If you’re a sane human, you understand the brilliance and beauty of Frasier. Like a mini Noel Coward play in each episode, Frasier and the rest of the Crane family (Roz and Daphne included) infiltrated our televisions screens for years—always filled with sparkling wit and a dash of the bizarre.
But now, California-based designer Peter Javidpour has brought the beloved psychiatrist back to life with Laser Frasier. In "episode one" in which "Frasier encourages congressional candidate Phil Patterson to confide in him," we see what the show would be like if taken for a high-tech spin.
There is a great, fantastically lazy tradition in recent music criticism whereby “NPR,” “fussed-over,” and “intimate” are terms that come to signify “white bands playing preciously dull and fragile songs that you in your callous, unthinking way would call ‘boring’ but are actually quiet masterpieces, you clod.” Over at BuzzFeed today, Matt Perpetua reaches the zenith of this non-observational style with little more than fifty words, six photos, and three YouTube embeds.
“Grizzly Bear Is The ‘Frasier’ Of Rock Music,” the headline declares, while the deck cautions, as if you are already winding up to punch through your computer monitor, “It’s kind of an intuitive thing, but yes, they are.” Great! An intuitive analogy comparing a “rock” band (no they aren’t) that enjoyed mild popularity from 2006-2009 and a television series that ended in 2004. The comparison is simultaneously so strained and so obvious and so half a decade late that it’s hard to tell if it’s less meaningful than it is amusing.
Do I even need to tell you that cashmere, lattes, ennui, and The New Yorker are mentioned? It’d be one thing if BuzzFeed were merely failing to be the “leading social news organization, intensely focused on delivering high-quality original reporting, insight, and viral content across a rapidly expanding array of subject areas” that it purports to be. But on top of that, do we really need a list of items once posted on Stuff White People Like? Oh, new BuzzFeed article idea: Stuff White People Like is just like The Strokes’ Is This It. Or maybe you could talk about how OutKast is the Chappelle’s Show of rap.
There are some mysteries that keep important people up at night, like how to fix the euro crisis and whether global warming is reversible. The rest of us worry about far smaller things, such as the Frasier theme song, because what the hell were they ever singing about? The familiar "tossed salads and scrambled eggs" refrain had little to do with the show’s subject matter of psychiatry and neurotic families, but according to composer Bruce Miller, that’s the way the studio wanted it. Tossed salads and scrambled eggs are mixed up, you see, just like Frasier’s patients. It makes perfect sense!
Former Frasier writer Ken Levine was asked on his blog about the meaning of the song, so he tracked down Miller for an answer. Here’s an excerpt:
I was told they wanted something pretty eclectic and jazzy, but to avoid any direct references to specific subject matter. So it was necessary to stay away from words about psychiatry, radio shows, the name "Frasier", and anything else directly indicating aspects of the show.
I immediately wrote the song/music itself, but then needed a lyric that would work, so I called my friend Darryl Phinnesse who is really talented and really smart. I gave him the idea of the show and he called back with the idea of "Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs". At first I was a bit baffled myself until he explained that these were things that were "mixed up"….like Frasier Crane’s patients. Once we agreed on this premise (by the time I fully understood it), we went into completing the song.
And now, you can all sleep easy. The euro crisis remains unfixable, though.