I firmly believe that Northern Exposure, CBS’ early ‘90s dramedy about the quirky residents in the small town of Cicely, Alaska, is the best that television has ever been and will ever get.
As such, it breaks me up that I can’t attend this weekend’s Moosefest, a biennial festival held in Rosyln, Washington (where the show’s exteriors were filmed) that celebrates Northern Exposure’s honor with filming site tours, trivia competitions and actor appearances. What I wouldn’t give to have a real-life one-sided conversation with Elaine Miles, who played soft-spoken receptionist Marilyn Whirlwind on the series.
I just got back from Colorado and I’m headed to Chicago next week, and unfortunately, I have to work sometime. How else would I brief you on some of the moose-tastic Northern Exposure memorabilia that’s out there?
The first place every Northern Exposure fan should start when beginning his/her collection is the DVD rack. All six seasons are affordably-priced through Amazon and other online retail outlets, and although they don’t feature the original soundtrack (a point of contention with many diehards, myself not included), the show is as charming as ever two decades on.
Those with a little extra money to spend should consider this out-of-print Northern Exposure anthology, which includes all 110 episodes on 14 discs and comes in a faux-seude messenger bag. I don’t own this set, but have each individual season and am convinced the only way I made it through last winter was by watching every episode in chronological order.
For those still living in the decade of flannel and brightly-colored jumpsuits, Amazon has a plethora of Northern Exposure VHS tapes that will impress fellow fans and cause those who never watched the show to question your investment skills. Each tape contains one episode (double-sided DVDs of the show hold nine). Isn’t it amazing how far we’ve come?
There are also several official companion books that include episode synopses, interviews with the cast and exclusive photographs. I picked up the 1993 edition of The Northern Exposure Book during my recent obsession, and it’s a pretty interesting bathroom read. Those who’ve exhausted their DVD (or VHS) collection might enjoy Letters from Cicely, which gives an expanded view of the Northern Exposure world through correspondence written by various characters.
As for me, I’m going to forgo all (read: most) of these tempting options and start saving up for Moosefest 2014. Who wants to come with?