There really hasn’t been any other television program to even come close to the magnificent magick that is Northern Exposure. Yes, Nina owns the actual handmade rabbit coat that Shelly wore for six years. Yes, we have seen each episode at least twenty times. Our favorites we have seen at least sixty. We use it as background music while we draw or paint or write. We pop it in as a bedtime story, quite often. It causes good dreams. Sure, the final season was a major letdown. But. Nothing in the history of television is as brilliantly satisfying to our hearts. Each episode is better than nearly every movie being produced today. The show is so well written that it echoes the wonderworld inside our own heads. The pure poetry of those surreal situations and phenomenal character studies is perched at the top our list, and it probably will be for the rest of our lives. Here are thirteen greatest moments, enjoy.
1. From A Wing and a Prayer, Season Five:
Shelly: But do I get a real priest? No! I get this dud. Some smoke-ring blowing arm wrestler with a rip in his pants!
2. From Cup of Joe, Season Five:
Joel: Did you just say ‘Who would you eat?’
Shelly: Yeah, if you had to.
Ed: You mean like… ‘Who’d be good?’
Shelly: Uh huh.
Joel: Who would be good to eat? Well, it’s not an uninteresting question, really.
3. From Slow Dance, Season Two:
Joel: If you don’t dance with me O’Connell, you know what you are doing? You’re turning your back on reason. On mankind’s struggle to pull itself out of the mire of ignorance and superstition. You are saying yes to witchhunters and inquistors, you are slamming the door on enlightenment, and you are inviting back the Dark Ages. Now I am not doing this for you, O’Connell. I am doing this for civilization. What do you say? Pretty please?
4. From Mud and Blood, Season Four:
Chris: The thing that gets my juices flowing is the whole truffle metaphor thing. Think about it Maurice, how the dank corruption of the forest floor, the black root of humus becomes this perfect food. This total gift of nature. The whole gestalt is just so… Spring.
Maurice: Stevens, is anything simple to you?
Chris: Maurice… Life and death all rolled up in one little fungus. What could be simpler man?
5. From Aurora Borealis, Season One:
Bernard: It’s my dreams that are keeping me awake… My single biggest nightmare is that I’ll nod off and I’ll fall asleep. And then I’ll have to wake up, and none of this will be as if it ever happened!
6. From The Body in Question, Season Three:
Elijah the Prophet: Maybe you’d rather turn me into an amusement park, Joel. Sell autographed cups? Elijah’s back, Fleishman’s got him?
7. From Old Tree, Season Five:
Holling, singing: Shelly honey, dry your eyes. Worry not, we’ll harmonize. In my opinion, talk is cheap. Who needs to make a speech? Truth is, my lovely bride. Sing or talk, I’m by your side.
8. From Get Real, Season Three:
Chris: It seems to me, as you get into the onion of an atom, and you get into smaller and smaller particles, you find that, like, you don’t have any particles at all.
Physicist turned Circus Magician: Correct.
Chris: So subatomic particles might just really be like vibrating waves of energy?
Physicist turned Circus Magician: Right, listen. No mass, no thing!
Chris: The essential building block of everything is nothing.
Physicist turned Circus Magician: All is an illusion. That’s what I hated about the business. What are you supposed to do with information like that?
9. From Nothing’s Perfect, Season Four:
Holling: You know Maurice, when I was a boy I used to sit in my mama’s washtub, cup my hands, and try to hold water. No matter how tightly I squeezed my fingers, I couldn’t do it. The water always dribbled away. Time is like that. No matter how hard you try, it always leaks through your fingers. And I’ll tell you something. You think about time too much, you’ll go crazy.
10. From Animals R Us, Season Three:
Maggie: So last night I asked. I asked ‘Are you Rick?’
Joel: You asked the dog whether or not he was Rick?
Maggie: Yeah, I said ‘If you’re Rick, bark three times.’
Shelly: Did he?
11. From Ill Wind, Season Four:
Chris: You and I are bound in ways we can never comprehend. What happened up on that roof is an extreme example. We depend on each other every day for a mutual survival and I just… I can’t take money for that.
12. From Ill Wind, Season Four:
Maggie: I mean, when my fist hit your face, I felt, in that brief moment, I knew who I was.
13. From Spring Break, Season Two:
Chris: It’s a time for madness. A time for our fangs to come down and our eyes to glaze over so that the beast in us can sing with unmitigated joy. Oh yes, ecstasy I welcome thee. Ah-oooh!!!
There you go. A few of the best moments from the best television program of all time. Beg to differ? Care to gush along with us? Hit that comment tab. And then make your own list to link here. We will still be chilling with good company in Cicely, Alaska. Forever.