One of my favorite things—literally one of my very, very favorite things in life—is the absolutely genius Canadian comedy series, The Trailer Park Boys.
It’s a masterpiece. By the time I discovered the show—obviously 99% of Canadian television never makes it south—it had already reached the end of its seven series run on the Showcase network in 2007. My wife and I “binge-watched” the entire thing in like two weeks, watching as many as five of them in a row some nights. It was comedy crack, we couldn’t get enough.
When we got to the last one, I told her that I felt like I wanted to weep. She admitted to feeling the same way. It was like we’d lost old friends. It massively sucked not to have any more episodes of The Trailer Park Boys.
Things spiraled out of control from there…
Seriously, though, a year later at about 6pm on a night that we were having a dinner party, a friend of mine wrote to ask if I’d heard about “Say Goodnight to the Bad Guys,” the Trailer Park Boys 2008 Christmas special. We couldn’t scoot our guests’ asses out the door fast enough!
If you don’t know about The Trailer Park Boys, don’t feel unhip, because as we all know, there is an invisible forcefield around Canada that prevents most of her would-be cultural exports from getting out. Furthermore, consider yourself lucky—oh, that I would get to watch the whole thing again with fresh eyes. Now is a great time to discover The Trailer Park Boys as they’ve recently announced that they’re doing a new series (it’s already at the rough cut stage, apparently) which will be available at their SwearNet website. You can binge-watch the entire series (it’s on Netflix’s VOD) and then look forward to the new material. There’s even a new Trailer Park Boys film on the way, although frankly I’ve found their films not nearly as good as the TV series.
Speaking of long-form Trailer Park Boys, I noticed yesterday that the original low-budget 1999 feature-length “pilot” has been posted on YouTube. This is actually the very first TPB thing that we watched and it’s a good place to start, with a few caveats.
The film is shot in the “mockumentary” style and we meet coarser, less-lovable incarnations of Ricky and Julian. Julian has been told by a cheap psychic that he is about to die, and so he hires a documentary crew to follow him around so that the film made after his death will deter others from a life of crime.
Already, Julian’s trademark trope of ALWAYS having a drink in his hand makes its appearance, but he also frequently snorts coke off the back of his wrist, something that never happens in the TV version. Another not-so lovable plot line involves the boys’ ill-fated pet-killing-business (going by some of the YouTube comments, this seems to seriously piss off a lot of people who are seeing the 1999 film after they’ve watched the series. As someone with three pets who sleep in the bed, trust me, the “I’m not going to kill it, you kill it!” scene is fucking hilarious). The Bubbles character was not in the original feature, and without his “conscience” to temper the Boys’ out-of-control antics, this is the darkest display of the incompetent macho id as the series ever got.
I don’t want to oversell this. If the show is a 10/10, a perfect cut diamond of television comedy (and it most certainly is) then this is maybe a 6.5. If you love the show, you absolutely have to watch it, it’s a MUST, but be advised that it starts strong but starts to flag at a certain point. It does end strong, so I always tell people to maybe multi-task when they get to the slower parts and then when it picks up again, start to pay attention.
PS: The Trailer Park Boys are going to be making rare live appearances in Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, Portland and Chicago starting on the 18th. More information on SwearNet.
Posted by Richard Metzger |