Sunday, December 16, 2018

You Ain't Seen a Trailer Park Like This

by drtydz (writer), Los Angeles, January 11, 2007


Insult or intellectualize as you wish, the best comedy you’re probably not watching is now a Big Dirty movie and currently in its 6th season on Showcase TV in Canada.

What began independently in 1991 as writer/director Mike Clattenburg’s black & white faux-documentary on a couple of Canadian trailer park pet hitmen has grown, matured, and cured into a #1 comedy TV series and a Hollywood-influenced feature, minus the U.S. distributor. Respect is earned, and while I admit to being the first in line to cross-check a Canuck, steal their Loonies and drink their Molson Ice; I mighta had it wrong all along, eh (sorry, had to, there’s this rule in America. . .feel free to get yours on us, may I suggest . . .uh, well, one doesn’t really need suggestions these days, does one?).

The Trailer Park Boys has simultaneously insulted and exalted Canadians and Canadian culture alike. That’s how you know it’s good.

Julian, Ricky and Bubbles lead a true ensemble of co-dependent Sunnyvale Trailer Park residents as they stumble (most often from too much liquor or too much hash or too much weed and liquor and not enough hash) through life in the park. Although the name of the park seems steeped in irony, actually, no name is more befitting.

Disguised beneath F-bombs, waving guns, drinking liquor, growing weed, smoking weed, smoking hash, smoking cigarettes, eating chips, eating cheeseburgers, cheeseburger picnics, amateur porn, amateur break-dancing and even more amateur gangsta rap (no’amsayin’), is the story of family.

In the very first episode of the Showcase television series, Julian (writer/actor John Paul Tremblay) gets released from jail, saves Sunnyvale from the little gun of Cyrus, and provides his best friend, Ricky, with a place to live (albeit that place to live a car lovingly nicknamed The Shitmobile)—all the while enjoying a rum & coke, on the rocks, in a bucket.

By the fourth season, pompadour sporting, track suit wearing Ricky, the resident alternative horticulturist, has stopped bustin’ caps on barking dogs asses, sown a vast field of 6’ tall hybrid marijuana trees and embraced the job of Park Supervisor (as cover for only relatively petty illicit activities). Played deftly by series and movie co-writer Robb Wells, Ricky manages to inspire both outright mayhem and unwavering love and devotion. Ricky is the most complex of characters, or, rather, the character most dissected in psyche and ethos. As he progresses, so does the series.

Now for the irony—Bubbles. Clattenburg has positioned the audience to relate through eyes of the character with the worst vision. I know, deep—it’s not all smoking weed and kidnapping guitarists. You could call Bubbles (Mike Smith) the heart and soul of the show, the consciousness of the show—whatever—he is us, and us is he (or, at least, we should be). He loves and cares for all things, from stray cats to stray shopping carts, but never selfishly. “If You Love Something, Set It Free,” isn’t just the title of an episode, but a mantra.

Just like the story of any family, there’s just way too much for one sitting. But know, at Sunnyvale Trailer Park, there’s a place for everybody—J-Roc, Tyrone and the Roc Pile, CoryTrevor, Sara, Lucy, Trin, Barb, and, yes, even Mr. Lahey and Randy—it’s just that most times the characters don’t know where their place is, think they’re in the wrong place, think the wrong place is the right place or maybe they’re just too drunk and stoned to find it. Sober, drunk, or stoned, those in the US are only going to be able to find it on the internet and DVD.

About the Writer

drtydz is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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