Thursday, November 4, 2010

Rewind Review #4 - Baby, It's Cold Outside

You know how you are just now watching/reading/hearing that thing that everyone was talking about 1/2/10/15/20 years ago?  Or maybe you're revisiting something you LOVED and want desperately to talk about it to someone who cares?  Well, this is my forum to discuss that thing.  Join in, make suggestions, read my genius thoughts about that old school thing.  [Not to be confused with Old School, the movie, or being old school.  Although either of those may come up in the future.]

We got rid of cable during the summer to save money.  I thought I'd die without it, but I honestly don't miss it.  I think I watched a lot of shows just because they were there.

What we've been doing is Netflix and Hulu and going to the library, where we can check out whole seasons of tv shows [you should work on that, Netflix & Hulu, instead of your paltry 1 disc or 5 recent episode stinginess].

One of the shows we've watched is Northern Exposure.

My mother-in-law loves this moose.  I don't know why.
I LOVED this show when it first came out.  LOVED it.  It was quirky and funny and oh, my god, so well-written.

I hadn't realized that the husband had not watched it as religiously as I had, but he was willing to give it a go, and lo and behold, HE loved it, too!

What's not to love?

To start, it's about a Columbia educated New York doctor, Joel, who gets stuck having to be the doctor for the tiny town of Cicely, Alaska.  This was before Alaska became such a canker on the American physiognomy.
This is Joel.  He is cantankerous, but NOT a canker.
Anyway, Joel gets stuck in Cicely, which is home to so many, many wonderful characters, it's hard to pick only a few to highlight [but I will, because I don't want this to end up being like you're stuck watching someone else's pictures from their vacation camping.  "Look, here's ANOTHER copse of trees."  "Here's the rock I sat on.  No.  Sorry, HERE'S the rock I sat on.  I think the other one was just a rock."].

Where was I?

Oh.  Characters!

Well, there's Joel, who is a complete jackass in the first couple of episodes, but settles down a bit as time goes on.

He's got the maybe / maybe nots for Maggie, a pampered rich girl who chucked it all to be a pilot with her own plane and own business. And an alarming mortality rate when it comes to boyfriends.
I love that haircut.  No way could I pull it off.
Then there's Maurice Minnifield, a former NASA astronaut who owns pretty much the whole town.
Maurice is something else.  Firm of purpose and no tolerance for fools.
And Chris Stevens - YUMMY - and please don't mention that he was in that wretched Sex and the City, because he remains pure in my eyes as the ex-convict DJ who waxes philosophical while playing excellent music.
Um. Hell, yes.
And Marilyn, who is Joel's secretary and very rarely speaks, but conveys volumes.
You know exactly what she's thinking.
And . . . o.k., I'll stop.  Come back!

The best part of this show, and I think I may have mentioned it before, is that is brilliantly written.  Seriously.  It takes this tiny town and uses it as a prism to discuss such big and weighty issues as family and religion and death and love.

Never preachy, never boring, always entertaining and oh my god, why are there so few shows like this?  Is this world really satisfied only with the football hitting the old guy in the crotch?

Do yourself a huge favor and check out this show.  You will not be sorry.


  1. Northern Exposure was a weekly tv stop when it was on. Hubby dear and I both loved it!

  2. Loved loved LOVED this show! My husband loves it too because he had a massive crush on Maggie back in the day.

  3. LOVE IT! I even had a cat named Cicely. I got the disks from Netflix to watch with my son(6) because I thought we could enjoy it together. Most of what is on tv now is inappropriate for a little kid. He thought it was stupid. :( I wanted to vacation in Cicely. I love that everyone could discuss philosophy, the community spirit, the colorful characters, the positivity, everything.

  4. I seriously don't know what part of this post makes me love you more! The fact that Northern Exposure used to be one of my favorite shows (aside from MASH, it is unrivaled in my humble opinion) or that you used the word wretched to describe Sex and the City!
    Also, this is a good idea. I catch myself watching really awful things just because I can and then I wonder why my vocabulary and brain processes are going to shit.

  5. Never saw the show. Don't mind seeing guys catch one in the nuts. They probably have it coming for something.


  6. you should try project free TV. way more shows available and even old ones.

  7. Totally loved this show when it first aired. So many great characters. I might rewatch it all on Netflix.

  8. I watched "Northern Exposure" from start to finish over the course of a month or two when I was unemployed after I first moved to Boston. Lovelovelove it! We're so awesome and clearly soul mates for having the same excellent taste.


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