'Exposure' reveals Cicely's history in season finale

The Denver Post - 5/18/92

by Joanne Ostrow

The more Monday nights we spend in Cicely, Alaska, the more we appreciate the town's best quality. Its open-mindedness is rare, even though network television forever preaches the golden rule. In Cicely, they don't just keep open minds, they fight prejudice. "Northern Exposure," which has its season finale tonight at 9 on Channel 7, trains its audience not to bring preconceptions to the characters and their backgrounds. In Cicely, people are encouraged to shed old skins and to take time out to marvel at their growth. Cicely is a place where a macho former astronaut decorates with frilly Victorian antiques; an African-American world traveler finds brotherhood with a white ex-con radio philosopher, a Native American with no formal education teaches life lessons to a Jewish New York doctor; and a 60-ish woodsman and 20-ish bombshell share the hottest romance in town.

Unpaved Main Street is home to a delightful bunch of eccentrics. Even an heiress and a tradition-starved barefoot chef are actively, neurotically involved in the pursuit of happiness.

This week, the town learns its history [3.23 Cicely].

While driving his truck, Joel narrowly avoids hitting an elderly man who turns out to be one of Cicely's first residents. The visitor, played by Roberts Blossom, relates the story of the birth of Cicely and its transformation from a little mud hole terrorized by a town bully into a thriving artists' utopia, "the Paris of Alaska."

In a tale that parallels "Fried Green Tomatoes," the town matriarchs are introduced. The strong Roslyn (Jo Anderson) and the graceful Cicely (Yvonne Suhor) leave their mark - on Cicely and perhaps on ptime time.

Northern Exposure is Copyright Universal City Studios. All Rights Reserved.

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