“There was a moose in your backyard last week.” When my husband and I moved to North Dakota with our two young sons, that is what we heard from our new neighbors, people who lived around our cul-de-sac, located next to a church, in Minot. Perhaps living in moose country explains why Dave and I took to the television show Northern Exposure. Each week we tuned in to watch a moose wander around in a small Alaskan town as the episode opened. During our four years in Minot, we only saw moose when we visited the zoo.
Seen by friends a few miles from their Bottineau, ND, home.
This week, we opened Dave’s Valentine Gift and watched the pilot episode of Northern Exposure, neither of us remembering much about the show except the moose, excusing ourselves for that since it has been twenty-five years, wondering if we’ll still like the show starring Rob Morrow and Janine Turner. We watched the moose, followed by the young, cocky Dr. Joel Fleischman as he made his way from New York to Alaska to fulfill a clause in his medical school scholarship contract. We started to chuckle, seeing the shock, fear, and unwillingness in Fleischman’s face when he realizes where he is obligated to practice medicine. Dave, likely remembering more about the show from decades ago than I do, comments that he had forgotten about the native Alaskan woman who has appointed herself as the doctor’s receptionist and nurse.
More quirky characters are introduced. Fleischman still insists that he is not going to stay, but when he finds a waiting room full of people who need a doctor, he gives them each a number and begins calling them into his office, never asking their names. Their cases are…unusual. Humor gives way to drama when #6 bleeds all over the floor, having been shot in the leg by his wife. Later in the episode, Fleischman finds #6 in his office again, this time with his wife, and a stab wound in his back. When confronted by the seriousness of the incident, she tells #6 that he “gnawed through her nerves like a rat through plastic.”
Going on, she says, “I’m invisible. I’ve tried kindness…crying…laughter. I’m at the end of my rope. Walter (so that’s his name), if I don’t kill you, I don’t know what I’ll do.” Dr. Fleischman looks at Walter who answers, “I don’t listen to her because no matter what I do, it’s wrong. She doesn’t want me to drink in bed, so I don’t drink in bed. She doesn’t like me running around with the guys and then she complains that I’m home too much. So, I’ve tuned her out.”
Somehow, the callow doctor comes up with three choices for the older married couple. “You can divorce, your can separate, or you can start talking to each other. How many vote for divorce?” Only the nurse raises her hand – haha. Neither votes for separation, either, so Fleischman gives his prescription, “Well, start talking.” and leaves the room. We’ll see how Walter and his wife do as we watch our way through the show’s seasons.
I don’t remember if they learn how to address the issues that have came to light in the show’s intriguing pilot or not. If they were real people instead of characters, I would point them to Love and Respect Ministries, perhaps explaining the crazy cycle to them. They’ve been on it for some time, I expect.
And, if they were living in the twenty-first century, I would recommend the Round The Bases to a Better Marriage on-line seminar to be held on March 23 & 24, 2018. They would be able to sign up with their computer or mobile device, paying only $35, gaining access to seven hours of marriage mentoring, learning how to communicate, problem solve, identify issues and resolve them with love and respect, to increase intimacy and fortify their marriage.