It all started with Monarch of the Glen, then we moved to Ballykissangel, after that it was Big Love, Mad Men, Damages, The Tudors, Doc Martin (total schoolgirl crush) and most recently Frasier. For the last few years Hamilton and I would enjoy an episode every night just before going to sleep when we could no longer keep our eyes open reading and it was still to early to go to bed. Our shared time together is our little treat at the end of the day.
Our latest series is Frasier starring Kelsey Grammer, all 264 episodes and eleven seasons. Most nights about 9:30 Netflix will give us the next installment of this classic sitcom. I enjoyed watching the foibles of this pompous but big-hearted psychiatrist getting himself into trouble yet again because of his oversized ego. His brother Niles played by David Hyde Pierce is equally egotistical plus neurotic all bound up in amazing physical comedy. Roz, Martin and Daphne keep these brothers firmly in their place and of course I can’t forget Eddie the dog who always reminds Frasier who is really the boss.
I love the gentle and sophisticated humor, no need for put downs or crassness. I don’t get the wine jokes but I love the opera jokes and the literary references. Most of all I love the great stories and lessons in each episode. Poor Frasier manages to get himself in big trouble every time because of his ego and quest for love.
Although it is fun to watch Frasier’s life being unconsciously run by his egotistical antics it shines a spot light on the big ego in all of us. How many times have we all gotten ‘too big for our britches’ and got caught in a brag or a lie. That old ego is so sneaky and subtle that we don’t realize what control it has over our lives. Even when we are feeling like we’ve tamed it and have it under control or acting altruistically, there it is again working behind the scene to puff us up and make us desire to be important and self-serving.
There seems to be two spiritual schools of thought about the ego. One is that the ego needs to be annihilated, the other is to tame it. I tend toward the taming philosophy for those of us that live in the Western cultures. When used properly the ego can help us navigate the choppy waters of modern, crowded society without being walked over. The ego can be made a tool to get things done rather than a tornado wreaking havoc everywhere.
I’ve enjoyed my months of Frasier and will really miss him as we move on to the next series. I have found that watching his foibles helps me see my foibles and reminds me how wylie our ego is. Funny enough another great thing about watching Frasier is it has helped me conquer my insomnia. I’m wide awake when it starts and 22 minutes later I’m relaxed and falling asleep, sometimes when I can’t get back to sleep I go downstairs and put an episode on and finish the night on the couch. Maybe since I’ve missed so many endings I should start all over again. I’m up for suggestions for the next series so let me know if you have a favorite.
—–Warning: when Caroline graduates next year with a physics degree my parental ego will be totally inflated –I’m already planning on several more lifetimes to overcome it.