Boomers Loved ‘Frasier,’ But Will the Reboot Resonate with Gen Z? Here’s My Honest Review

The Emmy-winning classic is back

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Still from 'Frasier.'
Chris Haston/Paramount+

As someone who was born in the late ’90s (a millennial/Gen Z cusp, if you will), Frasier was never totally on my radar. Sure, it aired during almost the exact same years as Friends, a show that was beloved by me and many of my peers, but I'd argue that Frasier never received the same cultural resurgence as other popular sitcoms of the time.

Still, that's not to say I wasn't aware of the series and its impact. Throughout my childhood, my parents would often show me certain episodes and iconic moments from the show, like when Niles (David Hyde Pierce) almost burns his brother Frasier's (Kelsey Grammer) apartment to the ground. Meanwhile, as a pop culture nerd, I was quite aware of the popularity and acclaim for Frasier, including its five consecutive Emmy wins for Outstanding Comedy Series.

But now, as the show gets the reboot treatment from Paramount+, I couldn't help but wonder if this revamped sitcom will resonate with Gen Z (and younger) viewers, or if it will simply appeal to fans of the original. Well, after viewing the first episode, I would argue the latter...but that doesn't mean Frasier won't have another cultural renaissance. Let me explain.

In the 2023 version of Frasier, our titular character has moved back to his hometown of Boston (his original city of residence in Cheers, the show from which the ’90s Frasier was spun off).

With a new job as a professor at Harvard, Frasier hopes to forge a better relationship with his son, Freddy (Jack Cutmore-Scott), who dropped out of the aforementioned college to become a firefighter. Coincidentally, Frasier's nephew, David (Anders Keith), also happens to be in the city, having just started as a freshman at Harvard.

While we see that Frasier and Freddy’s relationship is not that strong, our lead character (in classic sitcom fashion) decides to move into the same building as his son in an effort to bond. Needless to say, lots of squabbles and shenanigans ensue.

While there are some good laughs in the first episode, it's hard for me to imagine this show appealing to new viewers simply off of its premise. Someone who's never seen the original Frasier could hop right in, but it's clear that this is merely an extension of the ’90s classic.

It also feels like a vintage sitcom, which is certainly fun in some ways, but also makes it feel dated. (For instance, a laugh track plays throughout the episodes, which is forgivable if you're watching reruns, but feels pointless in a 2023 show.) Not to mention, there's not much that really places the series in 2023. Frasier Crane is still being Frasier Crane.

But although the reboot may not get viewers buzzing on Twitter, I will be curious to see if this sparks an interest in the original series.

You see, in the original Frasier, the writers poked fun at class and pretension in a way that recent shows like The White Lotus and Succession do. Of course, in 2023, young viewers are less likely to be drawn to a show about old white men having psychobabble discussions and bemoaning their relationship struggles, but they also might enjoy the satirical aspect of Frasier. There's a reason it once held the record for most Emmys won by a scripted series—it is often quite hilarious.

Plus, as younger generations continue to talk more openly about their mental health (and see therapists in larger numbers), a show about a celebrated psychiatrist might feel just as topical as it did in the ’90s. Like I mentioned, we've seen shows like Friends and Seinfeld find audiences within Gen Z. Maybe it's finally Frasier Crane's time to shine.

So no, the 2023 Frasier will not become the next Euphoria amongst Gen Z viewers, but it might help the original series to find a new generation of fans. Guess only time (and the streaming numbers) will tell.

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Joel Calfee

Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Joel is the Associate Editor for News & Entertainment and has been reporting on all things pop culture for over 5 years. Before working at PureWow, he served as a Features...
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