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August 27, 2014

Men in Trees: Pilot (series premiere)

by Anna Johns, posted Sep 13th 2006 7:42AM
men in trees(S01E01) First of all, get Northern Exposure out of your head right now. This is not the same show. In fact, it's not really like anything else that's currently on television and that alone makes Men in Trees refreshing. The drama is low-key, the comedy is sweet and sometimes cute, and the characters seem to have depth. In fact, the characters are the best part of this show. We barely meet most of them in the pilot but we get the idea that they're not just small town simpletons, rather they're educated men and women with complicated pasts that no doubt include heartache and sacrifice. And Anne Heche is delightful, with the perfect balance of independence and fumbling fish out of water.

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.

The episode gets increasingly wacky, with the raccoon destroying her wedding dress and culminates when Marin falls through the ice and has to spend the night, naked, with the hunky game warden with whom she shares some serious sexual tension.

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.

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Cindy Adkins

I love this show! It's so refreshing after all the crime dramas, medical dramas, CSI dramas, etc. etc. I am so hoping it doesn't get cancelled! Who cares if it's 100 percent accurate? It's fun and doesn't leave me feeling depressed after I watch it ( like so many other prime time "hits")

November 06 2006 at 4:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lynn Christensen

Men in Trees is the best thing since Northern Exposure and Ed. I love the characters, the setting and look forward every Friday to see the continuing saga of the life and times in Elmo, Alaska. Hope this series never gets cancelled.

October 23 2006 at 4:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
warren kaplan

i would like to know whare men in trees is filmed, thank u

October 21 2006 at 6:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lois

My mother raved about Men in Trees..which I hadn't heard about yet. When I finally sat down to watch it with her...I came to love it... Love all the characters... especially Jack... Hot!!!!

October 08 2006 at 10:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
meg in bc

To answer a few questions...

The setting is Squamish, British Columbia, Canada. Not exactly Southeastern Alaska but a beautiful part of the world nonetheless.

The theme song is KT Turnstall's "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree". Great song for hitting the open road.

ABC's got a good show - keep the stories coming!


October 07 2006 at 12:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Stephanie

Doesnt anyone answer the questions on here??

October 06 2006 at 12:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Andy

I accidently ran across the pilot episode and surpisingly found myself thouroughly enjoying it. By the end, I was concerned that my attachment to the show would end in frustration, given it's friday evening timeslot and the likelihood the show might be dropped. I was also suprised by how much I liked Anne Heche, as my perception of her was mostly negative (kinda cold and aloof). I found her to be very likeable, warm, and interesting. I hope the show catches on and rises above the apparent low expectations the network has for it.

October 06 2006 at 10:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Stephanie

Whats the name of the theme song for Men in trees?

October 03 2006 at 5:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Darryl Westlund

Can anyone tell me where the exterior location scenes
are shot for this show? The place looks like it might
be along the southeastern Alaskan coast.

October 01 2006 at 8:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
janet

I would like to know what is the name of the female artist or the name of the song at the end of the pilot epidose of Men in Trees.
Thank you.

September 30 2006 at 1:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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