Friday, November 07, 2008

Daphne Moon

Yesterday I did a piece on Jane Leeves. Here's a great compilation of Niles/Daphne scenes.

And here's one of my all-time favorite Daphne scenes.


Anonymous said...

I love that scene from Daphne's Room. That whole episode is definitely a classic.

I always loved the unrequited love Niles and Daphne. David and Jane worked so well off of each other before they became a couple. That got lost once they got together but it sure was fun while it lasted!

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify, I meant once Niles and Daphne became a couple. Not David and Jane! (that just wouldn't work on many levels!) :)

Anonymous said...

Having earlier this evening rewatched the episode where Niles first sets eyes on Daphnee (ZING!), I have a question: When Niles infatuation for Daphnee was first decided on, was it merely to be a useful comedy quirk for Niles, to be employed however it seemed best, or was it the always intention from the first that, non-cancellation-willing, there would be a LOOONNNG story arc of Niles eventually leaving the horrific Maris and finding Happily Ever After with Daphnee? Obviously, it was in place by the time Maris and Niles split, but was it there from the start, or did it grow organically?

And I do not agree that they got lost once they got together. Rather, they found new stories to tell, about having your dream come true, and then having to adjust to the reality of the other person, instead of your fantasy of them.

By Ken Levine said...

It was originally a small thing but it was clear that the bit scored and everyone felt there was mileage in it. But whenever a bit like that is introduced it's always a trial balloon.

Often times the most inspired comedy bits are lucky accidents.

Anonymous said...

I think she had the two best lines in the run of the show :

"He was a detective you know?"


"That dingos stole your baby."

And then there was the killing of the eels.

Anonymous said...

d. mcewan: I agree completely about them getting together. One of the best episodes of Frasier was in the eighth season when Dahpne comes home from fat camp(i.e. Jane Leeves maternity leave), and Niles realizes he has fallen for this idolized version of her instead of the actual person, and then re-examines his entire relationship with her with Frasier's help. At the end, after they make love for the first time, Frasier asks how it was, and Niles responds "not at all like I expected" with a wry smile. One of the great things about "Frasier" was after all those years you were finding out new things about the characters you didn't know or expect, which is why it was one of television's all-time great comedies.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to stand by what I said about the change and how something was lost when Niles and Daphne got together.

I'm not saying there weren't some good episodes in those later seasons. Daphne Returns (the fat camp episode) is indeed a great episode. It's my favorite episode of that season.

But for me, I saw the Daphne character become shrewish and nitpicky and Niles becoming a henpecked weenie!

That being said, Frasier is miles above all others on my top sitcom list and that is in no small part due to the talents of Jane Leeves.

Anonymous said...

"At the end, after they make love for the first time, Frasier asks how it was, and Niles responds "not at all like I expected" with a wry smile."

Um, that sentence needs work. Or I missed a "very special episode" of Frasier. :)

Anonymous said...


The sentence needs work? Please could you expound, as I haven't the faintest idea what you mean. Why doesn't it work? Too wordy? Not effective? As in: doesn't achieve its purpose, and doesn't convey any meaning? The cadence not right, or is it not just right for the character? Or am I not getting your humour?

Trust me, I'm not having a go, but it's because I have had similar directed at my efforts, and I find it so unhelpful, for being too vague.

Anonymous said...

PS... (jbryant), I'm assuming you were critiquing the line delivered by the Niles character, "not at all like I expected".

Anonymous said...

Oh JBryant is making a small joke implying that the scene occurred in bed 10 seconds after they made love, with Frasier apparently there. The joke doesn't work because the description of this scene which occurred in the coffe shop they hung out in, is perfectly correct as it is.

Thanks for the answer, Ken. That's what I thought, but as the shape of the series as a whole became defined as much by their relationship as by Frasier's years back in Seattle, I wondered.

I certainly never felt Dpahneee became shrewish. Someone has a small problem with women asserting themselves. What Daphnee did was mature.

Anonymous said...

The paté behind the ears - a classic (along with the eels). When Daphne and Niles got together Frasier stopped being a sitcom, for better or worse. It's like Bilko and Sgt. Hogan getting together. Kind of starts the clock on the finale.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, guys, I thought my joke was obvious, but you all missed it. The sentence reads, to me, like Frasier and Niles have just made love, not Niles and Daphne. Even in the context of the complete paragraph it could be taken that way by someone who knew nothing of the show. Of course, no one HERE would take it that way, which is why my comment was a joke, and also why it didn't work for you I suppose.

Anyway, simon hasn't weighed in, so maybe he got my joke. If not, sorry for the confusion. And I hope the smiley icon showed that I had no ill intent. Just making an amusing (if only to me) observation.

Anonymous said...

Someone has a small problem with women asserting themselves.

I have no problem with women asserting themselves. (I am a woman and a pretty assertive one at that) However I don't feel she was written in a way that conveyed her asserting herself.

BTW,I'm not the only person that feels that way about the change in Daphne. But I've also had this same discussion about 100 times on a couple of different Frasier forums and there are people equally passionate on both sides of the argument.

Between the Daphne is a shrew argument and the David and Jane have no chemistry once they are a couple argument, 1000s of forum pages have been filled and the debate continues on! :)

Anonymous said...

jbryant: Got the joke, though anyone knowing the show would get that Frasier was not there right after the lovemaking. After all, this wasn't "Coupling" :-)

Anonymous said...

simon: I meant that it sounded like Frasier and Niles had made love. But your point still stands -- no one who knows the show would think that had actually happened. After all, this wasn't Queer as Folk (or would that be Queer as Kinfolk?). :)

Anonymous said...

That scene from Daphne's Room is great, but the scene later on in the episode when all the Crane boys (including Eddie) are in her room is completely unforgettable.

Anonymous said...

Not so much "Queer as Folk" as "Brotherly Love," or "Insist on Incest".

I saw the smiley icon and got that it was a jest; it just wasn't clear enough to read as intended, as seen in the various readings it received. After a preview screening, it would have been rewritten.

Yes Frasier Fan, the debate on whether Daphnee and Niles getting together hurt the show or not will always have proponants on both sides. I wasn't carving in stone "IT STILL WORKED" as a caveat from on high. Merely declaring which side of that debate I am on.

But I never found Daphnee shrewish. She was certainly never anywhere near as controlling and sharp as my mother was. (Never understood how my dad could stand living with Mom. I loved her, and I'm too much like her, but I would never choose a mate anything like her.)

And frankly, living with Niles and all his quirks and phobias would have made me a lot moer unpleasant than she ever got. Niles is terrifically funny on TV. Were I to try and live with him, I'd have killed him inside a week.

Anonymous said...

And frankly, living with Niles and all his quirks and phobias would have made me a lot moer unpleasant than she ever got. Niles is terrifically funny on TV. Were I to try and live with him, I'd have killed him inside a week.

No argument there! I couldn't live with either of those men. But I'd kill Niles before I'd kill Frasier!

Cap'n Bob said...

Appropos of nothing, I was hoping someone here would be able to help me. I'd like to know something about James Murdock's background. He's the guy who played Mushy on RAWHIDE. I'm aware that he did a couple of other shows, had a bit part in GODFATHER III, and that he died at the youngish age of 50 from pneumonia. But there's no info about his early life. Anyone know? Anyone know him? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Ken, I just finished watching season 2. Yes, I have the entire series on DVD, and I never tire of watching it. The scene with the eels still makes me laugh out loud.

I just wanted to say, as a frustrated writer myself, thank you.

Thank you for eleven years of my life that were a little more enjoyable thanks to you.

Thank you for all those wonderful moments that I can play back anytime I want to.

Thank you.


Anonymous said...

Oh, thanks for these. I simply loved Daphne and Niles' relationship, especially the way it was handled after they got together, which was very unique for a sitcom. But then again, Frasier rarely did things the 'usual' way.

Didn't Jane have a sitcom that was supposed to go a few years back? I thought it got picked up and everything!?

Anonymous said...

I agree with the others who were glad Daphne and Niles got together.

However, I DID have this one big issue:

For several seasons, Niles was tangibly longing to touch Daphne - there was a very PHYSICAL aspect to the way Hyde-Pierce played this up.

When they finally got together - I would have liked to see Hyde-Pierce play his scenes with Daphne more physically. Not that he would have had to have been all over her - but at least SOME sort of grace notes to indicate Niles relish at having finally down that wall that kept he and Daphne apart.

However, Hyde-Pierce played most of his scenes with Daphne AFTER they got together more demurely than he had before.

Don't get me wrong, I think David Hyde-Pierce was GENIUS as Niles, but I'm guessing here that perhaps the actor's discomfort with portraying intimacy might have shortchanged his character a little bit.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely loved Niles & Daphne, mostly because of Niles. Pining for a woman has never been so funny. I loved his facial expressions whenever he saw her, and him swallowing his tongue over something innocent she said. I'll never forget their Tango where he yelled out 'I love you' and she missed it completely. David Hyde Pierce made that character. My all time favorite episode will always be the Valentine's one where he's getting ready for a date and ends up setting the place on fire. All without dialogue. Brilliant.