Sunday, March 7, 2021

REVIEW: 'The Great North' - Judy Grows Increasingly Competitive When Coaching a Curling Team in 'Curl Interrupted Adventure'

FOX's The Great North - Episode 1.05 "Curl Interrupted Adventure"

Beef enlists Judy to help coach his adult curling team. Meanwhile, Wolf tries to turn the family fishing boat into a sunset cruise for lovers.

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.

"Curl Interrupted Adventure" was written by Matt Lawton and directed by Joel Moser

Judy is insanely competitive. It's a quality that the rest of the family fears as it pertains to curling. They know that they can't mention the sport to her at all. That would only inevitably lead to her once again being consumed by these impulses that inflict harm on those around her. And yet, Beef wants to spend some quality time with his daughter. That is important to him. Curling once brought them so much joy together. He knows that her behavior is a problem. But he also wants to believe that things have changed in the last year. He too wants to fondly embrace what they once had together. Things can be different this time. Judy will be coaching instead of playing. Ground rules are established to prevent her from going out of control. A release is even assigned for how she can let out her aggression should it rise up once more. It seems like Beef is being proactive about the situation. He doesn't want to deny this time with her playing a sport they both love. They acknowledge that past behavior can't be encouraged. And yet, the situation still spirals to that inevitable conclusion. That was abundantly clear the moment that Judy and Beef started singing about what this potential coaching team could do together. To Beef, it's all about the joy and fun of the experience. For Judy though, it's all about defeating one's opponents and intimidating everyone around her. She destroys the confidence of the rest of her team. They are terrified and broken because of her. She proclaims that she is better. And yet, the narrative has overwhelming stated so far that she has extreme emotional reactions to so many elements of her life. That defines her position in the overall story. It can be used to great comedic effect as well. At first, it seemed like she was the timid teenager struggling to break free of the world she has always known to embrace new possibilities. She didn't want to upset her father with the changes she wanted to make. Of course, Beef is incredibly accepting of every interest his children have. He wants them to be happy. Sure, change is still difficult for him. However, he knows that this family will always be there for him. He shares the same sentiment. As such, nothing can ever really threaten the bonds they share. They simply have to be careful of how they push these extremes in each other. Beef knows it's dangerous to bring Judy back to curling. He does it anyway because he too wants to win. It's not everything for him though. He knows it's just an amateur competition for people over the age of 36. The team is not trying to win a major championship and bring glory to the town. Those are the stakes for Judy. She demeans everyone for the failures she sees. She lashes out because she boasts of her great prowess in the sport. It's insane watching her explode. It reveals a new voice within her that is scary and daunting. It further contextualizes who she is in this world. She feels everything with a fierce passion. That isn't always a good thing. She can be obsessive and hold onto things too tightly. She does that with curling like she has with so many other things. Stepping away from the sport doesn't mean shunning her father either. They simply need to find a new hobby to enjoy together. Improv is the first attempt. It may not be the final selection. But it shows genuine investment in further bonding. Elsewhere, Wolf's grand idea of turning the family fishing boat into a tourist business mostly flops immediately. And yet, it too is a story defined by him trying to share the majesty of the Alaskan landscape with as many people as possible. It sparks a visceral reaction within him. He can't limit that just to himself. He isn't selfish in that way. His family helps build up this business so he can pursue his big dream. In the end, they make a connection even though it doesn't come with any financial benefits or suggestion of great success. The boat will still primarily be used for fishing. But once more, Wolf gets to share a piece of himself with the people he loves. They gladly accept that and also marvel at the beauty they get to experience whenever they want. They may not know how to execute the big plans they have in their lives. Their support system remains incredibly strong and charming so far. That too allows the show to gain more confidence with each passing episode.