Continuing our series of TV shows you need to see, it’s Netflix’s recent comedy acquisition, Trailer Park Boys.
Earlier this year, Netflix confirmed that it had picked up Trailer Park Boys to add to its impressive roster, as it continues to make Amazon Prime look like the streaming service equivalent of the DVD selection you find in the metal basket aisles at ALDI. Last Monday, Netflix declared via Twitter that all ten episodes of the new series will be available to stream and binge on from September 5th.
For those that are yet to sample the delights of Trailer Park Boys, it is a mockumentary series based in a Canadian trailer park called Sunnyvale. Creator Mike Clattenburg described the show as COPS, only from the criminals’ point of view. The series follows three humanoid shambles: Julian (John Paul Tremblay), Ricky (Rob Wells) and Bubbles (Mike Smith). Together they make up a trio of the worst, yet most entertaining career criminals that side of the Atlantic. Julian is the patriarch of the group, due to his many attributes, but the mere fact he lives in his own trailer, not a shed (a la Bubbles) or his car (a la Ricky), elevates him to a realm of respectability that his partners in crime can only dream of attaining.
Creator Mike Clattenburg described the show as COPS, only from the criminals’ point of view
Ricky is a loveable moron that chain smokes Cosco size joints and whose key motivation is trying to provide for his on/off girlfriend Lucy and their daughter Trinity. Bubbles loves his many kitties, has a semi-legitimate shopping cart restoration business and often acts as the conscience of the group. Together they concoct some of the most outlandish criminal ‘master plans’ ever conceived, but are forever hampered by the pursuing Trailer Park Supervisor/old soak Jim Lahey and his Assistant Trailer Park Supervisor/lover Randy Bobandy. It’s sort of like Top Cat, but with static homes and drugs.
The myopic ambition of the gang never extends beyond the trailer park. More often than not the big pay out they seek is merely to enable them to buy a trailer, or the trailer park, and retire. Their crude and often hilarious schemes are extraordinary examples of what you would call ‘out of the box’ thinking. In series seven, they manufacture a tunnel across the US-Canadian border in order to smuggle narcotics to Skid Row front man Sebastian Bach, using a model train stolen from Patrick Swayze.
Sunnyvale Trailer Park itself is enriched with loveable residents who are often drafted in (sometimes unwittingly) to assist the gang with their ridiculous schemes. The supporting characters add a great deal of depth to planet Sunnyvale with their own unique characteristics and quirks. J-Roc the local rapper, who hates people pointing out that he’s white, is occasionally called upon for either his music ability or low budget porn directing skills. Of course, there’s also the intellectually challenged Corey and Trevor, who desperately seek the approval of Julian, Ricky and Bubbles, always to their own detriment.
It’s truly impressive that, despite 13 years of the same Wiley Coyote routine, the show never ceases to amuse
To label the show as a mere stoner comedy would be tremendously unfair. Some may argue that the programme glamorizes drugs, guns and blah blah blah, but it’s made abundantly clear from the start that these characters are idiots. Their criminal ‘master plans’ are perpetually hampered by their own stupidity, as karma usually intervenes. The show also resists sneering at the lower classes – it is not aimed at the type of viewer that salivates over shows like Benefits Street or Big Fat Gypsy Wedding in order to justify their warped opinions of poor people. Instead, you may find yourself envying the sense of community within Sunnyvale.
This is because, despite all the ruckus, guns, liquor and weed, the characters actually have an endearing innocence and an understated benevolence that appears through the cracks of their hardened exteriors. With seven series, a film and multiple specials, the show has been running on and off for an impressive 13 years now. It’s truly impressive that, despite 13 years of the same Wiley Coyote routine, ie watching Julian, Ricky and Bubbles get so close to what they want only to royally fuck everything up, the show never ceases to amuse.
Read more: It’s time you watched Ashes to Ashes
All images: Netflix