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Frasier Reboot Ruins Niles In One Single Line

Warning! Spoilers ahead for the Frasier reboot episode 8.


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Summary

  • The Frasier reboot episode 8 ruins Frasier’s character in just one line, as he’s physically separated from his family and has to fix his relationship with his son in Boston.
  • Niles was supposed to be part of the revival but David Hyde Pierce turned down the opportunity. Despite Niles’ absence, he remains important through his son, David.
  • David’s strong reaction to getting a “B” grade is rooted in his fear of disappointing his father, Niles. Niles’ absence becomes more apparent as David seeks comfort from his cousin instead of his dad.

Niles may not be in the revival, but the Frasier reboot episode 8 manages to ruin Frasier’s character in just a single line. Frasier starts his third and possibly final act back in Boston, which was his old stomping grounds during his time in Cheers. This means that he is physically separated from the rest of his family in Seattle, primarily his brother, Niles, and sister-in-law, Daphne. Ideally, the brothers should be together in light of Martin’s recent death. Unfortunately, life is pulling them in different directions, with Frasier having to settle in Boston to fix his relationship with his own son.

Behind the scenes, Niles was supposed to be part of the Frasier reboot. Kelsey Grammer invited David Hyde Pierce to return, with the initial idea being the Crane brothers dealing with Martin’s death by running a black box theater together. Unfortunately, Pierce turned down the opportunity. Aside from not wanting to do a repeat of his Emmy-winning performance as the character, the actor has also always been vocal against reviving Frasier. This forced Grammer and his team to think outside the box about its story. Despite Niles’ absence, however, he remains an important part of the revival. He and Daphne are well-represented in the show thanks to their son, David.

Related: Frasier Episode 7 Just Solved A 36-Year Mystery From Cheers


David Claims His Father Will Get So Mad At His Grade

Because he is Niles’ son, he freaks out when he discovers that he gets a “B.”

David in Frasier reboot episode 8

Inspired by what made the original show so successful, the Frasier reboot attempts to lean on its familial aspects, albeit in a brand new way. Aside from Freddy, Frasier also has to deal with his nephew, David, who is currently based in Boston and is studying at Harvard. Niles and Daphne’s son was born in the original show’s finale, but it wasn’t able to show any of his upbringing, so he’s essentially a fresh character in the revival. It has become increasingly clear, however, that he is a mix of his father and mother.

Because he is Niles’ son, he freaks out when he discovers that he gets a “B” in the Frasier reboot episode 8, “The B Story.” Distraught about breaking his A-streak, David asks his uncle for another chance, so he can get his desired grade. He becomes so obsessed with the idea that he is willing to endanger his uncle’s life to bargain for a better mark. Apparently, David’s strong reaction to getting a less-than-perfect grade is rooted in his fears of disappointing his father. He confesses to a drunk Freddy at Mahoney’s that his “B” might prompt Niles to send him to trade school, which is really just UPenn.

David doesn’t say anything about how his mom would react to the matter. However, it seems like Niles is putting a lot of pressure on his son, which stresses him. As the episode goes on, David becomes more obsessed and desolate over the status of his paper in Frasier’s class. He eventually admits to Freddy that he is overwhelmed by always wanting to be the best at everything. Niles has had reservations about being a father, and while there’s no doubt that he wants nothing but to be a good one, his son’s reaction to his grade is an indication that he is expecting way too much from David.

Why Niles Is Very Particular With Academic Grades

Niles has a 157 IQ.

Freddy and David in Frasier reboot episode 8

Both Niles and Frasier excelled academically — something that was often a point of the story in the original series. While Martin was proud of this, he was also disappointed that studies consumed his boys, leaving them without any interest in sports, which he loved. Niles was smarter than his brother, having a 157 IQ compared to Frasier’s 123. He prided himself on being an intellectual and primarily viewed it as more than enough to compensate for his other flaws. Since David is like his father in terms of social demeanor and athleticism, Niles may have wanted his son to do well in school for the same reason.

Related: Frasier Reboot Episode 7’s Big Lilith Twist Was Set Up In The Original Show’s Final Season

David Going To Harvard Makes Niles’ Situation Worse

Niles would have wanted his son to attend Yale.

As previously noted, the Frasier reboot needed to pivot toward its storytelling after Pierce turned down the project, effectively ruling out Niles’ appearance. Whether David was always going to be part of the narrative is currently uncertain, but his inclusion is likely a way to keep Frasier’s brother relevant despite not having any physical appearance. However, since Frasier’s third act would be set in Boston, Paramount+ had to find a way to also bring Niles and Daphne’s son to Beantown, hence why he is attending Harvard in the revival.

It’s curious, however, how David’s conversation with his father went when he decided to go to Harvard. Despite being one of the Ivy Leagues, and Frasier’s alma mater, it isn’t difficult to imagine that Niles would have wanted his son to attend Yale, his school, instead, especially since he is also taking up psychiatry. Considering Niles and Frasier’s tendency to be intensely competitive with each other, it’s possible that Martin’s youngest wasn’t thrilled with David going to Harvard. The fact that his son breaks his “A” streak via Frasier’s class makes that much worse.

David’s Grade Makes Niles’ Absence Worse

Niles couldn’t dispel David’s claims.

David delivering a speech in Frasier reboot episode 8

In the end, David still fails to secure an “A” on his paper. Because of this, he haphazardly decides to drop out of Harvard. Luckily for him, Freddy comes in to talk some sense into him. Frasier’s son becomes candid about why he decided to leave the academic institution, and it has something to do with not being happy attending the school despite being more than capable of handling his academics. After a heart-to-heart talk that tackles the pressures of being the third generation of Cranes, David decides to stay at Harvard.

There are many reasons why the Frasier reboot is for the worse because of Niles’ absence. However, it has been able to get by because the show leans on Frasier’s relationship with Martin, which informs his current situation with Freddy. That being said, David’s story in the Frasier reboot episode 8 highlights just how Niles is missed. Aside from the fact that he couldn’t dispel David’s claims that he would be extremely mad at his “B” grade, his son is also left to find comfort in his cousin rather than his dad. It would have been much better if this narrative resulted in a touching moment between Niles and David.

The Frasier reboot drops new episodes every Thursday on Paramount+.

  • Frasier Reboot Poster-1

    Frasier

    Release Date:
    1993-09-16

    Cast:
    Kelsey Grammer, Jane Leeves, David Hyde Pierce, Peri Gilpin, John Mahoney, Jack Cutmore-Scott, Anders Keith, Jess Salgueiro, Toks Olagundoye, Nicholas Lyndhurst

    Genres:
    Comedy

    Rating:
    TV-PG

    Seasons:
    11

    Story By:
    David Angell, Peter Casey, David Lee, Glen Charles, Les Charles

    Writers:
    David Angell, Peter Casey, David Lee

    Network:
    NBC

    Streaming Service(s):
    Paramount+

    Directors:
    David Lee, Kelsey Grammer, James Burrows, Pamela Fryman

    Showrunner:
    Christopher Lloyd, Chris Harris, Joe Cristalli

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