, the upcoming Frasier revival on Paramount+ can complete his character arc by making him the common man wherever his new environment will be. In the original Frasier show, he functioned as the middle point between his blue-collar father, Martin Crane (John Mahoney), and even snootier brother, Niles Crane (David Hyde Pierce). This created a balanced dynamic that put him at the center of the storytelling. As Grammer’s character begins the third chapter of his life in a different city, the project can continue this evolution by putting him in a setting where he is at the disadvantage. Instead of feeling like he is the most knowledgeable man in the room as he did in Cheers, the upcoming Frasier reboot can subject him to new experiences where he feels like a total beginner desperately navigating his way. This could easily be done with him working to re-establish his own psychiatric practice in the reboot with his stint as a radiotherapist frowned upon by his peers, or with Frasier attempting to keep up with the times bt shifting to doing a podcast and feeling inadequate because of how clueless he is about how things work nowadays.
Frasier’s appeal largely hinged on the people around him. He was a part of Cheers’ great ensemble; when he was getting wrapped up in self-indulgence, the rest of the bar quickly grounded him. Without them, Grammer’s character could be grating and annoying. The long-delayed Frasier reboot can play with a similar dynamic, only this time, Frasier is the one deemed beneath his new community. From a comedic standpoint, it offers new ways to utilize the character, especially as he starts what could be the closing chapter of his life. In terms of the character’s overall arc, however, it could complete his full transformation from the arrogant and condescending high society psychiatrist to an Everyman who just happens to have expensive taste. This makes him the perfect combination of his snobbish mother and his modest father.
Aside from confirming that the Paramount+ revival will be set in a different city, Grammer has also shared other information about what to expect from the project. For starters, unfortunately, the Frasier revival won’t feature other original cast members as regular characters. That means that David Hyde Pierce’s Niles Crane, Jane Leeves’ Daphne, and Peri Gilpin’s Roz Doyle would have limited presence on the show — if at all. This means that Frasier will be surrounded by an entirely new community the next time he appears on the small screen. Secondly, Kelsey Grammer also confirmed that the Frasier reboot will address Martin Crane’s absence in light of John Mahoney’s death in 2018. Considering all these, it does seem like instead of a reboot, the new Paramount+ project will be more of a continuation of Frasier Crane’s story than anything else.
It’s an understatement to say that the Frasier revival has its work cut out for it considering what the original series was able to accomplish. It’s one of the best spinoffs ever, and there’s an argument to be made that Frasier is actually better than Cheers. Revisiting it is a huge risk, but if it’s done right, it could give Grammer’s beloved character a beautiful ending.