Thursday, November 16, 2006
something for those dark winter nights
I never was much of a TV addict, except when...
...a Minneapolis station ran M*A*S*H reruns after the ten o'clock news for years when I was a teenager. My mom liked the show, and I got hooked.
...then in my sophomore year of college, they switched to Cheers in the same time slot. I was devastated at first, not having ever watched the show. But I got hooked, my roomies and I made popcorn and took a study break every night at 10:30, and I kept the habit all through my twenties.
...I went on a business trip to Washington state with The Hermit in 1993(?) We went from Seattle to the middle of the state, and my uncle who was living in Walla Walla met us for a day of sightseeing. One of the stops was the town of Roslyn, where they were filming this very popular show called Northern Exposure. I had never watched it, but I thought the town was pretty cool. We had our picture taken in front of the Roslyn's Cafe mural, the one the moose walks in front of.
After we returned from the trip, we decided to see what this show was all about. It was good, but we got into it a bit too late. There were only a couple of seasons left before the show's demise after Rob Morrow left, and I had orchestra practice Monday nights when it was on (yes, I played flute in a community orchestra, and I was glad to have the opportunity) so I never got to see the whole thing.
The word "orchestra" sounds kind of like a bad sneeze, doesn't it! ;)
Then, a few years and two kids later we found ourselves living in a new state, with two young kids. We found out that a cable channel was showing Northern Exposure at 7 am each morning, and that quickly became a sacred ritual. I was at home with Calvin, age 2, and newborn Starflower at the time; I would have my morning coffee while nursing her and watching Northern Exposure, and Calvin would patiently wait until he could watch his Nick Jr. cartoons.
I practically memorized every episode. And I still think it is one of the best-written, most thoughtful shows ever produced on TV. I love the quirky characters, the surreal plots, and the natural beauty that is integrated into the filming. I love the sense of community shown by this fictitious town. And they had some good music. I still cry when I hear Iris DeMent sing "Our Town", which was played at the end scene of the final episode.
Go on now and say goodbye to our town, to our town,
Can't you see, the sun's setting down on our town,
on our town, goodnight.
So this is what I will be doing for the next few months on these long winter nights.