Greetings, fellow TV fans. Please join me in a moment of silence, as I mourn the passing of one of the quirkiest shows to be broadcast in years.
Tonight is the series finale of Men in Trees on ABC. It’s our final hour with Marin, Plow Guy, Buzz, Jack and the gang.
I could spend the majority of this column verbally abusing the insanely out-of-touch ABC decision makers who gave this show no chance because of all its schedule hiatuses and time changes, but that would sour what is supposed to be a touching tribute to a show that has made me smile since its debut.
Here’s a quick look at why I adored this show and why I’ll be crying in my diet Pepsi tonight.
Alaska never looked so inviting: I know it’s not really Alaska, since the show is shot in Vancouver. But, Men in Trees featured some of the most beautiful outdoor shots ever shown on a television show. It made me want to book a trip to Vancouver.
Mai Washington’s one-liners: Actress Lauren Tom can deliver a one-liner like no one else on television. All she has to do is roll her eyes at husband Buzz (John Amos) and toss out her nickname for him, “Old man,” in that accent and I dissolve into a fit of laughter.
Celebrating the simple life: The folks of Elmo are a simple lot. Give them a beer at the Chieftan and something to gossip about at the bar, and life is good. It was a nice change of television pace to see nature, friendships, and family explored in a television show instead of championing the cutthroat, fast-paced lipstick jungle shown so often in network television.
Romance: Television shows sometimes cross the line from fun, exciting romance to sappy soap dramas. Men in Trees never crossed that line. From interracial relationships (Buzz and Mai) to couples from opposite lifestyles falling in love (Sam the “plow guy” and Jane,) there was always humor in every story.
Well-written plots: This show had such a quaint feel from the start that I was concerned that the interesting plot premise would quickly fizzle out. It didn’t. Ultimately, Men in Trees was a show about relationships and the differences between men and women. Each story beautifully illustrated the differences while showing us that all of us seem happier when finding that special connection with someone.
In closing, thank you Jenny Bicks for creating such a gem of a show. I’m sorry it didn’t get better treatment from the network, but you should know that you touched viewers, including this one.
Goodbye Men in Trees. You’ll be missed.