The Good Son (Frasier)
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"The Good Son" is the pilot episode of the television sitcom Frasier. The episode premiered on September 16, 1993, on NBC. This first episode seeks to establish the show, introduce the primary characters and settings, and distance itself from its parent, Cheers.
|"The Good Son"|
Frasier and Niles discuss their father's future living arrangements, when the subject of Niles' wife Maris enters in the conversation on a note of Frasier's personal disapproval. Niles: "I thought you liked my Maris?" Frasier: "I do. I like her from a distance. You know, the way you like the sun. Maris is like the sun. Except without the warmth."
|Directed by||James Burrows|
|Original air date||September 16, 1993|
Dr. Frasier Crane, formerly of Boston, has recently arrived back in his birthplace of Seattle to restart his life following his painful divorce. He has recently acquired a job presenting a phone-in psychiatry show on the local radio station KACL, where he works with producer Roz Doyle. Although he is looking forward to restarting his life as a bachelor, fate and his younger brother, Dr. Niles Crane, have other plans.
Their father Martin, a gruff, blue-collar former police detective, was forced to retire after he was shot in the hip while on duty. The injury has made it very difficult for him to live alone, although he stubbornly tries to keep doing so. After Martin slips in the shower, Niles decides that Martin cannot live by himself. He cannot live with Niles either, as he does not get along with Niles' wife Maris. The only other alternative, save putting Martin in a retirement home, is for Frasier to take him in.
Although he is reluctant, as he and his father have never had a close relationship, Frasier nevertheless agrees to take Martin in. However, he was not counting on Martin bringing along his favorite chair; a tatty, old pea green and mud-brown recliner that does not match Frasier's elegant, modern, eclectic apartment. To make matters worse, he also brings along his best friend Eddie, a lively Jack Russell Terrier with a habit of persistently staring at Frasier.
Frasier is soon at his wits' end; not only are he and his father clashing frequently, but Frasier is run off his feet trying to take care of Martin. Eventually, Niles agrees to step in and help, not by taking Martin in, but by agreeing to jointly pay for a home health care provider to help take care of Martin. However, Martin's surly attitude plays against most of the applicants; that is, until he meets Daphne Moon, a friendly and sweet English woman who nevertheless puts Frasier off through her numerous eccentricities, most prominently the fact that she believes herself to be psychic. Martin takes a liking to her and offers her the job, but through a mix-up, she believes the position to be live-in, which means that she will have to move into the apartment.
This is the last straw for Frasier: not only has he had to give up his space to Martin and Eddie, he is now being asked to give up more of his space to a complete stranger. A vicious argument between Martin and Frasier ensues; Martin angrily accuses Frasier of taking him in merely so that Frasier can feel like he's doing the right thing, and Frasier bitterly points out that he's nevertheless still tried to make a home for Martin, only to have his every effort put down and sneered at without even so much as a thank you. Martin seems to be about to say 'thank you', only to storm off, leaving a distance between the two.
The next day at work, Frasier is complaining about his troubles to Roz, who in turn tells him the story of Lupe Vélez, pointing out that although life might not go the way we plan it to, it can nevertheless work out anyway. Frasier then takes his next call, only to find that it is Martin on the line. Martin explains his situation with "his son" as if he were just another caller, although both understand they are really speaking about each other. In the process, Martin indirectly apologizes for his ungraciousness and thanks Frasier, and Frasier, in turn, apologizes for his insensitivity. Seeing that things may, in fact, be working out, Frasier passes along Roz's earlier advice to his next caller who is upset and tearful about breaking up with her boyfriend, and proceeds to tell her the story of Lupe Vélez.
Over the end credits, as Martin and Daphne (who has moved in) watch a movie, Frasier attempts to read as Eddie incessantly stares at him.
- David Angell, Peter Casey, and David Lee won the Primetime Emmy Award for writing this episode.
- James Burrows won the Directors Guild of America Award and the Primetime Emmy Award for directing this episode.
- For his performance in this episode, Kelsey Grammer won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. This was his second nomination in this category and his first win.
- Fox, David J. (March 7, 1994). "Spielberg's 'List' a Call to 'Duty' : Movies: Holocaust film 'was a story that needed to be told,' DGA award winner says". Los Angeles Times. Timothy Ryan. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2012-05-23.
- "Picket Fences and 'Frasier' Win Top Emmys". The New York Times. Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr. September 12, 1994. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2012-05-23.
- O'Connor, John J. (September 13, 1994). "CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK; Of TV, Awards and, Above All, Sales". The New York Times. Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr. Retrieved 2012-05-23.