Another pop culture curling moment struck U.S. television screens earlier this month.
Nick Offerman’s animated series The Great North airs Sunday nights on Fox TV, and features an Alaskan family—Beef is the name of Offerman’s dad character—living life way up north, presumably near either Anchorage, Barrow or Fairbanks.
Those are the locations of curling facilities in Alaska, and the show went there in episode five, Curl Interrupted Adventure.
Online clips shows Beef planning to reunite on the curling ice with his daughter Judy, a former accomplished but maniacally high-strung player who promises to not humiliate and mock opponents, become deranged, nor morph into a “spawn of satan.”
The premise reminds us of a 2009 episode of the U.S. sitcom How I Met Your Mother, in which one of the show’s female characters goes wild—i.e. “Canadian”— at a Manhattan bar with the Canadian national women’s curling team, and wakes up in a destroyed hotel room in Toronto.
There was a second mention of curling on that show, and in 2011 we wrote about both.
The Great North’s curling episode has received kudos online, and from a variety of perspectives. Some have praised the animators’ commitment to semi-accurate depictions of brushing. Others, like U.S. national team member Chris Plys—currently isolating in Calgary in preparation for Team Shuster’s upcoming world championship appearance—appreciate the nuanced touches, which include a reference to Swedish curling legend Anette Norberg.
It may never overshadow The Simpsons’ infamous Boy Meets Curl episode, but Curl Interrupted Adventure could hold a permanent place of affection in curling’s pop culture appreciation drawer.
The Great North is available on FOX in the U.S., City-TV in Canada and Disney+ Hotstart in India. The show is also available to stream on Hulu, and can be purchased to view on YouTube and iTunes.