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“Frasier Syndrome,” Real and Imaginary

Years ago, my wife and I would enjoy watching “Frasier,” the sitcom starring Kelsey Grammer, David Hyde Pierce, Jane Leeves, Peri Gilpin, John Mahoney, Moose and Enzo that won a then-record 37 Emmy Awards in 11 seasons including Best Comedy five times.

I say “would enjoy” because after so many seasons, my wife noticed a pattern that drove her nuts, and I could see her point: These two characters, these psychiatrists, really should know how to behave and not get themselves in the stupid situations in which they found themselves.

We called this “Frasier Syndrome” and defined it as “the curious inability to use common sense to resolve a situation.” Many other sitcoms suffer from such a syndrome, including “Modern Family.” But even dramatic shows such as “NCIS” have characters occasionally suffer from it.

Then I found out there really is a Frasier syndrome. It’s a urogenital anomaly associated with a particular gene. If I understand it correctly, boys with Frasier syndrome present at birth with male pseudohermaphroditism, meaning the external (male) genitalia look female. By adolescence, the person is likely infertile and will suffer from kidney disease. Girls with Frasier syndrome have only the kidney problems.

That doesn’t sound very appealing, so I think I’ll have to find another name for the malady that strikes characters. Perhaps “Sitcom Syndrome?”

Until next time! Use the right words!


March 9, 2017 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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