tek's rating:

Northern Exposure, on CBS
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This started as a summer series, with just eight episodes, but it was very good and became a regular series for six seasons. This is one of the greatest quirky town shows ever. Dr. Joel Fleischman's (Rob Morrow) medical school tuition was paid for by the state of Alaska, and so he was required to work there for four years after his internship. He was supposed to work in a nice, modern hospital in Juneau, but ended up working in a small office in the town of Cicely. He hated it. He was this cynical New Yorker plunked down in the middle of nowhere. But it really was a nice little place, with lots of interesting characters.

There's Chris Stevens (John Corbett), the ex-con who took a course from an ad in Rolling Stone and became an ordained priest, but spent most of his time as a DJ on KBHR, or sculpting bizarre stuff, or just philosophizing, or being with lots of women. There's Ed Chigliak, a half Indian (they still call themselves that on this show) orphan who wants to be a filmmaker and later a shaman, wears a leather jacket and idolizes Woody Allen. He works at a small store run by Ruth-Anne Miller. Marilyn Whirlwind is Joel's receptionist, who doesn't say much, but provides a lot of wisdom when she does speak. There's Holling Vincoeur, who owns the Brick, a local bar. He used to be a hunter but since a battle with a bear named Jesse, he only takes pictures of wild animals. His best friend was Maurice Minnifield (Barry Corbin), who is an ex-fighter pilot and ex-astronaut and quite rich and acts like he owns the town. Maurice brought a young beauty queen named Shelly Tambo to Cicely, and she fell in love with Holling, so his and Maurice's friendship was over for awhile, but they eventually reconciled. There's a bush pilot named Maggie O'Connell (Janine Turner), who developed a complicated love-hate relationship with Joel.

There were other recurring characters, such as Walt, a trapper who eventually dated Ruth-Anne; Bernard, Chris's half-Black half-brother with whom he had a lot in common, particularly philosophy; Adam (Adam Arkin) and Eve (Valerie Mahaffey), who were both just nuts, but amusing, and terribly interesting. In the last season Joel was hardly around and was replaced by Dr. Phil Capra (Paul Provenza) and his wife Michelle (Teri Polo). The last season really wasn't as good as the earlier ones, though I still liked it more than a lot of people did. But anyway, it was always a clever and funny and often bizarre show, and I loved the characters, and it was just really great and I miss it and stuff. I wish I could think of more specifically to say about it all....

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