Men Falling From Trees

The more I watch watch Men From Trees, the more I have to recognize its hollowness compared to Northern Exposure, the series which it blatantly echoes. The inhabitants of Cicely were richly drawn, simultaneously wackier than the folks in Elmo and far more real. While John Amos and even moreso Abraham Benrubi are able to feel at least somewhat real, but that comes from presence more than from what’s in the script. And the silent-but-well-silent love interest we’re supposed to be watching our lead fall for… well, maybe I’m a guy (definitely I’m a guy), but sorry, I don’t see any reason for anyone to notice him. Contrast that with Maggie, the sparking bush pilot with a history of deceased boyfriends. Compare Holling Vancour (spelling?) and his relationship with his waitress Shelly, the love between contrasts, to the relationship between Benrubi’s character and his waitress, the “aw we love together but we’re broken up because we need a plot”. Chris in the Morning. Ed. No, the characters in the new show are all cardboard cutouts compared to those, even in their earliest incarnations.

I may still coast along with Men in Trees for a while, but if you’re one of the many folks who have not seen Northern Exposure, perhaps were too young at the time, you’d do better to Netflix the Northern Exposure DVDs and spend your Friday night watching those. There are a number of good seasons before it fades off toward the end.

Published in: on October 1, 2006 at 1:19 am  Comments (1)  

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  1. I 100% agree and for once I’m actually in a position to know because simultaneous (well, not quite—I mean I’m not watching both shows at the exact same time!) to catching some episodes of MIT (I missed the first 2, I think) I’ve actually been watching seasons 1 & 2 of NE on DVD. I’m ready to start the 2nd disc of season 2—they were short seasons, 8 and 7 episodes apparently. They’re really just starting to have Maggie and Joel realize and begin to deal with their feelings for one another midway through season 2.

    The DJ on MIT even sounds a lot like Chris in the Morning vocally, but nothing like him at all in overall tone or content. Yeah, I find the NE characters much more well drawn and believable in their quirky ways. MIT is enjoyable enough that I’ll probably continue to check it out, but that’s as much because it’s on at a convenient time for me as anything else. Plus as with any new show there’s room for improvement as they tweak it here and there.

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