Drama: Men in Trees - relationships and Marin Frist (Anne Heche)

Monday, February 12, 9.30pm on TV2

Despite the so-called ‘man drought’ that has swept across New Zealand, finding a good man in today’s world may not be as difficult as some think – especially not with the talent on offer in TV2’s hit new drama, Men In Trees.

Men In Trees is all about watching out for the signs. You wouldn’t drive wearing a blindfold, but for some reason many women continue to date with one on. Relationship coach Marin Frist (Anne Heche) knows what to look for, what to avoid and what will make her happy. As the many fans of her two best-selling books could tell you, we’re all in charge of our own happiness.

Marin’s personal happiness included the upcoming wedding to her ‘perfect man’. Unfortunately, like many people full of advice, she failed to apply it to herself. On her way to a speaking engagement in remote Elmo, Alaska, she learns that her fiance has cheated on her. The wedding plans are instantly over. Slapped in the face with personal failure, Marin is now stuck in a small town full of the one thing she’s not an expert on: available men.

As Marin meets the men in Elmo, where the ratio of males to females is 10 to one, she realises that she’ll have plenty of research material for a new book. Like her, these men feel stuck somewhere between the past and the future, and they too have experienced ups and downs in their quests for love and fulfillment.

The men that give Marin the material to tell the male side of relationships include, Buzz (John Amos), the pilot of the only airplane that flies in and out of Elmo; and Ben (Abraham Benrubi), the bartender whose secret past would shock his customers. Affable Patrick (Derek Richardson), an avid Marin Frist fan, runs the town’s only inn and radio station. And Alaskan native Jack (James Tupper) is a man of few words who is interested in protecting the environment and who, as events unfold, tries to protect Marin from herself.

There are not many women for Marin to befriend in Elmo, which is why her editor, Jane (Seana Kofoed), tries to lend long-distance support – but finds herself making an occasional trip to Elmo. Among the few other women Marin has become close to include Annie (Emily Bergl), a young woman who has long-followed Marin’s books for advice; Former rock musician Theresa (Sarah Strange), who is having an on-again, off-again relationship with Ben the bartender. And then there’s the town’s “working girl,” Sara (Suleka Mathew), who is also a single mother.

Marin learns that she has been living with her eyes closed for too long. Now that they’re finally open, she sees the amazingly beautiful world around her, and for the first time she has the chance to stop and breathe. Now if she could just get the raccoon out of her room at the inn, this place might be perfect. And as for the high ratio of men to women – while the odds may be good, the goods are odd…

Men In Trees screens Monday nights on TV2 at 9.30pm.

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