Before you read this review, you must understand that there is NO greater fan of this sitcom than I. The whole show has always made me split my sides, and I love the show more than any other. Believe me, it is my favorite sitcom.
That was why Season Eight so seriously disappointed me. The magic was gone from the cast this season, and I think that the choices made by the writers and producers were huge mistakes. Frasier has a "mid-life crisis" during which he questions his career choice; every episode from then on shows a Frasier who is completely downtrodden and has no spark. One commonly-cited flaw about this season was how the writers chose to deal with Jane Leeves' real-life pregnancy: they had Daphne gaining incalculable weight, going off to "fat-camp," and then coming back only to blame the whole escapade on Niles' love for her. Needless to say, this put a damper on the comedic quality of all the Niles/Daphne humor. 'Bulldog' Briscoe was wholly absent from this season, as was Frasier's producer Bebe Glazer - and the void was glaring. Martin and Roz were almost non-entities, blending into the background and not really bolstering the floundering humor.
The reason I am still able to love the show, despite this uncharacteristically poor season, is because I have seen what followed Season Eight. The Final Season (11) is wonderful again, so I know that the show turned around eventually. Hopefully Season Nine is again brilliant, and finds the characters having broken out of their individual funks. While the show Frasier is amazing, and my personal favorite, Season Eight was the most disappointing of all thus far. If you are a die-hard Frasier fan, you obviously need to own all the seasons, as I do. If, however, you just have an interest in seeing some funny Frasier episodes (but don't necessarily need to see them all), this is NOT the season for you.