torsdag 2. juli 2009

Northern Exposure

I remember watching this TV show when everybody else in the world had gone to bed. It was aired on Thursdays or Sundays, very late. I was the only one in this galaxy watching this show. Just me together with a very few people in Cicely, Alaska. The first episode starts out with introducing one of the key characters, Joel Fleischman - Rob Morrow playing a 80s Woody Allen New York-style neurotic young doctor who has to serve his duty in the medical profession, quite unwillingly so, to the state of Alaska. The character traits are quite overstated in the first couple og episodes (which is also quite enjoyable), before it settles into a more nuanced character as the series unfold.

All the other lovely characters in the series also develop into manyfaceted personas. This is a large chamber orchestra playing a late Beethoven Quartet (excuse my slightly over-the-top link), The Alaska Suite. But it is. The series develops in such an organic manner. Or maybe it´s more like a long late 60s Pink Floyd jam. Well, well.
The very strained and stressed-out airplane pilot Maggie O´Connell, the Buddha-like secretary in the doctor´s office, Marilyn. Film-expert and orphan Ed melts every heart with honest observations. Earlier convicted fellon and new-born philospher, radio DJ Chris. The conservative, wealthy and old fashioned astronaut Maurice J. Minnifield.
You´ll also meet a chef, walking around barefoot, and of course an extremely allergic bubble-man.

I like a lot of the new modern TV series from HBO, but if you want something heart-warming, intelligent, simple (yet ingenious), Northern exposure is my pick. The early 90s esthetics (or lack of), is just something you´ve got to love! After watching an episode of Northern Exposure, you won´t miss the thought-through plots, perfectly developed characters, the flawlessly designed props and stagings etc of HBO. Nothing bad to say about Six Feet Under, but if you would like to watch something without all the glossy packaging (in a literary sense, that also goes for the DVD packaging of Northern Exposure), make a date in Cicely, Alaska...

onsdag 1. juli 2009

Let Us Cling Together

The last track on the Queen album A Day At The Races (1976), Teo Torriatte (Let Us Cling Together) is one of my melancholy monnlight favourites. Pompous? Yes. A sufficient dose of pathos? Indeed. Having the chorus sung in Japanese at the end is a fantastic move, one that only Queen can get away with. It´s their homage to Japan, which was the first country to truly treat Deacon, Taylor, May and Mercury as superstars. Getting off the aircraft on their very first tour in this country , Queen was welcomed by enthusiastic fans in a manner they never before had encountered. Mercury ended up collecting Japanese arts and crafts for the rest of his life. Well, that´s enough trivia for today. In the spirit of Brian May (songwriting credits on this track), keep yourself alive and let us cling together!