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"Northern Exposure"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"Northern Exposure" More at IMDbPro »

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Index 56 reviews in total 

Forever MIss This Show

Author: gmppp from Ohio
5 February 2016

The sixth Season started showing it's cracks, though the episode that sees Joel Fleischman off was brilliant and touching, but I've seen all six seasons a half dozen times and never got bored with it. You wish you were a part of this group of characters. Ruth Anne, Ed, Chris, and my favorite, Adam, what can I say? Weird, insightful, strange, off the wall but it works and well I still wish it hadn't ended. Like Cheers, I felt, there was no reason to conclude the show from without; 11 seasons of barroom bs? How's that even possible if it wasn't for the writing. 6 Seasons of small-town bs in Cicily Alaska you'd think would offer less, but it was a first rate show with first-rate writing.

If ever there were a handful of shows I think would still be relevant today, it would be Northern Exposure, Cheers and Seinfeld. Personal ambitions of the actors and producers aside, you don't want it to end, and that's how you feel after Season Six; wanting more. Go visit on DVD, you won't want to go back to civilization after visiting Cicily, AK.

Note: On a road trip through Washington State, I stopped at Rosylyn, and I was caught by surprise the emotions. It was as real a thing, as to come back home again, not knowing what that is personally.

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Fantastic journey with an awful ending

Author: Christian Pompei the 3rd from Romania
12 January 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

For a 90's TV show you can't get more humor, drama, romance and mystery than in Northern Exposure. Pittoresque characters like Holling intertwine with street philosophers (Chris) and arrogant entrepreneurs as Maurice. The "cat and mice like" romance is taken care by Joel and Maggie and local culture is also represented by Marylin. But my favorite character is by far Adam, the most sarcastic and ironic nutcase in TV history. I could call this show 40% fantasy. It has the scenery and script of a fairy tail sometimes with all the day- dreaming and cinematographic metaphors embedded in it. You get from the beginning that the writers don't want a stereotypic and cliché ending but "oh my god" we are in for a surprise. And not a fun one. Joel not ending up with Maggie is the biggest disappointment. The second one is the fantasy ending of Joel's character. A too big of a metaphor for this kind of show. One thing I liked: the postcard received by Maggie with the message: "New York is a state of mind". That reveal all the answers to our questions: "Did Joel really returned to NY or his is still in deep wild landscape of Alaska?". That postcard was the "great finale", the song of the swan for this show, the epic ending of a fantastic character that finally discovered that leaving NY for Alaska was a spiritual journey that will mature and educate his soul. After that episode "The Quest", you can say goodbye to NE. If before we still hoped a future for Joel and Maggie, now everything is shattered into pieces and all the life of the show is diminished, the humor drops, the characters seam out of balance, the drama ceases to exist and joining Maggie with Chris is absolutely pathetic: the two don't click, Chris's energy and charm are killed; Maggie is to peaceful and it does not suit her. From my point of view the ending was sad. On the other hand, the song in the end was terrific - Iris Dement, Our town.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

True TV Original

Author: dwissba from Milwaukee/ United States
7 August 2009

I wish Rob Morrow would have stayed on this show as Dr. Joel Fleischman cause it could have gone another 3 maybe 4 seasons. Maybe he got a little greedy and wanted more money. In any case this was the best TV show in years with some of the most memorable characters and moments. The writing was top notch and smart. Alaska was the best location they could have used for a man so used to the big city of New York and stocking it with quirky personalities like an astronaut, an old store clerk, a want-a-be film maker, an old bar owner and his young wife, a married gay couple and lets not forget Chris the DJ. They all just meshed together so well with Joel being the outsider in a sense trying to adjust to a small Alaska town where nothing happens.

I can't understand why we don't see more of these types of shows on TV anymore. It seems like every Fall TV season the new programs are either about cops or lawyers. There is no original programs anymore and I am getting sick of cop shows. Northern Exposure was a true original and classic and we need more like it...

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

wonderful off-the-wall series, always surprising

Author: didi-5 from United Kingdom
19 October 2007

Happy memories of this show have led me to rediscover it on DVD, two decades after its original broadcast in the UK, and it still sparkles. Joel Fleishman, a stuck-up and obnoxious New York doctor, makes it good and finds humanity amongst the good and odd people of Cicely, Alaska.

From the views of the breathtaking outdoors to the stories behind the town mayor, the bartender and his child bride, the shop-owner, the Indians, and the DJ, this series was a winner right from the pilot.

Always surprising, sometimes funny, sometimes a tug at the heart, but never boring, 'Northern Exposure' deserves to be found and viewed by a new generation, if only for that funky theme tune and the weird soundtrack which grew from Ed and Chris and their fondness for the unusual in music.

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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Series that was little watched in UK but has had an influence

Author: Mark Hone from Bury, England
17 September 2002

As far as I recall Northern Exposure was not a big hit on British TV, being confined to a 'Cult US Programme' slot on a Monday night on Channel 4. However it has had a noticeable influence on some successful BBC shows. The show 'Ballykissangel' pretty much replicated the basic setup, with an Englishpriest arriving in an Irish village full of eccentric characters, and enjoying an on-off relationship with the feisty barmaid of the pub. (the fact that the hero was a priest gave this storeyline an added twist!)The series was less surreal and philosophical than NE and it could be argued that it owed more to the 1980's Bill Forsyth movie 'Local Hero', which was itself one of the influences on NE. Interestingly I detect more of NE in the BBC's replacement for Ballykissangel, 'Monarch of the Glen'. Early on this was dismissed as a clone of Ballyk, but has now got into its stride. It does have some of the rather stylised dialogue and situations, and the odd surreal subplot that make it very reminiscent of Northern Exposure.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A Series in Transition About Transition

Author: jongab33 from United States
16 April 2014

This series began in a time of transition for television and the movie industry. It's writing and flavor reflected a nation of viewer's that we're changing and whose expectations we're changing. It often used current events to prompt an exaggerated storyline that not only gave the show its flavor, but also some it's characters.

The folksy, small-town delivery of the often dry humor by the actors, gave the show one of its most unique traits. One that would be copied and used by other series in the 1990's.

It should have been written as a 5 year series. As a nation began to crawl out of it's urban shell and expand its viewing and entertainment pleasure, this series reflected it to the proverbial 'T'. Always going to the extreme with it's delivery to make a point. As the series progressed, it would add cast and lose cast in transition with its needs. Although it ended in a bit of a rush, it left us with a warm, gentle good-bye and memories of bizarre events and how to keep our humor.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Northern Ex Fine Wine & Karma

Author: scotmanart from United States
15 January 2010

Before The Miami Herald was eviscerated & dumbed down it produced Tropic Magazine &got lots of awards. In 1 of the last Tropic issues was the story of Northern Ex's creator. He created it, had the whole treatment ripped off by a Godzilla Hollywood house, took them to court & won. He & his mom were holocaust survivors who came to South Beath & lived in a 1 bedroom &he became a millionaire writer, a David who slew a Goliath. South Beach was a Yiddish survivor ghetto when I was a kid thru the 60s.

Addn'l: Chris in the Morning book collection of his zazen impromptus is fun & remaindered for a buck$ or 2/Amazon,etc. He says he was JUST an actor & had no interest in what the writers stuck in his dialogue. Now that IS funny zen...

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

What is the deal with the Doug Ballard listed as being all all NE episodes

Author: rsmith24 from United States
31 January 2007

What's the deal with this "Doug Ballard listed as being in all of the Northern Exposure episodes? As someone who's seen every episode several times, I can vaguely recall him in a couple of episodes, but certainly no more than 10 and he certainly wasn't an important character.

BUT Because he is listed as being in all the episodes, he is listed 2nd on the cast listing BEFORE the main series star Rob Morrow, and before the other Series stars - John Corbett, Barry Corbin, John Cullen, Darren Burrows, Janine Turner, and the series regulars Marilyn Whirlwind and Peg Phillips.

These people made Northern Exposure what is was, not Doug Ballard.

It may seem trivial, but the stars listed above spent 6 years working on this great series and the data needs to reflect their work correctly.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:


Author: gary renfield (
2 August 2001

This may be an inappropriate place for a link, but as a loving fan and student of Northern Exposure, I'd like to share a fan's idea of closure. The final show provided by the 'powers' was very unsatisfying.

I've received alot of very nice emails concerning my story. I tried to make it a 'fun' read, something lacking in some of the others I've read. There is NO financial gain for me, it's a labor of love... Check it out... I call it....THE EAGLE HAS LANDED... and it should give you an unexpected original dose of Cicely .....

RetroWeb Classic Television: Northern Exposure


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3 out of 8 people found the following review useful:


Author: Katerina Robertovla from United States
1 February 2013

Don't believe the hype. This show is overrated. I could only watch a few episodes. What turned me off the most was the constant bickering between Maggie O'Connell and Dr. Fleischman. Why didn't they make a show about people from Alaska? I would love to have seen that show. Why did they have to put this whining Dr. Fleischman next to all these (mostly) content townspeople? You don't need a spoiled New Yorker to make the show interesting. Maybe Maggie would have been more appealing if that kvetch the doctor was out of the picture. The characters I would have enjoyed seeing more of were Ed. What a terrific actor. What hair that guy had. I also enjoyed the radio announcer, Chris. He was believable and had a terrific voice. Marilyn's character was delightful also. See? Would these characters make a great TV show? Maybe after all these years they'll do a real character-driven show in Alaska. And, maybe they should do a sitcom with Dr. Fleischman as a stand up comedian.

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