Sunday, February 28, 2021

REVIEW: 'The Great North' - Judy Pushes Her Father to Address His Fear of Romance in 'Romantic Meat-Based Adventure'

FOX's The Great North - Episode 1.04 "Romantic Meat-Based Adventure"

Worried that she's inherited Beef's fear of romance, Judy forces her dad to get back out there by attending a meat auction and singles mixer in the hopes of bringing home a new love, and also maybe some sausages.

In 2020, the television industry aired 493 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of FOX's The Great North.

"Romantic Meat-Based Adventure" was written by Wendy Molyneux & Lizzie Molyneux-Logelin and directed by Carlos Ramos & Paul Scarlata

The Tobin kids all care about their father, Beef. They worry about him too. They recently got him to admit that their mother didn't die in a strange accident. She left the family and is never coming back. That was significant progress for the family. It ensured that they didn't have to be afraid of changes in their lives. They can still be close even if their lives evolve to include more things. And yet, these kids can sometimes be more aware of how Beef is coping with the world instead of how they are dealing with things. That's a fascinating dynamic. Judy doesn't want to dissect her fear of kissing. She pinpoints it to one traumatic incident. She has romanticized the story to a certain degree. It's absolutely horrifying. Everyone knows exactly what she's talking about when she mentions the hair incident. It's easier to hold onto that fear. It's terrifying to try again. She doesn't want to get hurt or embarrassed. Beef feels the same way. His children have to coerce him into going out to a singles mixer. Moreover, they fear how he'll behave once he is actually there. They don't want him to get hurt again either. The fear of him dying all alone is more powerful though. Plus, they have agreed to take chainsawing classes for 32 hours. They reasonably want some return on their investment. They want to know that this sacrifice of their time will actually help him in a meaningful way. It ultimately does. He doesn't particularly need their coaching for how to act on a date. It's not a strange concept to him. It's simply been a long time since he has done it. He was stuck in his life because he too romanticized the relationship he once had. That marriage produced all of these wonderful children. They are his life. They will always be there for him. As such, there is no real fear that he will ever be lonely. Judy just happens to be projecting her own issues onto him instead of addressing them. Again, that's a relatable impulse. This family can help one another. They just have to know exactly what's going on. Sure, it's dangerous for Moon to jump out of a tree to help a bird learn how to fly. It's still behavior that is encouraged by the family. They offer support at the hospital. That incident doesn't immediately cause everyone to go back to the safety of what they have always known either. No bones are broken. It disrupted their evening for a short bit of time. Before then, Beef was more than capable of making a connection. He knows how to interact with Dell. They have similar interests. Her rejection only comes because of the baggage she brings to any relationship. Every partner she has ever been with has died. That's grim and insane. But it also offers the right lesson to Beef. He just needed this push in order to feel more confident again. That's all that was truly needed for this night out to be a success. Similarly, Judy needs a push to get over her same fears. She and her dad are close. That doesn't mean they genetically suffer in the same ways. They are simply extreme people who like things the way that they are. They overreact out of fear. It makes them valuable to have on your side. They will fight for the people they love. That is completely unconditional. That is sweet and charming. And yes, the episode concludes with Judy kissing Steven. It may seem like a minor victory in the grand scheme of things. But it also highlights how the actions of parents impact their children. Judy never related the hair incident to her mom leaving. And yet, both happened around the same time. As such, she was doubly traumatized. That too informs so much about her fears. She worries about what the future might hold and how others will react. That makes it easier for her to make a fool of herself instead of making that commitment. But again, she has a family that offers nothing but loving support. It contributes to the winning charm of this series. The stories so far haven't exactly been uproariously funny. And yet, they all come across as incredibly genuine and sentimental. That too offers a unique and wonderful tone that wraps the viewer up with the same kind of emotional nuance that this family frequently expresses with one another.