All images used in this review are from FOXFLASH, Fox’s press release site. The Great North ©2020 by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and Fox Media LLC. They are used with their permission, as they are publicity images.
Episode summary (spoilers): In the second episode (I don’t know why Fox keeps saying it is a special preview when it really is not), Ham becomes angsty when Judy explains to Honeybee about the Feast of Not People cake lady. At school, Judy offers her lucky pencil to Ham for his math quiz. But Ham tells Judy she won’t see Ham at lunch, because he wants to be alone. At the dinner table, Ham continues to be secretive around Judy. But when he accidentally turns on the TV, the local newscast is about to reveal the tasting of the new cake. When Ham starts to panic because of this, he finally reveals his secret, that he’s the new cake lady.
Ham reveals that he found the last cake lady’s order and he thought he could do one. But he reveals that it’s too hard. At work, Judy’s nervous to the point where she has been sipping her empty smoothie, according to her boss, for 17 minutes. Alyson tells Judy that Ham is growing up and has his own thing going on, and that Judy should just let him be. On the roof, Alanis tells Judy that she hates letting things go, and that she shouldn’t let him go because Ham might need the encouragement. When Judy goes to Ham’s room in the morning, he leaves a note, saying that he went to the town to let them know he failed them as the cake lady.
At the Feast of Not People Festival, Judy stops Ham right before he’s about to turn in his whisk. And she wants to help him. He agrees to let her help him. His first task is to go out into the cold without a shirt so he knows what it is like to “be an early settler.”
For the Daver Dash game, Wolf wants to be partners with Beef since his partner isn’t here this year. Beef agrees, but Wolf accidentally puts on his high-tech gloves wrong, causing them to be stuck to his hands. After taking them out, this leaves his hands all blistered and swolen. The night before the Daver Dash game, Moon teaches Honeybee to meditate to prepare. Turns out that he’s a pretty damn good meditator, as Honeybee is unable to lie there for that long. When Wolf and Beef make it to Honeybee and Moon, Wolf is worried that he has let his dad down, but Beef ends up being proud of Wolf because despite him crying, he hasn’t given up.
While driving to the Festival to deliver the Feast cake, the car breaks down. Wolf and Beef overhear their cries for help. To help Ham and Judy, they decide to give up the game and prepare for next year since they were so behind anyways. At the festival, Ham reveals his Feast cake, which is designed as a person. The townspeople are in awe, so Ham tells them that the best thing they can do with their fears is to face them. He cuts the first slice of cake and the townspeople love the cake.
While about to talk with Alanis that night, Ham pops in to thank Judy for her help. They do their very long secret handshake.
My thoughts: Fox made a last minute change in the scheduling because they got an NFL game on the 17th, so why not put another episode of The Great North, they thought. And they did. And it was pretty enjoyable. Although I really wish that Fox had aired Bless the Harts instead of Family Guy, since that show is long overdue for a new episode. That table read episode has been delayed twice now, and considering that BTH has more episodes in its current production cycle than Family Guy, you’d expect they want to take advantage of the NFL booster and air BTH. But no. Sometimes, they baffle me.
Fox’s Animation Domination seems to be the best its been in quite some time, and while we may never get shows like King of the Hill or American Dad! again, it’s nice to know they can still put out some good stuff, despite most of the 2010s being either mediocre or just really bad for Fox Animation. Remember Bordertown, High School USA, or Allen Gregory? I think those are better off left in the past.
First of all, I really enjoyed the sibling bond between Ham and Judy. It’s very similar to the siblings in Bob’s Burgers, and how they’re always there for each other no matter what happens. I really thought it was sweet seeing Judy help Ham conquer his fear and doing whatever it takes to help him. This is only a start, but it’s done pretty well, and has a lot of potential to expand into something that the Belcher kids have, an unbreakable bond that has lasted 200 episodes, and hopefully many more. It’s very evident that this is the start of viewers knowing their special bond, which was especially evident by their special handshake. That reminds me of Bob’s Burgers‘ recent premiere “Dream a Little Bob of Bob”, when Tina had trouble learning a secret handshake, which was similar to Judy and Ham’s. That “Look what Tina can do with her hands” song is still stuck in my head.
I also like how Beef still doesn’t give up on Wolf despite his childish nature. He doesn’t want to give up on him and that’s nice to see. I also cracked a smile several times while watching the episode. Wolf’s jokes about his penis were pretty funny, and they weren’t done in that shock humor type way like Paradise PD or Big Mouth and neither were they overdone a million times like Coach Ben in Hoops where all he can say is “Suck all (whatever number) of my dicks.” That’s the whole joke in that show and it got boring after two times. While that joke was low-brow comedy, I think it was pretty funny.
I also liked some individual scenes in this episode. Judy’s sipping of the empty drink made me smile. Moon being able to meditate for so long made me smile because he’s so damn good at it. I’m impressed. I also liked how he knew Honeybee was opening her eyes while he was meditating. The SpongeBob references of the show have also been giving me chuckles, since I love SpongeBob to this day, despite its obvious decline in quality. SpongeBob was a huge part of my childhood and while I don’t watch it as often anymore, mostly due to cutting cable, to see another comedy make references to it is just fun to me. Maybe I need to get CBS All Access and catch up. I should. After all, I’ll have more things to watch than just Star Trek: Lower Decks and maybe Kamp Koral, but we’ll see.
“Feast of Not People Adventure” is a solid second entry that tackles the classic sibling bond in a nice, yet sweet way. While I think I may have enjoyed “Sexi Moose Adventure” a little more, the character dynamics in this episode are more prevalent than the first. And that’s more true because the first episode wants viewers to get to know the characters, before jumping into relationships like this one did. This is the third episode in production order, so it’s nice to see some other character dynamics a little early. And we’re sure to get a treat with the Valentines day-themed episode, which is airing February 14. And that will be the “official” series premiere. Still, I think this show has a lot of potential and I can see it really picking up by episode 5 or so if it keeps it up. Animation Domination is sure to be a blast with five cartoons on the lineup, although that would be more reviewing for me. Still though, I have fun writing these, so it’s not really a problem at all. See you guys in 3 weeks for the third episode.
Overall rating: 7.5/10