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Series / Northern Rescue

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Northern Rescue is a Canadian family-drama television series distributed by CBC Television in Canada and internationally on Netflix. The first season aired March 1, 2019. William Baldwin, brother of Alec Baldwin, stars as John West, a search and rescue commander who relocates to his Canadian hometown after losing his wife (a Posthumous Character present in flashbacks and voiceovers), raising his three children (Maddie, Scout and Taylor) to with his sister-in-law. Each episode generally follows Commander West on a mission, while exploring the rest of the families daily lives.

This series provides examples of:

  • Bears Are Bad News: Debated in one episode with an actual bear, which Scout struggles to keep from being put down.
  • Big Damn Heroes: It's John's job to be one.
  • Big Sister Instinct: Mrs. West to Charlie, having once came back to tow to take care of her while she was sick when no one else was there for her (something she doesn't hesitate to remind her boyfriend when he tries to get back into her life).
  • Bitch Alert: Mostly subverted with Gwen (whose also more of a Delinquent at worst than an Alpha Bitch). She's introduced honking her horn at Maddie on the way to school and trading insults with her, and they later have another insult-match in the hallways at school. Then, a bit later in the episode, both of them are going for a meeting with a mutual friend and formally meet each other for the first time, both are a little embarrassed and defensive, but become more friendly by the end of the episode.
  • BlackMail: The season finale reveals Mrs. West was being blackmailed by her old flame Rick Walker Maddie's real father.
  • Brainy Brunette: Taylor's spelling bee rival Raji (also counts as Asian and Nerdy).
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Maddie on occasions, having gotten into trouble both in Boston and in Canada.
  • Bully Hunter: Deconstructed with Gwen confronting Stacey for posting a humiliating video of Taylor online, as Maddie points out that she was kind of being bullying herself by harassing a twelve-year old bully.
  • Bully Turned Buddy: Each to the three kids has a classmate they initially clash with and later befriend to some degree, although Scout's wrestling rival Jason is probably the only one who could truly be called a bully.
  • Cliché Storm: A common criticism of the show, although it maintains a fanbase and even critics generally find it well-acted and with the potential for growth.
  • Cliffhanger: The first season end season ends with Maddie’s relationship with John being damaged by the reveal he isn’t her real father, and possibly running away, Taylor worrying she has a serious medical condition and hesitant about whether to get tested for it and out the family through more stress and worry, Scout apparently estranged from Gwen and Jason and Charlie being pulled over driving her boyfriends car, with the cop implying that he may have stolen it from someone.
  • Cool Aunt: Charlie Anders, the kids aunt and Maternal Substitute.
  • Dawson Casting: Zigzags this. Seventeen year-olds Maddie and Gwen are played by Amanda Williamson and Elianna Jones (who were about eighteen and twenty respectively during filming but look a little younger) while Maddie's fifteen year-old brother Scout is played by Spencer Mc Pherson, who was twenty or twenty-one during the filming of season one.
  • Due to the Dead: Even though her mother is dead, Taylor works to prepare a surprise anniversary party (assisted by her aunt) for her parents in one episode.
  • Dysfunctional Family: A downplayed, Played for Drama example.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Jason calls Scout jockstrap.
  • Fainting: Taylor occasionally does under stress, but isn't above faking it to Troll people.
  • Faint in Shock: Taylor blacks out from the pressure while competing in a spelling bee. A little while later, a competitor spots a video of it online.
  • First Kiss: Maddie and Henry during a truth or dare game.
  • Get Out!: Taylor says this to Maddie once during an argument about Maddie's intervention when her sister was being bullied.
  • Girlfriend in Canada: Or rather, girlfriend not in Canada. Scout has one back in Boston who he broke up with when he left but still has some feelings for.
  • Hidden Depths: Scout has an artistic streak he's bit quite sure how to express to his father.
  • Instant Humiliation Just Add Youtube: Taylor suffers this badly after she's recorded fainting during the spelling bee.
  • Jerk Jock: Jason has his unpleasant edges even after he and Scout resolve most of their feud.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Downplayed, but present when Stacey posts a humiliating YouTube video of Taylor and accuses her of cheating at the Spelling Bee to justify her actions. The fact that a lot of other kids watch and laugh at the video doesn't help.
  • Literal Cliffhanger: One episode has John rescuing a climber stuck on the face of a cliff, while trying to distract her with jokes and personal stories.
  • Loophole Abuse: When Maddie is trying to get Gwen and Henry to leave before John gets back because she's not supposed to have them over, Scout points out that no one said he couldn't invite them back in. Maddie is skeptical but ultimately goes along with it. In a later incident (which ends less well) Gwen goes to confront Taylor's cyber bully Stacey after Maddie tells her what's going on because she hadn't made a promise to leave it alone.
  • Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe" Maddie's mom slept with someone else around when she was conceived.
  • My Brother Is Off Limits: Subverted. Maddie is upset when she finds her friend Gwen flirting with and spending time with her brother Scout. But only because her dad had threatened to ground her if she had Gwen over, considering her to be a bad influence (which she had been, but mainly just for one episode) and wants to get Gwen out of their before their dad gets back, and actually doesn't mind Scout and Gwen hanging out in general.
  • Military School: Gwen's brother got sent to one (causing him to nickname their mom "The General"), which contributed to her moving to live with her dad instead.
  • Mistaken for Cheating: Gwen and Scout have a decent amount of Ship Tease, but in the season finale he sees her walking out of a bedroom with a boy changing his shirt (because he'd just spilled a drink on his and Gwen had to show him where the spare shirts where) leading to a fight breaking out.
    • In an earlier episode, when Maddie is conflicted about reading her mothers diary and asks Gwen about a hypothetical situation of whether you'd read something private if it would reveal something you think you have a right to know and Gwen thinks that means she thinks Henry is seeing other girls leading to a He is not my boyfriend response.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Henry quickly works to resolve the developing feud between Maddie and Gwen by convincing them of this, even comparing them to peas in a pod. They protest to this simultaneously, and with approximately the same words and then concede that he's probably right.
  • Odd Friendship: Between Scout and Jason after Scout pretends he's still attending wrestling meets.
  • Parents as People: A key theme of the show, between discovering the secrets of the late Mrs. West and how hard her husband has to work.
  • The Runaway: Hinted that Maddie. will leave home in the final scene of season one.
  • Spiky Hair: One of John's most notable traits.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Raji's friend Stacey (who posted the youtube video) does a lot to escalate Raji and Taylor's feud. John worries that Gwen and Henry might be this to Maddie after the three get caught shoplifting.
  • Two Girls and a Guy: Maddie, Gwen and Henry. Unusually for the trope, while Maddie and Henry have the romantic interest, it takes a while to develop, and Gwen and Henry have been Just Friends since well before meeting Maddie.
  • Unconfessed Unemployment: Or rather unconfessed being cut from the wrestling team.
  • Victim of the Week: A non-fatal version appears at the start of most episodes with various people (generally outdoorsman) who get in trouble and John ends up needing to go save before too long.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Maddie and Gwen hang out a lot but frequently bicker.
  • Walking Swimsuit Scene: Maddie and Gwen have one in one episode.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: The CBC website describes Taylor as "twelve, going on thirty"