Northern Exposure

CBS (ended 1995)





Northern Exposure Fan Reviews (21)

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1,068 votes
  • One of the Best!

    Would love to see this show as reruns. Please lets share this with those that missed !The best show of all time.
  • Why treat Rob Morrow with such disrespect here on this page?

    He is not even listed on the first page of the actors in the series on this page.
  • Which episode Ed becomes a writer (at end of episode)

    Anyone recall which episode it was that Ed becomes a writer (at end of episode) by sitting down to writer, basically just declaring that that's what he wanted to do and was going to do it?

    Cannot remember episode title or season.

  • Probably my favorite show of all time

    Everything about this show is great. You absolutely fall in love with the characters. Truly, by the end of the 1st or second season you'll feel like you're part of the community. It's a little corny and dramatic, but also very funny, intelligent, and insightful. Not to mention it's visually stimulating as hell. It dissects real world problems that we face, both personally and as a society, in surreal ways, and wraps it up all nicely at the end of every episode.

    I swear, when I was all done with the last season I almost cried. I probably would have if I were a woman, just because then it would be acceptable. Honestly I think I did tear up a bit when a fairly significant character left the cast. But in all seriousness, I truly believe that this may be one of the best shows of all time. You will not regret watching this show unless you have no heart and no mind. Pass this one on to friends as well. TV does not get any better than Northern Exposure.

    A warning though, you will get addicted to this show, and you will feel heartbreak when it's all over. But like they say, it's better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.
  • strange characters, quirky storylines, and weird happenings out in Alaska

    When Northern Exposure first appeared on television it seemed very new and fresh, with some memorable characters who became more real and more interesting through the first few seasons, put in situations which realistically couldn't happen - but did in Cicely! From the moment New York doc Joel takes up the offer of a post in darkest Alaska you know odd things are going to happen. There are fun episodes, sad ones, thoughtful ones, and the whole series buzzed with originality. Yes the last two series were weaker and losing steam, but the original three series were full of pep and pizazz and the whole series is well worth a look. One of my favourite comedy series, memorable, colourful, and fun.
  • This show...what can I say...

    This was my favorite show growing up a...ahem...young lady in the early '90s. I loved LOVED LOVED Rob Morrow!!! Wonderfully written, charming, funny, sometimes sad but always entertaining. But then...Rob Morrow had to leave because of contract disputes and the show went downhill fast. They tried to replace him, but it was never ever going to be the same without him.

    Janine Turner--what a beautiful woman. I watched her on there, with her short hair, thinking "could I ever be as stunning as she was (is)?" Well, of course the answer is no.

    All the other characters had their charming ways--but give me Joel Fleishman any day!
  • Trendsetter!

    The creators of Northern Exposure (NX) gave us a true viewing treat. While many shows tend to dumb down to the audience, NX asked you to wise up to it. With dialogue that in some cases you needed a dictionary for, you had a sense that this is how people should interact with one another. Although the characters were sometimes tough on each other, it was done lovingly. For example, Maurice and Joel never really liked each other, but would always be there to help each other out, out of respect. If only we lived in a world like this. With all that said, you sensed these characters were for real. As if you had been transplanted into Cicely, Alaska.

    NX wasn't all mushy either. It picked its moments, and did so with perfect vigor. Intertwined were moments of humor, sometimes laugh out loud, sometimes feel-good with a smile. Joshua Brand and David Falsey found a way to work your emotions, tugging on them like a heartstring. You really fall in love with the characters. Never have I seen a show where you cared so much about what happened to them, with many elements of surprises. I found myself even weeping with Maurice (probably the coldest of the main characters) when he mourned his brother during a Kaddish that Joel was giving in remembrance to his Uncle Manny. You know why? Because you learned of his brother's passing and how it affected Maurice throughout the series. You really felt his pain. As well, I laughed out loud when Joel was being accused of being a Russian spy by the town when they were sick or when a recently squished Rick was brought in on the satellite that killed him during his funeral. I couldn't help but smile when after a picture was taken of everyone at Joel's house; they just scanned over it while Chris talked about being a community and what it means to be neighborly.

    This show really taught me a lot, too. I learned of - mushrooms, good French wines, Ingmar Bergman, tribal customs and stories, and clarified butter. I began watching this show in my mid-twenties when it was aired on A&E. I was just discovering the world around me and became a major influence on how I think and act now. I never knew a show that did as much research on things as this. They dig out obscure information that is true. They writers really did their homework and delivered with results. I wish there could be more creative writing in an era where reality shows and asinine sitcoms dominate the airwaves.

    If you get the chance, do yourself a favor. Watch NX, and do it from the beginning. You'll be treated to hours of enjoyment. Especially Chris Steven's diatribes, which gave you moments of reflection. I have every episode on tape and watch it over and over. Everyone I've turned on to this show ends up loving it. One person even dreamt (in their sleep) about being there from time to time. I have shared that same experience. It usually comes when I haven't watched it in a while. I guess you can say I get withdrawal symptoms. Northern Exposure is addicting. A kind of drug I love being addicted to.
  • Almost perfect... Well written, character driven television at its best.

    In my opinion, "Northern Exposure" is one of the best sitcoms ever. A classic fish out of water premise, neurotic Jewish New York doctor Joel Flieschman is sent to Alaska to work off his college loans. Instead of being sent to Anchorage, as promised, he instead ends up in the small, backwater town of Cicely which is populated by a collection of "unique individuals". Among them are;

    Maggie O'Connell - A young, beautiful and fiercely independent bush pilot who has bad luck with boy friends.

    Maurice Minnifield - A megalomaniac ex-astonaut and local entrepreneur.

    Holling Vincoeur - A 60 something outdoorsman who runs the local tavern ( the Brick ) and is shacked up with 18 year old Shelly Tambo.

    Shelly Tambo - Sweet but ditzy 18 year old waitress at the Brick.

    Chris "Chris in the Morning" Stevens - Highly intelligent and artistic, "road scholar" ex-con DJ at the local radio station.

    Ed Chigliak - Shy, innocent half Native American orphan who loves movies and dreams of becoming a filmaker.

    Marilyn Whirlwind - Dr. Flieschman's Native american receptionist. Laconic but profound, she speaks much wisdom with very few words.

    Ruth-Anne Miller - The sensible and independant widowed proprieter of the general store.

    The greatness of "Northern Exposure" derives in part from it's depth and breadth of characters as well as the one hour format that allowed the characters and stories to develop fully. Most episodes had two major plot lines and a handful of sub-plots. One major plot line was the sexual tension between Joel and Maggie. They were mutually attracted and repulsed at the same time. Other major plot lines were the age difference between Holling and Shelly, Ed's search for his father, Maurice's expansion of his economic empire and Chris' ongoing quest for artistic expression. The writers had a real knack for combining humor, pathos and sometimes absurdity into a solid one hour show.

    I own every episode available and highly recommend Northern Exposure to any one who enjoys well written and acted, intelligent, character driven television.
  • Small town life in colorful Alaska

    Show focuses on a New York doctor...Joel Fleishman who must go to a small town in Alaska to work off his scholarship. With wonderful small town charaters from Ruth Ann who owns the store. Chris in the Morning on KBHR, Maurice Minnefield the town rich guy, Shelly and Holling at "The Brick" and of course, Ed, Marilyn, Maggie and all the gang.

    A must see tv show that still stands the test of time!!!
  • Fish out of water tale of a New York doctor who must work off his scholarship in a small Alaskan town.

    Joel Fleischman is far away from home. He finished medical school at Columbia and expected to earn back the money for his loan by working for the state in Anchorage.

    The big city life slips away from him, however, as he learns his assignment has been shunted instead to the small town of Cicely. There he has in common with the locals, well, nothing. But he's got a few years, and he owes all that money, so... here goes.

    Joel falls in love with local woman Maggie O'Connell, and tries to find friends among the rest of the population. These include DJ Chris Stevens, barhop Shelly Tambo, novice shaman Ed Chigliak, general store clerk Marilyn Whirlwind and retired astronaut Maurice Minnifield.

    Initially the locals don't know what to make of the young man from back east, but the two sides warm up to each other until it's almost impossible to imagine life apart.

    It's another world out there... and that might be a good thing.

    I liked the character stories more than the romantic plotline, but there's something for everyone in this series.
  • Unique

    The stories were clever and there will never be another show quite like this one. I loved each and everyone of the characters. I also loved how they used some of the psychological aspects of the episodes. My favorite epys include episodes involving Shelly during her pregnancy particularly one where she sees the phases of her daughters life as though seeing the future of her child. Another are the episodes with the Rabbi and Joel Fleischman; Maggie and the Bear who magically transform into a handsome man in order to be with her for a few days is one of the most romantic and classic Northern Exposure episodes.
  • The reason TV was invented.

    Simply the greatest cast, writers and show ever.

    I rarely watch TV these days, it's rubbish and full of advert after commercial after advert after comnmercial.

    But, I always go back to my NX tapes. It's an oasis of tranquility in an increasingly mad world.

    What more can I say? Watch this show and make your world a better place, simple as that really.
  • I'm not going to get long winded here. A show that none other has come close to since.

    A show that none other has come close to since. In an age of countless reality junk shows and about 20 cop shows we dont seem to have too much to choose from. Not much to really make you think, to give your mind something to bite on quite like Northern Exposure did. Not on network T.V. anyway. Perhaps Carnivale and Sapranos could be counted as shows of equal thought and quality. That being 15 years later on cable.
  • As close as a show can get to perfect!

    I would never give a show 10 out of 10, since i really don't believe that any show is perfect. but this, is as close as it has gotten. being a TV junkie, i am always asked, what is your favorite show, i don't even have to think about it. it is NX. [Northern Exposure] I don't even know that i want to go into detail why and what it is about, because i may fill up too much space...

    just get it, you will see the best. i will say this, the episode, "Northern Lights" is my favorite episode out of any and all TV shows, and i don't see it ever getting taken over...
  • A show that defined a life

    Watching this show when it originally aired was a wonderful experience. I would have to immediately turn the TV off when the credits started to roll, or the local news team would come on, loud and obnoxious, and completely ruin the blissful mood the show often created in the last few seconds of the epilogue. In reruns I faithfully taped each and every episode, two per tape, and that collection was one of the few things I saved when my house burned. When they came out on DVD, I was overjoyed! Every few months I find I get into a rut and need a fix from my favorite town and characters. One of the most satisfying moments in my viewing years comes when Joel "sees the light", and just wish they would have bowed out gracefully with "The Quest", as the writing became too...aware of itself, I think is the best way to put it. Chris and Maggie? Chris mean and upset at Dr. Capra? Please. Watch up to "The Quest" and be happy.
  • I only wish I had known about this great show when it originally aired!

    I never watched this show when it was originally aired but recently started watching the DVDs and now I can't stop! My boyfriend loved the show when it was on and has bought the first three seasons. After I watched the first episode I couldn't wait to watch the next. I'm now waiting for the fourth season to come around, very anxiously I might add!! I only wish I had seen it on the air since I have been told that the music is not the original score on the DVDs. I am hoping that eventually they will rerelease the seasons with the original music so I can get a feel of the show that everyone else had the first time around.
    I am so glad I found a great show that everyone else has known about for years!
  • My cousin has the same name as the main character.

    I remember when this show first came on the air and my aunt brought the TV Guide over to show us that the main character "Joel Fleischman" had the same name as her son. She was so excited. I have watched a lot of TV in my short time but this show sticks with me because it used my last name. For me when I was six it was a big deal to me and too my family.
  • I love this show!

    I really miss watching this show. I like the characters and the unique storyline. I wish that somehow the series would have gone on forever. I really liked joel, marylin, and chris in the morning. I hope sometime soon I can get my hands on the dvd box sets. I think I will look through ebay for them so they are cheaper.
  • For me, the best show that ever was on TV.

    Great story lines, characters, imagination all add up to me to be the most original and creative shows that came across the TV screen. I would highly recommend this show to those that are tired of the same 'ole reality shows.
    My only regret; it didn't last longer than the 5 seasons.
  • Northern Exposure was a one-of-a-kind, offbeat but lovable show. The quirky characters and even quirkier storylines made the show hilarious but it even managed to be dramatic sometimes. This show is so quirky, it doesn't even fit a genre!

    Is Northern Exposure a comedy or a drama? I'll bet this question has been asked millions of times. If I had to answer, I'd say drama because it's an hour long and I don't believe in one-hour comedies (or aliens for that matter). I guess that proves that I'm as quirky as the show. Hahaha. What I've seen of the show includes only season 1, season 2, and the first part of season 3 . Since I don't get the Hallmark Channel, I rely solely on the DVDs to get my Northern Exposure fix. It'll be interesting to see how I like the show without Joel since I can't stand him. He's always complaining and he is just completely annoying, mean, and rude! On the other hand, I LOVE Maggie! In fact, the reason I started watching the show in the first place is that I'm a huge Janine Turner fan and it's so much fun seeing her 10 years younger! On yet another hand (yes, I have 3 hands), I completely disapprove of Shelly and Holling's relationship and find it disgusting. He's 62 and she's what? 25? Completely inappropriate. Not the kind of quirky I like. Maurice is funny. I laugh at his greediness. I LOVED the episode where he tried to get Marilyn to invest her ostrich farm! hahaha! Speaking of Marilyn, she's my favorite character and it's pretty disappointing that the ostrich farm is the only major storyline she's gotten out of all of season 1 & 2 and the beginning of season 3. It does seem that in season 3 so far, they're trying to include all the stars more equally and I like that. I don't really care for Chris. He's full of himself and this direcly violates my personal quote "Modesty is the best policy". Ed is...well...Ed. I don't really like or dislike him. Ruth Anne is adorable! I love her! She's so kind and caring. Overall, Northern Exposure is a classic show and I truly doubt there'll ever be another show anything like it.
  • Northern Exposure has been off the air for years and i'm still watching it!!!

    There's one great reason to watch this show: Chris Stevens. it's been years and i'm still trying to be more like him.

    the writer's of the show went all out, giving him the best lines of the show. you have to hear it. some of the best lines written on television. they give him a mix of a deep thinker and a poet without coming off as stuck-up or insane. i've quoted some of his monologues that he said during his radio show in english papers or philoshopy projects and gotten good grades for mixing topics with pop culture references.

    the show made an impact while it was on. it's still making and impact on my life. every time, when i'm painting or doing a spoken word gig i wonder, "what would Chris Stevens do???"