Posted in: Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on June 18th, 2004
Everyone’s favorite television psychiatrist is back for his third go around. Frasier and his emmy award winning cast return for one of the better seasons that the series produced. The third season sees more wackiness, more Eddie jokes, and more shenanigans at the radio station. The biggest story shift this year is Niles’ (David Hyde Pierce) separation from the still unseen Maris, leaving him more free time to moon over Daphne (Jane Leeves). In a half-season arc, Frasier (Kelsey Grammer) finds himself at odds with, an… then in the arms of new station manager Kate Costas (Mercedes Ruehl). And along the way we meet gangsters, Diane Chambers returns (having written a hilarious play with a very familiar Boston setting), and the season finale gives us a look at Frasier’s first week on the air – something we didn’t get a good look at before, even in the pilot.
The outstanding writing that introduced us to these characters in the first 2 seasons returns with all guns a blazing for the third season, particularly showing some fine wit in the stories that centre around Nile’s separation from the mysterious Maris.
The third season DVD release of Frasier is presented in its original television aspect ratio of 1.33:1 full frame. The quality is rather good, but suffers from minor compression issues. At times the picture can look a little rough during quick movement or dramatic changes in the picture. However, this will mostly be an issue for those with an eye for detail. Overall, the picture is clear and crisp, with a definite improvement from broadcast/cable television quality.
The audio is presented in English 2.0 Dolby Digital stereo sound. The audio track itself isn’t anything too impressive. As with most television series, there isn’t a huge demand for hard-hitting sound effects or glorious soundtracks. As a result, the audio track is very flat, as it is mainly spoken dialogue. However, the quality is still very good.
Unlike other DVD sets, the extras are shared over all of the discs, not just all collected on one disc:
- The Crane Brothers Remember Season 3 (12:45): Kelsey Grammer and David Hyde Pierce talk about the season and the show in general. Grammer is looking a bit tired in some of those clips.
- A Conversation with Art Director Roy Christopher (8:30): Christopher, who took us on a great, guided tour of the sets in the first season disc, returns to talk about the sets of season 3. While not as clever or as in depth as his first season set appearance, the brief look into the brain of the guy that gave the show it’s look is always interesting.
- Bulldog Crazy (8:00): Everybody else has gotten clip collections in the previous sets, so this time Dan Butler as Bulldog Briscoe, gets the flashback treatment. Character clips aren’t my favorite, but I was interested to note that there are shots from behind the scenes and publicity events included in the mix – where are they coming from and why can’t we see them as a whole? I’d rather watch them than a collection of scenes I’ve already watched in the DVD set.
- The Mystery Of Maris – The Breakup Begins (2:12): Though never seen or heard, Maris gets yet another clip collection, this time largely focusing on her breakup from Niles.
- Celebrity Voices: Each disc contains a clip collection that reveals all the guest celebrities who lent their voices to the crazy callers on Frasier’s show. This season hears Matthew Broderick, Carrie Fisher, Jodie Foster, and David Duchovney, in addition to a whole lot more. After watching the finale of the show these past weeks, it occurred that it would have been nice if they’d included pictures of the celebrities during this segment – not all the stars who turn out to shine are household names.
The third season of Frasier is easily one of the strongest seasons that the show had. If you like Frasier, this set is definitely worth picking up.
Special Features List
- The Crane Brothers Remembers Season 3 – Features Interviews with Kelsey Grammer and David Hyde Pierce
- A Conversation with Art Director Roy Christopher
- Bulldog Crazy
- The Mystery Of Maris: The Breakup Begins
- Celebrity Voices – Including: Matthew Broderick, Carrie Fisher, Teri Garr, Laura Dern, Cyd Charisse, Ray Lioatta, Jodie Foster, Joan Allen, Jane Pauley, David Duchovney and more!