• Publication date: November 4, 2011

Misfortune As Inspiration A Love Expert�s Knowledge Is Put To The Test

Marin Frist (Anne Heche) is a best-selling author, radio host, and counselor whose specialty is repairing broken down, or failing relationships. While touring the United States to promote her newest book the love expert has a taste of irony: she discovers that despite her expertise, Marin�s fianc� has been having an ongoing affair with another woman.

Marin Frist (Anne Heche) is a best-selling author, radio host, and counselor whose specialty is repairing broken down, or failing relationships. While touring the United States to promote her newest book the love expert has a taste of irony: she discovers that despite her expertise, Marin�s fianc� has been having an ongoing affair with another woman.

Yet the author�s misfortune is the catalyst for a new adventure in life. The news of her fianc�s infidelity was revealed to Marin while promoting her book in the small Alaskan town of Elmo, where men outnumber women 10 to 1. Refusing to wallow in sadness, and keen to prove that she is indeed a relationship expert, Marin chooses Elmo as inspiration for her upcoming book. If Marin can manage to find love and happiness amongst a town full of mostly men, in one of the most remote American states, then perhaps she still has the knack for successful romantic maneuvers.

The show�s title, �Men in Trees� (2006-2008) is inspired by a warning sign the protagonist encounters shortly after arriving in Elmo that bears the same three words. It is a notice to passersby that lumberjacks are working high in the trees, and that large pieces of wood could fall upon them at any moment. Indeed, Marin is almost knocked in the head by a falling limb not long after pondering the meaning of the sign. This incident is a metaphor for the series: that men are lurking high above, ready to attack venerable women who walk in their path; her goal is weave through the falling debris out of danger and into the arms of her Mr. Right.

Marin quickly situates herself in the Alaskan town and even manages to continue her radio career, albeit at a small shortwave station. On a good day, the station�s proprietor brags that transmissions can reach as far as Poland. Not a small feat, though amateur radio hobbyists may not be an audience particularly interested in love advice. Naturally she also sets sights on her potential boyfriend-to-be, a local biologist named Jack Slattery (James Tupper). Will Marin find the answers she is searching for in Elmo, or leave in the midst of yet another failed relationship?

Fans of television classics such as �Northern Exposure� (1990-1995) and �Sex and the City� (1998-2004) may find likeable elements in �Men in Trees.� Like �Northern Exposure� the series focuses on a newcomer�s experience in a strange, somewhat foreign place � which in both cases is Alaska. Its similarities to �Sex in the City,� namely the lead character�s career as a romance author is of little coincidence, since �Men in Trees� creator Jenny Bicks served as the HBO program�s executive producer. Despite these likenesses, the series still manages to bring something new and intriguing to the table � even if it is only a combination of already existing elements.