Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Northern Exposure

Most guys who enter medical school have a specific goal in their minds - whether for the glam ( HA! ), the gals ( Huh? ) or the inexplicable philanthrophic thrill that comes from giving back to the community.

Frankly I find the last bit the most difficult to comprehend. :)

A few of my classmates way back in medical school used to have secret fantasies of serving the community by setting up shop in the nondescript little villages that dot the country. Hang that shingle over a small clinic out there in the outskirts! No doubt dreaming of kindly villagers marching up from their humble mountainous abodes to their rural clinics with their coughs and colds, vegetables and poultry in hand as token of gratitude. A basic day to day job playing the country physician - tending to simple common illnesses, the occasional uncomplicated delivery, paying the rare house call.

Barring the odd emergency, the simple life really.

Certainly something to aspire to. I'll admit even I was once swayed by such rural dreams.

Of course I came down from that idealistic cloud fast enough. Even way back then I knew a dedicated urbanite like me wouldn't have lasted a month out there in the boonies without going stir-crazy. Probably run amuck with a swinging stethoscope through that rustic one-horse town after several weeks of sylvan contentment. Just one week of shopping at the same limited general store for produce would already drive me batty.

Paul : Could I have Super Noodles instead of my usual Boring Noodles?
Shopkeeper : We don't have that.
Paul : Do you have Semi Superior Noodles then?
Shopkeeper : We don't have that.
Paul : How about Inferior Noodles?
Shopkeeper : No, we only stock Boring Noodles.
Paul : I have been eating Boring Noodles for a year. When can I get Super Noodles?
Shopkeeper : For that, sir, you have to wait for the high tide. Then you gotta take the river down to the next village, stay a night, then take the weekly bus down to the bigger village. There's a store there that sometimes takes a few packets of Super Noodles.
Paul : Is that so?
Shopkeeper : But it might be closed on that day so you have to wait.
Paul : Hmm.
Shopkeeper : OMG. Sir! What are you doing?
Paul : I am strangling you with the boring noodle, what does it look like?

See. I shouldn't be sentenced to the rural counties.

And I'll have to admit I get severe withdrawal symptoms when I'm away from the noxious smell of exhaust.

Jungle Boy
Life in the jungle...

Turns out I'm not the only one as Dr Joel Fleischmann finds himself in similar straits, having to serve his contract after medical school in Alaska. Never actually tuned in to Northern Exposure since I was still stuck in the hell-hole called medical school back when it was airing. Much too busy cramming notes in the late evenings - and calling home to gripe about classes - to run down to the rec room.

And anyways in a boys' dorm, they were usually tuned in to dull sports.

Doubt they would have been interested in a quicky, witty drama about a transplanted Jewish physician from New York finds himself slowly getting to love the small town of Cicely, Alaska - and its quirky, lovable inhabitants. The sort of communal village where one person's laryngitis can fuel endless talk for a week. And the arrival of a moose in town is reason for celebration.

Just a typical fish-out-of-water story set in the frozen reaches of the North.

Worth catching up with, don't you think?


Queer Ranter said...

What if the village is filled with hotties?

Anonymous said...

i can answer that. extremely unlikely. ur in a 'village' too aren't u queer ranter ?

William said...

The Village People?

Ivan Chan Studio said...

I loved this show!


savante said...

Would that be Provincetown, queer rant? :P

And yeah, anon, he is in a village!

But I doubt they dub themselves the Village People, william.

Finally, someone who watches the series as well! I love it, ivan! Trying to catch up now.