A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
There's a strong streak of sweetness in this comedy, particularly in the way that family love is strong and central. The show clearly has a love for oddballs, and the humor is gentle and non-mocking.
Positive Role Models
A teenaged girl is the center of this show, which is rare for animated comedies. The Great North also has a Black main character, another animated sitcom rarity. Still, the gender balance tilts more male than female, which is more typical for the genre. Characters are heightened for silliness, but they're still lovable, supportive, and tolerant of one another; one member of the Tobin family is openly gay and accepted and loved by all.
Violence & Scariness
Violence is comic: a moose rampages through the Tobin house, there's a running joke about the family matriarch being eaten by a bear (she wasn't), Beef falls, breaks his leg, and learns a moral lesson.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Jokes can tend towards the rude: Judy jokes about a cute male mall employee whose tight pants "highlight his downstairs situation," two characters have a running gag centered around the number 69. Several characters are single and interested in romance; expect dating, flirting, kissing.
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Cursing is infrequent but expect "ass" and "son of a bitch" as well as stand-in words like "frigging" and "son of a beaver."
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Parents Need to Know
Parnets need to know that The Great North is an animated comedy centering on a family of quirky dreamers who live together happily in Alaska running a commercial fishing business. The show has a gentle tone, with silly characters who love, accept, and support each other. Though jokes can be a bit rude, they're not bitter or mocking. The diverse cast (particularly considering the standards set by most prime-time animated comedies) includes a Black main character and a gay teenaged boy, and the show's lead is a teenaged girl. Violence is infrequent and played for laughs: a family pretends to believe their matriarch was eaten by a bear; a moose rampages through a family's house, destroying sentimental keepsakes. Jokes can also be mature in a sexual sense, with gags about body parts and references to sex that might sail over young viewers' heads (but middle schoolers and up will get). Language is infrequent too: "ass" and "son of a bitch" are heard, but the cast also relies on sound-alike substitutes like "frigging" and "son of a beaver."
Is It Any Good?
Fans of Bob's Burgers will want to draw up a chair for this animated comedy, which boasts a similar gentle vibe and comedy mined from silliness and foibles instead of mockery. At first, the similarities to Bob's may make The Great North feel like a bit of an also-ran: both shows center on quirky families running a seaside business; the animation style is definitely from the same universe; the baby of each family even wears animal ears. But The Great North does something that puts a major shift on the types of stories it takes on -- teenage daughter Judy is the lead, not patriarch Beef, as we're primed to expect from shows like Bob's and Nick Offerman's comedic fame.
Slate, who here sounds more like her Missy character on Big Mouth than her conceited eighth grade Tammy in Bob's Burgers, is up to the challenge. Her Judy is brimming with confidence, loves her family, and is ready to take the world by the butt cheeks as she tells us in the show's pilot episode. And though her burgeoning independence initially cause some family fallout, it's all smiles and hugs by the show's end. And that's what viewers can expect from The Great North, some sharp jokes, gentle whimsy, and smiles and hugs by the end, with "A" plots that center on such things as school dances, a new job at the mall where a cute older boy works, and Wolf's hopes to turn the family's fishing boat into a tourist attraction. For a show set in a cold place, The Great North sure feels warm and comforting.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.