Men in Trees: Pilot (series premiere)
Anne Heche plays Marin Frist, a relationship coach and best-selling author. We first meet her in New York, where she's on top of the world with the paperback release of her second book and her wedding on the way. That bliss lasts for exactly five minutes until she's on a plane to Alaska and discovers she accidentally grabbed her fiance's laptop computer-- with explicit photos of him and her friend, Kiki, on it. The lady next to her sees her discovery and orders Marin a whiskey, "straight up."
Marin arrives in Elmo, Alaska, a fishing town, to discover there's no cell service and a whole bunch of single men. Her host is hyperactive Patrick Bachelor, who quotes Marin's books back to her. She confirms her fiance is cheating via cell phone and heads to the Chieftain, a bar that will undoubtedly become a centerpiece in this series. We also discover why this show is called Men in Trees, it's based on a sign on the street where men are literally high in a tree doing some trim work.
It's in the bar where we meet the local flavor, which make this show so sweet. I love the way the writers stayed away from small town cliches. They gave the supporting characters depth. Many of them had lived elsewhere or had broken hearts. For the most part, they seem to be educated men. The bartender is a wine afficionado who is nursing a broken heart, the pilot is still angry about racist policies with the airlines in the 1950s that sent him packing for Alaska, Patrick is an eager young kid who books Marin in a men-only help session, and Jack is the game warden who is hiding a love for someone named Lynn. Of course, the characters don't get her big city ways - with her spinning classes and soy lattes - and she doesn't get their small town ways with bear spray and raccoons (the bear spray scene was my fave). And the female characters are enchanting- a hooker and a bar maid who both seem awfully exotic for this small fishing town.
Throughout the episode, Marin slowly stops reciting her cheesy psycho-babble and starts listening to people. In the end, Marin decides to stay in Alaska where she is going to write a book about men.
Great Line: "The odds are good. But the goods are odd," female bartender.
Grest Scene: When Patrick hands Marin the bear spray and she sprays it all over herself, thinking it's repellent. Nope, Marin. You're supposed to spray the attacking bear in the eyes with it.
Next week: Marin sleeps with Jack's brother and gets chased by a raccoon.