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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