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There’s Nothing More Obscene Than Frasier in Jeans

Hey baby I hear the blues a’callin … they want their Old Navy back.Photo: Pamela Littky /Paramount+

Lo, what daywalker is this, who wears the skin of another man? What demon spat from the bowels of the eternal Casual Friday of **** dare possess the body of esteemed radio psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane, and dress his aging legs in …

… oh ***, I’m going to be sick …

… denim?

And worse still, Allbirds?

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know we all came back from 2020 fundamentally changed and pretty much free of shame surrounding the sorts of comfy clothes we’re willing to wear outside of our homes. And yes I acknowledge that Dr. Frasier Crane, as played by Kelsey Grammer on the hit ’90s sitcom Frasier, is such a great comedic character in part because of how his snooty nature is constantly undercut by his Big Divorcé Energy. Both of these realities are, on paper, reasonable justifications for why Frasier in the key art for the upcoming Paramount+ revival of Frasier would be wearing what he’s wearing: uncool, untailored jeans and white-soled, soft-material sneakers that bear a strong resemblance to Allbirds. He looks divorced as ****. But he doesn’t look like Frasier.

Sure, this reboot is sending Fraj to Boston for a teaching position and these Allbirds really do scream “average well-off Boston man” in the worst way. And it has been pointed out that Frasier wore jeans and casual ensembles in the OG series. But he really had to earn his denim threads, and besides, he always paired it with yuppie-chic sweaters and flannels. These jeans paired with an identical-blue Bonobos-core blazer and sneakers make him look less like Frasier the Brilliant Fool and more like plain old Kelsey Grammer the ****** Republican Commentator.

My concern with this costume is amplified by the trailer, where his new home looks like any old post–How I Met Your Mother sitcom house, devoid of his Seattle penthouse’s PoMo pleasures. The good doctor is already heading into this revival stripped of his wonderful original supporting cast (no Niles, Daphne, and Roz, no dearly departed Marty and Eddie) and iconic ’90s-Seattle setting. There’s gotta be some glue holding this Boston Harbor–bound Ship of Theseus together, and that glue needs to be some updated semblance of the original Frasier’s impeccable vibes. So much of those vibes lie in Frasier’s incessant snobbiness, his pinky-up sherry swilling and espresso-fueled horn-*******, and his willingness to namedrop operettas and philosophers. Think of how Frasier always threw on a smart sport coat for his radio job, where Bulldog wore crewnecks and baseball caps and Roz wore whatever she was wearing the night before. Frasier should be entering this new chapter in his life with his best foot forward, and that foot should be clad in Armani loafers.

Of course we can’t wish for things to be just as they were, but Frasier is an aesthete. If the show doesn’t honor that, what is even the point? Despite it all, I’m still optimistic about the Frasier revival, and am looking forward to it streaming October 12. Dr. Frasier Crane would probably diagnose me as clinically delusional.

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