Northern Exposure and poetry

I’ve been watching old episodes of the 1990s tv show, Northern Exposure, and enjoying myself so much. That show was so good. I was young when it was on and I think a lot of it went over my head at the time. I remember watching it with my parents and enjoying it, but I really like it now that I understand more about what they’re talking about and can follow the storylines a bit better.

I think my two favorite characters are Marilyn Whirlwind, the receptionist of Dr. Fleishman, and Chris Stevens, the local radio dj. Marilyn is so calm and sure of everything. She is quiet, but absolutely certain in her opinion when she speaks. Chris is a chatterbox, as befits a radio personality, but has the beautiful quality of curiosity about him. He’s always pondering and always willing to learn about new things. He’s the go-to guy in Cicily, Alaska, for all things philosophical, religious, and general wonderment. Both characters were written in such a deep way. There’s very little that is superficial about the writing for the entire show, but I love these two characters the most.

280px-Marilyn_Whirlwind chris stevens

One thing I really like about the show is how often poetry is shared, usually written in as an off-the-cuff quote or as part of Chris’ radio show. But, it’s a wonderful addition to what was a primetime television show! The episode I watched a few days ago from Season 3 included this poem, which I haven’t heard in so long and I forgot how much I loved it when I read it back in high school:

A Red, Red Rose
by Robert Burns

My love is like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June;
My love is like the melody
That’s sweetly played in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in love am I;
And I will love thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry.

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun;
And I will love thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only love,
And fare thee weel a while!
And I will come again, my love,
Thou’ it were ten thousand mile.

I have no idea if the episodes are on Netflix or anything like that, but I got my season at the library (of course!), so if you haven’t seen the show but I’ve piqued your interest, or you’re nostalgic for the television of the 1990s (when television writing was excellent, in my opinion), search around your local catalog and see if you can check out a season!

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