Sunday, September 30, 2007

Canada's sleeper hit: Trailer Park Boys

It appears that in the grand tradition of Kids in the Hall, American is once again ignoring a rich source of comedy gold coming out of Canada. Trailer Park Boys is a COPS-style mockumentary about the white trash who occupy the fictional Sunnyvale Trailer Park in Cold Harbor, Nova Scotia.

The show centers around two ex-cons named Ricky and Julian, as well as their friend and neighbor Bubbles. The trio spend most of the series coming up with ways to make money, both legally and illegally. They are joined by a cast of characters that would be very recognizable on Jerry Springer, including a stripper who is also an unwed mother, a white wannabe-rapper cum porn director, and a drunk ex-cop who serves as the park's supervisor and frequent villain.

Most of the time, the show's plot centers around a money-making scheme hatched by either Ricky or Julian. That being said, there is a great deal of story continuity between episodes and the relationship between all of the characters evolves quite a bit over time.

I imagine bet the main reason Trailer Park Boys never caught on in the U.S. is the show's heavy use of profanity. With prominently displayed episode titles, such as "F*ck Community College, Let's Get Drunk and Eat Chicken Fingers," "If I Can't Smoke and Swear I'm F*cked," and "Where the F*ck is Oscar Goldman?" you can probably imagine the version briefly aired by BBC America was more heavily censored than the average episode of Jerry Spinger.

Profanity aside, the writing on Trailer Park Boys is cleverest I've seen in years. It makes America's take COPS mockumentaries, Reno 911!, look like it was produced by monkeys.

For those who are interested, episodes of the show can be readily found on Google Video, but I would highly recommend getting the DVDs because they are packed with hilarious special features. I can't put it on my site because of the profanity, but here is the 30-second clip that first drew me to the show.


SG said...

Looks interesting -- I'm always fond of seeing the Canadians mock themselves. This Hour Has 22 Minutes was The Daily Show long before Jon Stewart got into the chair, and its successor The Mercer Report has some great scenes that unfortunately aren't nearly as funny if you're not familiar with wacky Canadian politics.

Seeing this show, I suppose they thought that setting it in Newfoundland would've laboured the joke a little too far. Newfie jokes are only good in small doses, after all.

Robot Economist said...

SG - I've heard a few Newfie jokes, so I know what you mean...