Dorothy Rabinowitz has a lovely essay on Kelsey Grammer, of "Frazier" fame. A sample: "For all that pomposity, which Mr. Grammer has these many years rendered with increasingly delicious nuance, there’s no missing the essential truth about Seattle’s radio psychologist--a creature devoted to the power of the mind and reason, to art and culture in a world that blares its indifference to these things.
No television show--or writers, producers or actors thereof--had ever before created a major character so purely identified with such values, or so winning in their defense. Nor does Frasier get away with this merely because the show ridicules his and Niles’s esoteric tastes, clatter about wine, and such. One way or another, the Crane brothers give as good as they get, and more.
It has always been a rule at the show, Mr. Grammer says, to play up to its audience, not down. That fact has, to say the least, done harm neither to it nor to its star." And his politics aren’t bad either.