Talk:Northern Exposure

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Television (Rated C-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Television, a collaborate effort to develop and improve Wikipedia articles about television programs. If would like to participate, please visit the project page where you can join the discussion. To improve this article, please refer to the style guidelines for the type of work.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Alaska (Rated C-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Alaska, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of the U.S. state of Alaska on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.


How is this show surreal? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 18:41, 23 February 2006

There's a supernatural element. —Tamfang 03:36, 24 February 2006 (UTC)
In literary terms, it's called "Magical Realism." The story may randomly break to a fantastical scene (such as Sigmund Freud in a jailcell with Joel, or the Flying Man, or Ed's spirit guide "One Who Waits" or Low Self-Esteem), but the observer accepts the break as part of the story-telling technique. --TKE

It seemed at the time that the show's existence (either as an existing project that was green-lit, or other) had something to do with the success of Twin Peaks. Anyone more familiar have sources or more information? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:59, 23 January 2015 (UTC)


It was incorrectly mentioned that Rob Morrow won a best actor Emmy in 1992. He was nominated in both 1992 and 1993, but did not win either year. Furthermore, the Emmy for "Seoul Mates" was awarded in 1992, not 1993.--Truthiness 20:53, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

naming convention[edit]

Someone recently made a point of referring to all characters (except the brothers) by surname in the plot summaries. Is that helpful? Ed and Shelly say "Doctor Fleischman" (as did most others when Joel first arrived); Maggie and sometimes Maurice say "Fleischman"; Joel says "O'Connell"; but I can't think of any other case where surnames are preferred by the characters. —Tamfang 18:54, 27 February 2006 (UTC) —Afterthought: Adam tends to use surnames as a sign of his universal contempt. —Tamfang 01:52, 28 February 2006 (UTC) —Another afterthought: Maurice calls Chris "Stevens" as often as not. —Tamfang 18:34, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

Pursuant to Wikipedia:Naming conventions (people), the last name is preferred over the first unless there are people of the same name (e.g., husband and wife with same last name). Some characters, such as Adam and Eve, have no last names, so that only the first names are available. Jtmichcock 21:45, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
That's a good principle, but in this case (as in many TV shows) most of the characters are much better known by their first names. Anyone who has watched the show will know who 'Maurice' is, far fewer will know 'Minnifield'. Plus there is no danger of confusion as the shows characters names are carefully chosen to ensure there are no duplicates. Fleischman is probably the exception. DJ Clayworth 21:47, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
however, utilizing the first name when doing a single-name reference to a person implies the type of familiarity that an encyclopedia should avoid and, quite frankly, implies some sort of obsessiveness that scares away most readers. I think this article is fully capable of reaching Featured Article status. That's not likely to happen if conventions are tossed out the window. Jtmichcock 21:55, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
To whom does the use of the characters' usual names imply obsessiveness? —Tamfang 01:52, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
If these were real people then yes, it would be overfamiliarity. By they are fictional characters, and in fact we are privy to their deep secrets. This page gives a false sense of how they are know because it quotes both first and last names. In fact the characters are almost always known by their first names, and their last names are relatively obscure information. I'll bet you're not going to have much luck at the Survivor article persuading them to refer to all the competitors by their last names. DJ Clayworth 03:58, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
That's overstating things a bit; the full names of several of the major characters (Fleischman, O'Connell, Minnifield, Stevens, Vincoeur) are mentioned often enough to be familiar to the casual viewer. —Tamfang 22:42, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
Having just watched all six seasons in a two week period (again), here's what I have to say: 'Minnifield' is used by Adam (he never uses anyone's first name except his wife's), by Barbara Semanski several times, and a few times by Joel when he's angry at Maurice (for example, in 'The Feast' where Joel thinks Maurice dissed him.) Otherwise, everyone without exception consistently calls Maurice, 'Maurice", (with the exception that 'Minnifield' may be tacked on to his first name to render a complete name, i.e, "Maurice Minnifield.") Maurice, himself, generally calls other characters by their first names, but he sometimes uses last names, particularly Chris's, and Joel's, and Holling's, especially when he's on his high horse. But he sometimes uses last names as a polite reference. As I recall, his usage is the most inconsistent. Otherwise, everyone uses first names consistently, except, of course, Joel and Maggie, who consistently call each other by their last names since the beginning, and Ed, who consistently calls Joel, "Doctor Fleischman." Lesser characters sometimes call Joel "Doctor Fleischman", as well. Hope this helps. :)
Kornbelt888 (talk) 07:50, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
Doesn't Shelley also say Doctor Fleischman at least most of the time? —Tamfang (talk) 18:35, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
Yes. Kornbelt888 (talk) 02:57, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

I think bouncing between the conventional and colloquial is unimportant at this point. Most bios and guides are stubs, and should be codified per encyclopedic conventions. On the otherhand, I find "Joel" easier to type than "Fleischman." What we need, if you are a big fan, is a Wikiproject to define the series. I expanded the Maurice article and have been meaning to get around to the others, but laziness pervails. Any thoughts? --TKE 04:30, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

I'm not that much of a fan. I've seen every eposide, but I also think Wikipedia already has way too much stuff on TV shows. We have an article for every episode of the Simpsons, but major parts of art, history and literature have tiny little articles. DJ Clayworth 04:48, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
A good point. One reason I haven't labored much at all. I dunno, it was highly successful and influential in direction and writing; the space is free. If others are into it I'll help, because the show is very complicated. I am whole heartedly against episode guides on here, those are plentiful on the web and can be linked. I think that for a show as colorful as this, character bios are fun to play with. TKE 06:42, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
Oh, and I'm a grad student in history, but I stay away from most detail articles. But, I did make metion of Benjamin Harrison being the VI ;) -- TKE 06:47, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
Interestingly it's the overviews of history that are the tough ones. I'm trying to write Christian literature, but it's such a huge topic that I'd need to take a short university course to even write an overview. DJ Clayworth 20:54, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

moved Chris[edit]

In Chris Stevens, someone wrote two paragraphs about a hip-hop vocalist by that name. So I undid that, and moved our Chris to Chris Stevens (Northern Exposure) to reduce the likelihood of a recurrence. —Tamfang 22:38, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

Maurice and Barbara[edit]

Someone wrote "Maurice lived alone, until late in the series, when he falls in love with rigid police officer, Barbara Semanski". I don't remember Maurice and Barbara living together; she may have spent a few nights at his place, but I don't think that's the same thing. Anyone have any different memories? DJ Clayworth 13:23, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

Also Maurice fell in love with Semanski, not late in the series but early. Season 2 Episode 13 is her first appearance. I'll have to watch that DVD to see if that was when the love interest started. Devtrash 02:20, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
He was attracted to her from their first meeting; it took him some time to get her to acknowledge his attention. —Tamfang 03:48, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
Yeah they worked out together, they hunted together. Then she caught him passing off illegal deductions on his taxes and they broke up. I just finished Season 4, and they're not back together yet, so I think Season 5. Devtrash 23:58, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
I think his interest in her is reciprocated relatively early on (season 3?), but stymied when she overhears him discussing how to fiddle his tax returns. They certainly get together (though don't stay together) from a relatively early point in the whole run. I've got the DVDs at home somewhere - if I remember I'll try to work out exactly when all this happens. Cheers, --Plumbago 10:12, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
They rekindle their romance in a later episode when Maurice gets the violin player out of jail temporarily, so he can serenade Barbara at Maurice's house. Maurice and Barbara spend the night together, but Barbara is offended when she learns that Maurice bribed the jail custodians to get the violinist out, and breaks it off when the violinist escapes Maurice's guardianship.Kornbelt888 (talk) 08:01, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

Barbara only heard Maurice's lawyer (or accountant) telling Maurice's answering-machine about a possible dodge. Maurice could have wiggled out of it by calling back and saying, with Barbara listening, that he had no intention of taking that outrageous suggestion – or by arguing that the dodge wasn't illegal. Instead he tried to defend himself with "everyone cheats," exactly the wrong approach. —Tamfang 00:57, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

My point here was that as far as I can recall, Barbara never lived with Maurice in any meaningful sense. She may have stayed over at his place a few times before they split, but it was never my understanding that she moved in. DJ Clayworth 18:19, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Correct. Barbara never lived with Maurice. They only spent the night together on a few occasions.Kornbelt888 (talk) 08:01, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
She didn't. The last ep (Tranquilty Base) leaves it open, as Semanski is present as hostess at Maurice's house party. The viewer is invited to believe that she and Maurice are at least trying to have a future, but it is in no way definitive as to whether Semanski lives with Maurice. Simply, no evidence at all that they lived together.Geoff Owen 00:26, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Music cut from the DVDs[edit]

Should there be a section on how some of the music was cut from the DVDs? Devtrash 02:23, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

Absolutely - but this would require a proper music guide for the show, which does not yet exist on Wikipedia. The rationale would be two-fold: 'List of' original music versus DVD music and the reason why Universal saw fit to change the music on the DVD. One for development.
Music played a signifcant role in the show: not necessarily seminal, but it used a wide variety of artists and genres in a manner not seen too often previously. To prove this via citation would be difficult, but it would be a point worth making. The main article says nothing at this date about music which is an oversight, I think.Geoff Owen 00:16, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
absolutely; this article needs, and is-deserving, of a LOT of work Sadsaque (talk) 15:05, 16 April 2017 (UTC)

Cicely, Alaska is NOT fictional[edit]

Cicely, Alaska is NOT a fictional town - this should be corrected. A small town called Cicely acctually exists in Alaska.

Look here for reference:,-149.941406&sspn=1.250078,3.746338&q=Cicely+Alaska&ie=UTF8&ll=62.179976,-149.889811&spn=0.002433,0.007317&t=h&om=1

Close but no cigar: that does not show a Cicely on the map, it shows Talkeetna and cites [1]:
TALKEETNA has a palpable small-town Alaska feel: rumor has it that this eclectic hamlet was the model for Cicely in TV's Northern Exposure . . . .
Even if there were a genuine town named Cicely in Alaska, the one portrayed in NX would remain as fictional as Springfield. —Tamfang 16:53, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Someone added a link to a Talkeetna tourism page, which doesn't mention Cicely! I hope I'm not excessively snobbish in thinking that a tourism page, even if it did make the claim that Cicely is Talkeetna, is inadequate documentation. —Tamfang 07:58, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

Cicely is fictional. Talkeetna has a small town Alaska feel because it is small town Alaska. Talkeetna is not Cicely. When I lived in Skagway, it was said that Skagway (a very small Alaska town) was the setting. Skagway isn't interior, doesn't have elk, is close to the Chilkoot Trail (so they could concievalbly get there by dogsled like they do in one episode) it is on the Inside Passage and while you can drive there, you have to go through Canada to get there. Basically, there is no town in Alaska that matches Cicely though we are all a little crazy to live here. MJinAK —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:32, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

other uses[edit]

This section should and has been dealt with throught the conventional disambiguation methods. I'm going to delete it. Olleicua 01:15, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

Missing Episodes[edit]

I have not yet heard anybody talk about the "Complete Seasons" on DVD are actually not complete. The DVDs I bought have a mere sampling of episodes from each season up until Season Four, which is all I own yet. Does everyone else's collection come truly complete? There are lots of good episodes I hate to be missing (especially at these prices). 13:13, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

Are you sure they're incomplete? I've heard people say that the DVDs they bought of seasons one and two were incomplete, because they "only had 8 and 7 episodes on them, respectively". Those ARE the complete first and second seasons, as can be seen on the List of Northern Exposure episodes article. And your season 3 DVD has less than 23 episodes? If your DVDs do not match that, then maybe you got something other than I did, because the ones I bought were complete. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:22, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

The best way? Purchase the Northern Exposure Complete Series on DVD. I had purchased the set through the Barnes and Noble website with 25% off and it was also on sale. Finbally costs me around $120. Please note that the Universal sets, all of them, are the complete series episodes. No episodes are missing and the Complete Series collection have all single sided disk ... play perfectly.-- (talk) 06:05, 22 June 2008 (UTC)


The entire section titled "End" is POV and OR:

Under the increasingly darker production hand of David Chase and due to CBS moving the show into various time slots (as part of the network's future move toward more youth-oriented programming[citation needed]), the show spiraled downward in 1994-95. Unexplained character trait changes, the loss of clashes that had marked Fleischman's tenure, and the departure of Morrow, resulted in a precipitous drop in the show's ratings.

Not a single reference is provided for the claims that are made---the "darker production hand of David Chase," in particular is a very bold statement without any source to back it up---and it all just reads like someone's opinion. If this cannot be sourced, the entire section should be deleted, and a better section about the end of the show written. ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 16:26, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

In two unforeseen developments, Northern Exposure became a ratings hit

What were these "unforeseen developments"?

With Morrow's reduced presence in (but not departure from) the show, several ongoing storylines involving Fleischman were unable to be logically resolved.

What are these "several ongoing storylines"?

Can someone explain these? Misibacsi (talk) 14:51, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

Alaska's interstates[edit]

The article gives as an example of an inaccuracy in the show:

When being given directions out of town, a visitor is told to follow Main Street down to the Interstate, though Alaska has no Interstate highways. Few highways in Alaska have more than two lanes.

This is only partially correct. There are Interstate Highways in Alaska, they're just not signed and don't meet the standards of the interstates in the lower 48. However, since there are roads which are referred to as "Interstates", it would not necessarily be incorrect to tell someone to "follow Main Street down to the Interstate". Lurlock (talk) 19:19, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

Midnight Sun[edit]

The article the reads, "there is no possible way that they could see the midnight sun" is incorrect...As a matter of fact you can see the midnight sun 500 miles south of the arctic circle. I have been here a while. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tdyer (talkcontribs) 06:24, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

Is that because of atmospheric refraction? —Tamfang (talk) 06:36, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Inconstency in Filming and Airing of Episodes[edit]

The "Northern Exposure Complete Series" DVD set (which I am halfway through the sixth and last season / set) - the episodes are ordered by their "original air date". Yet there are several places where main characters like Joel, Maggie, and in particular Chris have had haircuts but in the next episode are back to long hair. In Chris' case, he cuts his hair short and wears a suit in one episode, but in the next one it opens with him working at the radio station with very long hair, and two episodes later, his hair is short again. In Maggie's case, Joel notes during season 4 that "he likes her hair" which she has grown longer and is slightly curly, but in the prior and later episodes her style is back to her "normal" tom-boyish short, straight cut. WinkJunior (talk) 19:30, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

David Chase as Executive Producer: Two Seasons, Not One[edit]

The years David Chase worked as Executive Producer needs to be changed. On the show he is listed as the sole Exec. Prod. for the entire fifth season, and the creators (Josh and John) are completely gone, along with all the original frequent writers and directors such as Rob Thompson, et. al. The series' creators get credit for such, as does Chase as the only Exec. Prod. in both the opening and closing credits of each show in the fifth season, and then Chase shares Exec. Prod. credits with one or two other people in season six. I believe the book about the show said something about the original creators and remaining writing team leaving at the end of season four and Chase coming in to take over, bringing an entirely new writing & directing team with him.

Most importantly, he was on the series for seasons 5 and 6, so should be listed as (1993-1995) or perhaps by season? I definitely agree that the series had a major change in style, characters began acting inconsistently, the Chris Stevens character read much less poetry and by different authors on his radio show, and overall it took a much more negative, even neurotic tone even while the Joel character went in the opposite direction, away from neurotic and negative, and that Chase, who has said in many interviews he suffers from severe chronic depression was likely the main cause of this. WinkJunior (talk) 19:41, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

Pilot episode - comedian Bill Murray[edit]

At the start of the pilot episode when Rob Morrow is flying to Alaska, the camera view is moving back to Rob Morrow inside the airplane, I believe Bill Murray is one of the actors setting alone. Does anyone else agree? [Jerry Moore]

843 Residents[edit]

Population of Cicely, AK: 843 (stated by Chris in the episode written by Robin Green and [[Mitchell Burgess]. It was directed by Michael Fresco. It aired on May 25/11 on APTN. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:08, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

Main Crew section[edit]

I removed the "Main crew" section from the article. It was just a list of names without any context. Nothing to indicate what these people did on the show. If someone has that information and wants to rewrite it that would be fine, but as it stood it was just a seemingly random list of names that didn't really fit in the article. SQGibbon (talk) 18:07, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

Who played whom?[edit]

Sure, now it's easy to look on IMDB or any of a dozen other internet references to find out who played whom on the TV show, but I particularly recall you could not gather that information from watching the show because the opening credits only named the actors, not their roles. Might that be mentioned? I wouldn't know the source for it. -- ke4roh (talk) 11:37, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

Why? That's true for lots of shows. Clarityfiend (talk) 20:04, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps it is, but it wasn't true of the shows I recall from the period and a little earlier (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Knight Rider, Dallas, The Love Boat, The Cosby Show, and so forth, hence my mention of it. -- ke4roh (talk) 04:10, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

Naming episode: Cicely and Roslyn[edit]

A paragraph is needed to explain the real and fictional character names (and real actresses) who went into naming Cicely and Roslyn. (talk) 05:41, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

What do you mean by "real character names"? —Tamfang (talk) 20:48, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

Broadcast Dates[edit]

I don't see a full episode list, or even the air-date of the pilot episode. Sad. Sadsaque (talk) 15:08, 16 April 2017 (UTC)