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Herc’s Seen ABC’s

I am – Hercules!! It’s a “Northern Exposure”-like hourlong comedy (it even has its own tiny radio station and quirky DJ), from “Sex and the City” writer Jenny Bicks, about a New York relationship expert who impulsively relocates to a mostly male Alaska town after her fiancé is caught cheating. It’s not one-tenth the show “Exposure” was, but Anne Heche’s undeniable allure goes a long way to compensate for a cliché-riddled pilot script. The girl who plays Sara, the local hooker, is pretty hot also. Variety says: Like peanut butter and chocolate, two TV taste treats -- the fish out of water, and the therapist/advice columnist who can't follow her own advice -- get jumbled together in one bland confection that plunks Anne Heche into the Alaskan wilderness. Soft and chewy, "Men in Trees" is a tepid version of "Northern Exposure" with a romantic flair, scheduled after this Tuesday preview where only lonely hearts are apt to find it, unless Heche's star wattage unexpectedly ignites some Friday-night lights.… The Hollywood Reporter says: … a surprisingly refreshing romantic dramedy full of appealing characters. The series seems all the more charming and even whimsical against this season's primetime background of crime procedurals, serialized dramas and angst-ridden lawyers. … Heche, who is in virtually every scene, brings a zeal and vulnerability to the role that elevates the clever dialogue by creator Jenny Bicks, a former improv performer and Emmy winner for "Sex and the City." The rest of the ensemble is similarly well-cast and appealing. … USA Today gives it two (out of four) stars and says: … embraces so many sexual and cultural stereotypes, they might as well grow on trees. … And yet, if you can stick with the show past its barrage of one-note eccentrics, a lower-key charm does begin to seep through. By the end of the hour, it even seems to soften Heche, a fine actress but not a naturally warm TV presence. Granted, you have to be willing to believe in an Alaska that is on another planet rather than a distant corner of the continent. But if you are, the supporting cast and the scenery may be enough to pull you through — which may give Heche the time she needs to relax into the role. … The Washington Post says: This year's hands-down winner of the "What Were They Thinking?" Award is "Men in Trees," a halfhearted, feebleminded attempt at a situation comedy about that eternal and ever-fascinating struggle, the battle of the sexes. The creators of ABC's "Men in Trees," though, do seemingly everything they can think of to quash that fascination and declare the battle null and dull. … The title, "Men in Trees," is seen on a warning sign meant to alert people below that pruning and trimming are going on above. "Beware 'Men in Trees' " would be even more appropriate. Please consider yourself warned. The New York Times says: … A series about a single urban woman who moves to Alaska to study the opposite sex sounds like a promising combination: “Sex and the City” meets “Northern Exposure.” Jenny Bicks, who was a writer and producer of “Sex,” is an executive producer of this one, and it has some amusing touches. But at least in the first episode the characters and dialogue don’t measure up. “Men in Trees” wants to be a “Sex and the Tundra” but is closer to “Northern Overexposure.” … The Los Angeles Times says: The eponymous men in the titular trees are lumberjacks, and they're OK — but, like the Seven Brothers who sought Seven Brides, they are looking for love in a world where the opposite sex is in short supply. (No gay characters yet introduced.) They may learn from Marin as she learns from them. There is some talk about power relationships, but at the core of the show we have the old story of a small woman in need of help and a big capable man to help her, whom press materials actually describe as "strong and silent." It's either pre- or post-feminist, you can take your pick. This will possibly ripen into something more complex as (if) the series goes on, but Heche makes Marin something more than a wounded bird. Heche is a funny proposition, strange but likable. … Marin suits her well, and she's supported by a fine and mostly unfamiliar cast … All make immediate good impressions. They tell you a lot about who they are with a minimum of moves. If, as in most "quirky town" shows, they display a surprisingly philosophical bent, they are not awash in the pop cultural and high-art references that defined "Northern Exposure." "Men in Trees" is a fantasy that wants to seem real: No one has quoted Hegel or referenced a hip rock band. There is a bar in the town, and people go there to drink. 10 p.m. Tuesday. ABC.

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  • Sept. 12, 2006, 1:45 p.m. CST


    by Mr. Profit

    It looks like ABC is the only network that is coming out on top when it comes to promoting their fall shows. It seems I know a hell of a lot more about ABC's new fall schedule than any other network. The Nine, 6 Degrees, Men In Trees, Ugly Betty, Brothers and Sisters, Greys on Thursday's now. NBC is a close second because I always see 30 Rock, Studio 60, and Heroes promos all over the place. Don't ask me what's new on Fox of CBS.

  • Sept. 14, 2006, 9:49 a.m. CST

    Liked it

    by Ninja Nerd

    I DVR'd this Tuesday and watched it last night after the idiotic choice on Rockstar:Super-Clueless. Overall, I liked it. Most of it was NOT "by-the-numbers" drivel that passes for TV these days. The only character I didn't care for was the most recognizable cast member, John Amos as the bush pilot "Buck". He acted like he really didn't want to be Alaska, in the bar, in the series. The music was excellent and quirky. The producers gave a lot of love to K.T. Tunstall...using "Black Horse" in one scene and "Suddenly, I See" in a promo. Heche was a little strident and unlikeable early on...hell, I'd be cheating on her with the hot redhead too! As the show progressed, her Marin grew on me. Tossing the wedding dress and apparently ignoring the $9750 bill for it was pretty good. The best scene was the bartender explaining how women THOUGHT they wanted Dirty Harry when it was really Clint Eastwood they were hot for. "Women want it all...and we can't give it to you"..."so you're screwed"...."yup". Truly, this didn't suck. Still needs work and a consistent tone, but pilots are rarely indicative of what a show can become.

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 8:09 a.m. CST

    Saw it and it's been done before

    by Yeti

    Except it was called Northern Exposure and Sex and the City. Pity cause i really like Anne Heche as an actress.

  • Sept. 15, 2006, 9:51 a.m. CST

    Batshit Crazy

    by Itchy

    Anne Heche is undoubtably absolutely insane. But there is something "crazy" hot about her. I bet she'd be absolutely phenomenal in the sack - other chicks, anal, watersports. Whatever. You could talk her into anything if you just told her the aliens were making you do it.

  • Feb. 2, 2007, 12:19 p.m. CST

    Did this POS ever air?

    by The_Jack_Sack

    I don't even remember seeing an ad for it...