Northern Exposure: Season 6
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But then the series goes off the beaten path. Joel, following a bumpy courtship with Maggie, goes "Up River" to live in a remote fishing village (His final episode is the bittersweet, "The Quest," in which he departs for good for his "jeweled city"). Enter new doctor Phillip Capra (Paul Provenza) and his journalist wife, Michelle (Teri Polo), brie-eating yuppies from Los Angeles. < I>Northern Exposure remained a fish-out-of-water comedy, but these two characters are as bland as tilapia. Though not nearly the hard cases that a resistant Joel was, they, too, succumb to Cicely's charms, and by series' end, Michelle is having hallucinatory forest chats with Joel's former New York rabbi. Happily, the rest of the characters are still good company. Between Ruth-Anne and trapper Walt (Moultrie Patten) and Maurice (Corbin) and Officer Barbara Semanski (Diane Delano), love really blossoms this season. But as Iris Dement sings in the heartbreaking lament, "Our Town," which ends this series on a lovely grace note (and is one of the few originally broadcast songs to survive the transition to DVD), "Nothing good ever lasts." Northern Exposure lasted six seasons, which is good enough. To paraphrase a postcard Joel sends to Maggie in "The Quest," Cicely is a state of mind, and thanks to DVD, there is no need to "kiss it goodbye." --Donald Liebenson
Top Customer Reviews
1.) Dinner at Seven-Thirty
Original Air Date: September 19, 1994
Joel drinks orange juice from Ed's refrigerator, but it is actually a healing potion for body aches.
2.) Eye of the Beholder
Original Air Date: September 26, 1994
Ed busts an insurance scam; Maggie donates a family heirloom for a charity auction; Maurice donates a case of "turned" red wine.
3.) Shofar, So Good
Original Air Date: October 3, 1994
Rabbi Schulman plays the ghostlike character in "A Christmas Carol"; Maurice holds the annual fox hunt.
4.) The Letter
Original Air Date: October 10, 1994
Maggie discovers a letter she wrote to herself when she was a teen; Shelly learns the fallacy of chain letters; and Chris meets the new town barber.
5.) The Robe
Original Air Date: October 17, 1994
Shelly meets the devil; Ed works with Joel to prove himself to Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; and Chris becomes a ventriloquist.
Original Air Date: October 31, 1994
Marilyn tells a story about Russian treaty negotiations.
7.) Full Upright Position
Original Air Date: November 1, 1994
Joel and Maggie board a plane bound to Russia; Maurice brings his young cousin into his business; Chris gets inside electricity.
8.) Up River
Original Air Date: November 14, 1994
Joel goes to Manonash; Chris remodels his trailer; Ruth-Anne surrenders to love.
9.) Sons of the Tundra
Original Air Date: November 28, 1994
New doctor, Phillip Capra and his wife, Michelle, come to Cicely.Read more ›
This is the final season, and though Joel leaves the show to many peoples dislike, the rest of the characters keep the show interesting up till the finale episode. The way Joel's experiences in Alaska end up changing him are very significant as we see in the final season, and this has always been in my opinion one of the most existentially sincere and compelling character changes ever developed in any television show. This is the result of writing that is comparable to high literature if you compare the character of Joel from the first episode to the final one he appears in, and the entire series of NX becomes a protrayal of a man who goes through the most poignant and profound experiences of self realization.
But the entire feeling that I remember so fondly from the end of the episode entitled "The Quest" is altered by the change in music from the original. Years ago when it first aired, "Forever Nightshade Mary", by the Los Lobos side project band Latin Playboys, played over Rob Morrow's final scene on the show. I distinctly remember the calming, almost zen impression it made, twelve years after it first aired.
Now, it's gone, replaced with something that sounds like Rosemary Clooney or Ethel Merman, something that has far more bombast, and was no doubt cheaper to license for the DVD set. Do I love the fact that I can get the show on DVD? Yes. But it would be disingenuous to say that I don't cringe everytime I hear a piece of music that I know didn't play when the showed aired originally, as music played such an integral part of the mood and feel of the show. This is a case in point illustration of the effect of choice of music in television.
I had hoped against hope that it would not be the case with the sixth season (they had at least managed to get away from double sided DVDs), but alas...
While Dr. Joel Fleischer was the basis character for the series, the town itself quickly became the star. So the death of the series at Rob's announcement was not a given situation, replacements worked fine for M*A*S*H which had the similar ensamble style (but it was not Hawkeye they were losing). The producers introduced a new town doctor, but this time he was not neurotic and would not be persuing Maggie (he was happily married). That was the trouble. In a town full of neurotic characters, replacing neurotic #1 with a bland character having less personality that the town's totum pole just reminded fans that the series was ending after all.
One would think that with six months notice a better replacement could have been found.
Fans could also have troubles with the character transformation of DR. Joel Fleischman. He starts off this season like other seasons, but he quickly becomes a different character than the one we grew to enjoy. Watching the last 10 episodes of this season could be like watching a slow death, almost like watching "After M*A*S*H". The surreal series finale is perfect for this surreal series, and should have happened a few episodes earlier than it did. The nice part about watching this on DVD is that you can skip over those Morrow-less episodes.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The series, including the other five seasons, was anything but completePublished 20 days ago by lamecrow
Love this show and I think season 6 is the best. Most shows get boring and stupid by the end but season 6 was excellent.Published 22 days ago by Amazon Customer
Most of us Northern Exposure fans wish they'd bring it back! Dr Fleischman has to retire somewhere... why not Cicely??Published 3 months ago by Sandra W. Sutherland
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Did you buy your NX, Season 6, from Amazon? Did it contain all 23 episodes?
(The library copy I borrowed had only 17 episodes.)
Dec 26, 2008 by Helen Cyr | See all 3 posts
I, too, noticed that this season's video quality isn't quite as good as the rest. I was wondering if it was only my set, but I guess not!
Dec 15, 2007 by Sydnius3D | See all 3 posts
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