As an early Christmas present to ourselves we purchased the entirety of Northern Exposure, and we have been watching it over the past few weeks. The inevitable Cicely-Wasilla comparisons sprang to mind, of course (they have a mayoral election even), and it confirmed our impression that indeed television was better "back then." This is a family drama in which the family comprises the residents of a small town, brought into relief by the arrival of Joel, the New York doctor. It feels not at all strange that there are no children on the show, until you realize that there are no children on the show. It makes me miss the mountains and snow and glad that I don't eat out of a can or from a TV dinner, although it does fully legitimize those practices, something contemporary TV has forgotten about.
I find myself yearning for a voice over the radio like Chris, the trailer-living, long-haired, ex-felon from West Virginia who selects the music and muses on-air on various topics, reading aloud from his favorite books, and offering quotes from worthy tomes. It occurred to me that he was the first blogger--writing each day off the cuff, sharing moods, thoughts, reflections, protests, dreams--but I think that might sell him short. Cheapen the Chris in the morning experience somehow by associating it with YouTube craziness and diaristic ramblings. Because he didn't film the flinging of the piano in season 3. He just did it. And it was, indeed, about the flinging.