Sunday, March 14, 2021

REVIEW: 'The Great North' - Judy's Fantasy of Happiness Conflicts with Her Lone Moose Reality in 'Pride & Prejudance Adventure'

FOX's The Great North - Episode 1.06 "Pride & Prejudance Adventure"

Judy asks her crush to the most romantic dance of the school year, not realizing he's got eyes for someone else. Meanwhile, Beef's brother, Brian, comes up for a visit from Anchorage.

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.

"Pride & Prejudance Adventure" was written by Charlie Kelly and directed by Neil Graf

It takes a specific individual to settle in Lone Moose, Alaska. So far, the show has done a wonderful job in highlighting the simple pleasures of this community. It's not the place for everyone though. The Tobin family loves living here. They certainly express their opinions about people who would rather move elsewhere or embrace some other activities. However, that never comes from a place of animosity or hatred. This life is happy and meaningful for all of them. It's difficult sometimes for them to see outside of that and reflect on someone else's perspective in this world. They eventually get there though. They are completely accepting of whatever brings someone else happiness. That is at the core of the show. Sometimes, it certainly takes awhile for them to get to that point. It eventually comes though. They refuse to stand in the way of someone else's happiness. The world of Lone Moose is specific. As the opening song suggests, it's a place where people can breathe the air, catch some fish and gaze at a bear. Those are proud declarations. They don't bring everything pleasure through. Of course, everyone should want to be able to breathe fresh air. That contributes to this place seeming like paradise. And yet, that word has different meanings to different people. Others can be happier elsewhere. That's perfectly fine and acceptable too. It doesn't diminish the connections they still have in Lone Moose. The world is simply more than just this one location with family. Moreover, the show has also highlighted the universal appeal of this place and the conflicts that define the family's lives together. This location is unique. There are so many relatable situations and stories though. Nothing is all that different just because this family lives in Alaska. This place is important to them. They are still just like every other family. They face the pressure to fit in and find love. They have anxiety about how their family feels about them. All of the Tobins are supportive of Judy's plans to ask Crispin out to the Thomas Wintersbone Memorial Ladies' Choice Dance. They've heard her talk about this crush. They hope to give her the courage to ask him out. She is still nervous though. Moreover, the reality of this life is much different than the fantasy she has created in her head. Crispin is much more interested in Ham than Judy. The three of them hang out. It takes a long time for Judy to see what's actually going on. When she sees Ham and Crispin kissing, she is absolutely devastated. It's a moment of selfishness because this story has been taken away from her. Her brother has betrayed her. And yet, that would also suggest that she wants someone to live a fantasy instead of their true selves. She doesn't want that. No one should be forced into denying their individuality. This town has a lot of that pain in its history though. The namesake for the dance was a gay man who couldn't live openly. He had to prove himself worthy to a person who didn't matter just so he could enter into a sham marriage. It's horrifying. It shouldn't be celebrated. But that's the story the town has passed down for years. It makes it easier to accept even though it's fundamentally a tragedy. Death is how it all ends. It's not a happy ending of true love. That sheer concept is enough to entertain though. People refuse to dig deeper into the history. That must be done in order to truly fulfill what Thomas' life and legacy is. His identity was taken away from him for years. It's obvious to anyone listening to the story. It just takes a willingness to accept and engage with the truth. Similarly, Brian loves his brother Beef. He hates to disappoint him. And yet, his life is elsewhere. He has found love and passion through selling hot tubs. It's not a business Beef understands at all. It's a completely different life. One that has fundamentally changed the relationship he has with his brother. It's still a bond defined by love though. That has never changed. It was never in danger of doing so either. It makes things awkward for a moment. That's okay because of the conversation that eventually occurs. That is fulfilling in a way that brings this family together despite their differences. They each care about the happiness of each other. That makes them a perfect family unit despite the dysfunction that always seems to enter their lives.