YMMV / Northern Exposure

  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: (Values Dissonance ?) In one episode, Shelly is trying to impress Holling, by learning about the time of his youth, and trying to hold an intelligent conversation. Holling is bewildered by this turn of events, and eventually tells her she doesn't have to do this, since he only likes her for her body. This is played as a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
    • It's not meant to be taken at face value. It's obvious through Holling's actions that he cares deeply for Shelly; he'd just rather have sex with her than have long conversations.
    • It could also be a Spoof Aesop. Remember that this show has a habit of turning stereotypes and cliches inside out, and that this is often Played for Laughs.
    • Sensible character interpretation is that Holling just wants to take the pressure off her. This leaves us with Shelly still being The Ditz, but it's not put through in a mean way. He loves her for who she is, not who she's trying to change herself into.
  • Retroactive Recognition: James Marsters appears in two episodes of the series (playing a different character in each) in seasons three and four respectively.
  • Seasonal Rot started at the beginning of the fifth season, when the series got a new Showrunner who openly despised the show's basic premise—calling it "...something I couldn't understand."—and admittedly only took the job for the paycheck. The decline accelerated the following year after Joel left and was replaced as town doctor by Phil Capra.
  • The Woobie: Poor, poor Ed. Few things ever seem to go right for him, and when they do, they don't seem to last long. Yet he takes almost all of it in stride, even when characters like Maurice are insulting him to his face.