I don't recall the early Lilith seasons from Cheers all that well, but didn't several of the characters on Cheers make the same kind of jokes about her being terrifying - even before she very coldly cheated on Frasier and then left him?
Also, speaking of Cheers, I realized something recently about the continuity between Cheers and Frasier that seemed odd to me.
I knew that Nancy Marchand had played Frasier's mother on Cheers, but I hadn't seen that episode until about a month ago. I was somewhat surprised that she was depicted as the mother from hell, who secretly threatens to shoot Diane if she continues seeing her son, even though Diane's been perfectly nice to her.
It wasn't that
surprising, though, because a) it's always been clear that the writers for Frasier decided to change some of the details of Frasier's life as they were presented on Cheers, and b) seeing Nancy Marchand play a mother from hell will always seem appropriate on some level if you've seen the Sopranos.
What was more surprising was a bit from Don Juan in Hell: Part Two, which I recently saw for the first time since seeing that Cheers episode. I'd completely forgotten that during the sequence when the major women from Frasier's life are bickering inside his head, Diane accuses Hester of trying to kill her, and Hester accuses her of being paranoid. When I saw that exchange between Diane and Hester, and understood the reference, I realized that the Frasier writers weren't shying away from the way that Hester was depicted on Cheers, and that they were keeping her behavior toward Diane as part of her backstory.
Also, while you'd expect that Rita Wilson would play Hester differently than she played Mia (and kudos to her for making her two characters seem so different), she seemed very Nancy Marchand-like in her voice and mannerisms in this episode. It makes me suspect that she was directed to base her performance on Marchand's.
It's bizarre to me that the Frasier writers would want to respect that bit of continuity, when they've chosen to ignore even their own continuity at times (like Martin saying that he never had a brother). I can't fathom that Martin would go anywhere near a woman like that version of Hester, or that she would want to be married to him.
Edited by BlakeSpeare, Aug 17, 2011 @ 3:09 PM.