There were more warning signs ahead of the “Frasier” revival’s debut. Kelsey Grammer openly advertised his not-so-modest view that he alone was the key to “Frasier,” which, as any fan of the original knows, is exactly the wrong way to think about it. Grammar’s lovably pretentious psychiatrist remains one of the best characters in TV history, and there’s nobody that could play him better. But “Frasier” was a hit mainly because of how its excellent supporting cast complimented the central character.
Which brings us to the most glaring issue with the revival show: the lack of the original cast. David Hyde Pierce, who played Frasier’s brother Niles, declined to return for the reboot. As did Jane Leeves, who portrayed housekeeper Daphne. Meanwhile, Frasier’s father, Martin, was played by the late John Mahoney who passed away in 2018. All of which meant that “Frasier” 2023 was faced with bringing back Dr. Crane without any other familiar faces.
In place of these beloved characters, the revival establishes a new supporting cast. After Frasier returns to Boston, home of the eponymous bar from “Cheers,” alongside his nephew, David (Anders Keith), he’s greeted by his old college pal Alan (Nicholas Lyndhurst). Intending to make a quick stop in Bean Town before departing for Paris, Frasier visits his son, Freddy (Jack Cutmore-Scott) only to become taken with the idea of settling down in the city, taking a job as a Harvard psychology professor, and making up for years of shaky fathering by reconnecting with his son. Freddy’s roommate, Eve (Jess Salgueiro), and Harvard’s psychology department head, Olivia (Toks Olagundoye), round out the new supporting cast. Unfortunately, while Grammer effortlessly slips back into playing Dr. Crane as if he’d never stopped, the rest of the cast just doesn’t measure up.