Before I start on the juicy stuff, I need someone to explain to me why, in the 13th season of a show, someone thought it was a good idea to change the theme music. I understand that the trend with a lot of shows is to forego the opening credits and I don't necessarily have a problem with that. But why change such a recognizable and long-standing part of the show? Those first few percussive strains have always been my signal to get back to the couch! I've mentioned before how small, familiar touches have really helped maintain the continuity for me amid the numerous cast changes, and the theme music has always been a part of that. Bad call.
Anyway, I was so glad to see the wonderful John Mahoney back at home on NBC acting his heart out (and singing) as Bennett Cray. He was always my favorite part of
Frasier, but this character was a far cry from the conservative, old-fashioned Martin Crane he skillfully embodied for so long. The love story between Bennett and his partner, James, was beautiful and heartbreaking. I can't imagine the frustration and fear that would come from being shut out of such a critical decision-making process for the person you love. This episode definitely emphasized the importance of getting advanced directives and living wills in order.
Meanwhile, our new friend Tony Gates (aka Dr. Teflon) got off to a bumpy internship, alienating his former partner, taking a nasty spill and completely disregarding Pratt's orders to let James succumb without intrusive measures. It is nice to see Pratt come full circle as an attending, since it wasn't that long ago that he was the one making the rash, undisciplined decisions. And frankly, Dr. Gates has me a little unnerved. I am interested to see where they are going with this character, because things seem a little fishy right now. On the one hand, he is wooing Neela and on the other hand, he is clearly involved in a relationship. And yes, that was indeed our favorite attempted murderess from
Deadwood, Trixie (Paula Malcomson), obviously making the most of her downtime in the wake of HBO's diss. (
Another bad call, but I digress.)
Neela's transition into the world of surgery is clearly not going to be all smooth sailing. Tonight we met this season's answer to Dr. Romano, Dustin Crenshaw (J.P. Manoux). If tonight's episode is any indication, this guy is certainly not going to be making things easy for our dear Dr. Rasgotra. (For those of you wondering where you've seen, or rather, heard him, Manoux voices the characters of Mr. Hackett and Curtis the Caveman on Disney Channel's
Phil of the Future.) I am hoping that the soothing charisma of Dr. Dubenko will serve to offset Crenshaw's condescension. Leland Orser is so interesting as Dubenko. He is an actor who has put in great performances in a number of different movies and TV shows but has really settled into this particular character. I hope we see more of him.
A few of you voiced some annoyance in your posts last week about the rather quick re-entry of the widowed Neela into the dating pool. I agree with those of you who commented on the fact that while the loss of Gallant was tragic, his courtship and romance with Neela was fairly quick. They were still navigating their lives as a married couple and getting to know each other. I say we give the girl a break.
Aside from the main story lines, tonight's episode also featured some interesting guest appearances. First, we had Busy Philipps as Hope, the eager, Christian intern. You've seen her on
Dawson's Creek as Pacey's love interest and also on the fantastic and (sadly) short-lived
Freaks and Geeks where she costarred with Linda Cardellini (Sam). Also, we enjoyed a blast from the past with another uncredited appearance by Glenn Plummer. As Haleh mentioned, his Timmy Rollins has been around before, in the very early days of the show. (And again, Morris wins my award for favorite line with "Shut up, not-Jerry.") Finally, although he didn't get a minute of screen time, Illinois senator Barack Obama was on the receiving end of several shout-outs from an unruly patient (complete with Obama T-shirt). As the midterm election looms, I'm quite certain that a lot of politicians would hand over their firstborn for that kind of free publicity.
Before I start on the juicy stuff I need someone to explain to me why in the 13th season of a show someone thought it was a good idea to change the theme music I understand that the trend with a lot of shows is to forego the opening credits and I dont necessarily have a problem with that But why change such a recognizable and long-standing part of the show Those first few percussive strains have always been my signal to get back to the couch Ive mentioned before how small familiar touches have really helped maintain the continuity for me amid the numerous cast changes and the theme music has always been a part of that Bad call Anyway I was so glad to see the wonderful John Mahoney back at home on NBC acting his heart out and singing as Bennett Cray He was always my favorite part of Frasier but this character was a far cry from the conservative old-fashioned Martin Crane he skillfully embodied for so long The love story between Bennett and his partner