Northern Exposure: The Complete Second Season

The fictional town of Cicely, Alaska once again presents itself as a mystical, anarchistic utopia in this second season of Northern Exposure. It's true, the small-town atmosphere is broken from the rest of the money-hungry country and this is partially the reason for its charm. In "Spring Break," big-city doctor Joel Fleischman, whose perspective frames the first season, blends into the rest of the gang, but still has his moments as a naturally contrasting character that points out the town's uniqueness. When his radio is stolen in the tension-riddled frantic moments before the ice breaks, Joel is surprised to learn that there are no cops in Cicely. Why would there be? They've got no crime! With such worries taken care of, the residents of Cicely are free to wander through whimsical, flighty storylines and petty concerns. Without this, Northern Exposure couldn't have stood out the way it did, or still does. In a TV-era where half-brained crime and investigation shows are bombarding the airwaves with badly fact-checked, stressful nonsense, Northern Exposure is a relief. Why should television inflict internal strife? Relax and enjoy this chilly escape. The extras are nearly nil, and apparently original pieces of music from the shows first airing in the '90s have been replaced with filler instrumentals, unless you're a NE super-fan, this is of no matter though. There's still a whack of always funny blooper things, which are worth it just to find out that John Corbett (aka philosophic radio host Chris Stevens) is quite possibly the weirdest man alive. (Universal)