I’m watching a rerun of Northern Exposure. I really liked the show when it was on, what with its quirky characters and all. As I recall, Rob Morrow was spearheading an effort for higher salaries. As a result, he was pretty much sent to Coventry. It just wasn’t the same show without him.
So: Were Morrow’s contract negotiations the reason for the show’s decline?
Yea, that show had run it’s course. Pretty much the minute Joel and Maggie started an actual relationship, the show nuked the fridge (I think jumped the shark needs to be replaced since it has been purchased by a business with a vested interest in bad TV). Those types of relationships are the death sentence for any sitcom.
The series started failing when they got gratuitously surreal. Here’s this frontier town in Alaska, suddenly invaded by a gaggle of ballerinas, a guy in a space suit and a European film director. It stopped being the sweet little town we all wished we’d come from and started being a pissed-on canvas. It wasn’t Morrow’s doing.
I disagree with Krokodil about attributing the show’s “failure” to the increasingly gratuitous surrealism of the narrative. I recently watched the whole series on DVD (several times), and even more than 20 years later, Northern Exposure still looks and feels so much better than anything else that’s on television right now. ANYTHING. The breadth of character development and the challenging yet entertaining integration of literature, philosophy, politics, and the arts into each storyline, not to mention the gorgeous cinematography and stellar acting by the lead cast, still make Northern Exposure a pleasure to watch, from beginning to end, today. Okay, so the video quality of the first season is not spectacular but that’s a conservation issue.
I believe the level surrealism stayed very much the same throughout its six seasons. And in the end, the series was canceled to make way for the era of Sex and the City, Reality TV, and the dominance of 30-minute sitcoms filled with casts of 20-something “friends” and their great haircuts. I’ll take surrealism over that crap, all day long.
How does Rob Morrow get any blame in this? He wanted to be paid like he was the center of the show. As this OP demonstrates, he was right about this. If anyone deserves the blame for the show’s demise it would be the producers who cut a character that the show depended on and the writers who proves themselves incapable of adjusting to the changes forced upon them and the story they were creating.
Me to. By the end of the second season, they were pretty consistantly surreal (which is only like 10 episodes in, as the first two seasons were like 8 episodes a-piece). The first third or so of the series had: man gets killed by a falling satellite and then is reincarnated as a dog. A tribe of French Speaking inuits steal the frozen body of Napoleon. A circus gets stuck in Sicily with a mute man who may or may not be able to fly and Maggie falls in love with some sort of were-bear.
Agree the series was kinda played out by the end, but I think it was more because the more “real-life” plots got weaker rather then too much surreality. They just ran out of things to do with the characters and the small town setting.
I think what you’re referring to is the John Wayne Trail. It follows the old route of the Milwaukee Road railroad across Washington and passes near Roslyn.
As for Roslyn itself, things have been fairly static since “Northern Exposure” left the air. It’s still an interesting place though. One notable change that’s occurred is that just outside town, they’ve built a huge 6,300 acre resort/vacation home community calledSuncadia.