I have been a fan of Norhern Exposure since its first UK showing on Channel 4. However, there were many episodes that I missed first time round. Including most of this series.
The first two series of NE are excellent. This, however, takes it to a new level. Some of the bit-part characters from former episodes come more into their own. In particular, Bernard Stevens, the unexpected brother of Chris from Season 1's "Aurora Borealis", makes several appearances.
There is also more of a sense that Cicely is not just a different place, but a different. We get to know the history of this "Paris of the North", founded by the eponymous heroine and her lover Roslyn as a place where the human spirit can develop free. Cicely is the sort of place where a poetry-writing truck driver is a success, while the investment banker is a vague disappointment to his mother. The ex-astronaut often plays the bad guy, while an ex-con is the local sage. The capitalist world is turned on its head, and human values are placed on their feet.
This is a series is genuinely funny, but with greater depth than most serious dramas, touching on many issues with warmth and insight. "One day she vanished altogether... rumour has it that Roslyn went to Europe and finally died in Spain fighting the fascists as a member of the Lincoln Brigade"