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Tread Perilously – ‘Northern Exposure: Shofar, So Good’

Tread Perilously is a podcast in which hosts Erik Amaya and author Justin Robinson watch the “worst” episodes of popular TV shows, attempting to determine if they would continue to watch the series based on the most off-key moments.

This Week: Northern Exposure‘s “Shofar, So Good”

The Tread Merrily Christmas Carol finally takes Erik and Justin to Cicely, Alaska, for the Northern Exposure episode called “Shofar, So Good.”

It is the day before Yom Kippur, and Dr. Joel Fleischman seemingly goes out of his way to be awful to people. He fires Marilyn, gets into another argument with Maggie, and refuses to help rebuild the house of a citizen who left a cigarette lit while he slept. But will a vision of his rabbi back in New York, some choice clips from the previous season, and the specter of what his leaving town will look like change Fleischman’s heart?

Erik tries his best to explain the B-plot, which was excised from the copy of the episode he managed to find. He is also surprised to see Fleischman still so bitter and obtuse six seasons in. Justin is surprised to see an episode of the show without its famous local flavor — all of the lovable supporting characters like Holling and Shelly. Erik declares John Corbett the “acceptable Ed Burns.” Justin reveals he has no emotional connection to WarGames. Both imagine what would’ve happened had George W. Bush and Dick Cheney faced a full SARS pandemic. Erik forgets the names of the Ramones, and the English Revolution becomes a topic worth riffing on for five minutes.

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