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Do You Think TV Shows Based in Maine Re-enforce Stereotypes or Help Our Image?

Darren McCollester, Getty Images

We live, work and play in Maine. We know the state from living here, but have you wondered how those living outside the state see us? Why I ask this is because of Maine’s focus on the two TV shows, ‘North Woods Law’ and ‘Down East Dickering’.

I like both shows because I like to see Maine and comment when I see a location or road I’ve been to or on before, but do these shows depict Maine accurately or do they reenforce stereotypes?

I’ve lived in Maine almost 20 years and I can tell you what I thought of Maine before I moved here and now are a little different.

Before living here, I thought of Maine as a shopping destination specifically, Freeport and Kittery. As a kid I knew Old Orchard Beach was a place to go and have fun. All of my other knowledge and notions before living here was from the Bangor TV stations which we received in Halifax via cable as a kid. For example to me Maine was about local businesses and sports and of course the accents.

Some of those preconceived notions still hold true. Maine is a vacation destination, which includes camping, shopping and coastal scenery. What I see now that I didn’t see before is how independent we all are from what and how we think. Maine has a pride and a unity like nowhere I’ve seen before. The Ice Storm of 1998 showed how giving we all can be as a people in this state. We can be divided in our politics, but we’re also very close-knit and keep our friends and family close.

Now back to the television shows and how they represent Maine. I think on one hand it’s somewhat inaccurate. Yes there are people like the characters on ‘Down East Dickering’ and the people in trouble on ‘North Woods Law’ but that’s a small percentage of the population. I’ve met some people like those on the shows but have met many more who are not.

What do you think?

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