April 13, 2012

Justify My Netflix: Trailer Park Boys

(Like many Netflix customers, I too can get quite lax with the timely watching and returning of my movies, which of course defeats the entire purpose of having a flat-rate rental plan in the first place. To combat that, I am now writing standardized mini-reviews of each and every movie I end up watching through Netflix, both instantly and on DVD. Don't forget, all previous 'Justify My Netflix' reviews can be found on CCLaP's main movie page.)

Trailer Park Boys

Today's movie: Trailer Park Boys, 2001-2007 (Amazon | IMDB | Netflix | Wikipedia)

Why I added it to my queue: Because I've heard nothing but good things about this obsessively loved Canadian cult television show from the early 2000s; and with the entire run now available for instant streaming at Netflix, I thought it was finally time this year to sit down and watch all 55 episodes.

The reality: Oh. My. Freaking. GOD. Well, rest assured that every single good thing you've heard about this show is true; and I have to admit, for the last three months or so, the undisputed high point of my day has been the moment I allowed myself to sit down and watch yet another episode, stringing the run along to extend the pleasure that much further. And that's for a whole variety of reasons that combined together in this particular case into a perfect storm of laugh-out-loud comedy: there's the simple premise, for example, that this is supposedly a reality show about a group of lovable losers and perpetual criminals living in a trailer park in far rural Nova Scotia; there's both the strength and the uniqueness of the characters themselves, whether it's the cat-loving autistic shopping-cart thief Bubbles, the alcoholic former cop and now park supervisor Jim Lahey, his cheeseburger-obsessed assistant and sometimes homosexual lover Randy, the nerdy white gangsta rapper J-Roc, the two young lackeys Cory and Trevor who eventually become literal human pets, and a whole lot more; there's the inventive nature of each season's plotting, where we open each year with our protagonists getting out of jail and concocting yet another scheme to get rich quick, just to have the plans blow up in their faces by the last episode each year right in time to get dragged back to jail; there's the impeccably filthy dialogue, the pure wackiness of some of the adventures, the sometimes unbelievable things they manage to get away with on a network television show; and then there's the fact that this eventually became one of the highest rated Canadian shows in that country's history, inspiring a series of brilliantly twisted cameos from existing celebrities (such as heavy-metal musician Sebastian Bach, for a good example, playing basically a cartoonish version of himself in season seven, but who happens to be a mid-level dope dealer on the side and also a competitive model-train collector locked in mortal combat with actor Patrick Swayze). I mean, I could go on and on like this, but hopefully you see my point; that what could've been a cheap and groan-inducing Cops parody (which indeed it actually started out as, via a series of indie shorts in the 1990s by series creator Mike Clattenburg which eventually got him a pitch meeting at the networks) turned out instead to be literally one of the funniest television shows I've ever seen in my life. It's almost a crime that this has never gotten picked up by some basic cable channel here in the US, given that it's become a commercial hit in almost a dozen other countries; and fans of smart, dirty, convoluted and extremely funny comedy would be wise to seek out these DVD sets as soon as possible. "Knock knock!" "Who's there?" "F-ck off!"

Strangest piece of trivia: Each season of this show was filmed in a different real Nova Scotia trailer park.

Worth your time? Absolutely

Filed by Jason Pettus at 1:59 PM, April 13, 2012. Filed under: Movies | Reviews |