I love Frasier. I think it’s by and large, the greatest sitcom ever made. Intelligent, sharp, and above all, funny. It cheers me up when days are blue. I can watch an entire season in a day, and I have.
Thing is, one of my hobbies is bleaking up the sitcoms. I’ve done this before with Only Fools and Horses. I turned that into a jokeless documentary set in an urban wasteland, about three cockneys trying to make money simply to live. It would have gone down a storm on Monday nights. I did the same thing with Frasier, during one of my hysterical laughing fits. Times when I laugh so hard, I shit myself. I’m not kidding. I had to go to the toilet three times. I was a babbling mental, talking to myself about my idea. Here it is.
Watching Frasier, season one, episode five…or six. I can’t remember. It’s a brilliant start, the humour is tight, the scripts are brilliant. Frasier’s starting to get on better with his dad. Things are going excellently.
The premise of this fucking episode in reality is like this. Frasier thinks that his dad is bored sitting arouind the house doing nothing all day. So he buys him a telescope. Frasier thinks he’ll use it to perve on people over the road. Martin is appalled, but soon they’re all doing it, checking out the other apartments. The episode continues; Martin meets a lady, Frasier is happy about that, Daphne is happy too. They’re all happy in the end. It’s a good episode.
But I thought up a shocking twist, one that would destroy the entire series, and leave it with the most pointless and unbelievable changes of tone ever.
This is what I thought. During the scene when Martin’s looking through the telescope, Frasier gets him to point the telescope towards the sun to see the fucking surface. For some reason, Frasier doesn’t know any longer what the sun does to you when you look through a magnification device at it. He gyrates excitedly while his dad’s smiling face looks through the telescope, and he points it towards the sun.
As soon as he does it, Martin screams, loudly, and painfully. After two seconds, everybody realises what’s going on. Frasier, terrified, the reality setting in, lurches towards his dad, and falls, crashing into his father and sending them both sprawling on the floor. Martin screams so loudly, Eddie runs out of the room, and Frasier is yelling at him, shouting that he’s sorry, but Martin cannot hear through his hysterical screaming, and clutching of his eyes, which are now, permanently scarred. He will never see again. He is blind. Daphne clutches her hands over her face, shaking violently.
The scene fades to black, with a single header appearing. “MARTIN IS BLIND”, and then the episode ends, with no usual song by Frasier, and no credits. Just the endless static of a de-tuned television. A stunned television announcer says “Er….erm…more hilarious antics with the crazy shrink next week…probably.” and then life goes on. The papers are mental. Tv says “HAS FRASIER LOST IT, SHOCKING SCENES”.
Thing is, Frasier does carry on, for eleven seasons. Every single episode features this. Martin sits in his chair, in bandaged eyes, sobbing for the entire episode. Daphne’s gone back to Manchester after the first season events, she couldn’t deal with the trauma. We NEVER SEE HER AGAIN. Eddie sits in a pool of his own piss, shivering. Frasier sits with his head in his knees, or is seen wandering through a bleak Seattle skyline, unshaven, desperate, red eyed and guilt-ridden. Niles is dead. This is never explained. Maris doesn’t exist. This is the premise for every single fucking episode from Season One, Episode Six, through the entire run, up until the last in 2004. The only expection is a Christmas Special in 1997, which is two hours long, and features the cast watching ALIENS in real time, while Martin sobs because he can’t see the film, and Frasier just sits, staring not at ALIENS, but through it.
Ratings go through the floor. NBC sticks by it, like a lame dog. Because..well, it’s Frasier. People tune in and watch it, open mouthed. Unbelievable. Why did they do this?
That’s it, really. Sorry. Sorry again. Sorry.