TV review

Trailer Park Boys (BBC America)

Trailer Park Boys is a popular Canadian sitcom/mockumentary focusing on the misadventures of ex-convicts living in a fictional 'Sunnyvale Trailer Park', located near Halifax, Nova Scotia. The show's creator and director is Mike Clattenburg, best known for his work on this and 'This Hour Has 22 Minutes'. Clattenburg is no stranger to CBC Television, having previously directed a number of productions for CBC, including 'Pit Pony', 'Street Cents', 'The Bette Show' and a variety of segments for 'Sesame Street'.

‘Trailer Park Boys’ has been aired on BBC America and is apparently among the network's highest rated Canadian series.

Well that's the nuts and bolts taken care of, but how did our deputy editor feel about the show?

"This Canadian comedy series has apparently been touted as ‘The Office’ from the other side of the pond.

Although it would be incredibly easy (not to mention overwhelmingly lazy) for me to agree with that sentiment, the fact is that “Trailer Park Boys” bears absolutely NO resemblance to Ricky Gervais’ comic masterpiece whatsoever, except that it is filmed in a “mockumentary” style. It actually reminded me more of Kevin Smith’s ‘Clerks’ and ‘Mallrats’ movies.

The reason I bring that up is because I feel it is something of an insult to both parties to compare them with each other at all. “The Office” was gut burstingly funny in a cringemaking “I can’t believe he just said that” kind of way, and those who didn’t find it at least a LITTLE bit funny must have been born without a funny bone.

“Trailer Park Boys” however, whilst amusing in places, is a far more tongue in cheek affair; in fact in some places it’s downright serious. I know there are some folk who believe this to be the funniest programme of all time, but to be honest, I don’t think I laughed out loud once.

That’s not to say I didn’t like it – I found it quite fascinating, and am certainly intrigued to see more. I think perhaps I need to get to “know” the characters before it has any kind of “laughing gas” effect on me.

The basic premise of the series, for those of you who’ve not seen it yet, centres around Ricky (Robb Wells) and Julian (John Paul Trembley) whose lives were shaped growing up in Sunnyvale Trailer Park. Both have just been released from jail after eighteen months inside, and most of the episodes focus on those two’s exploits since their return.

So, take my advice. Do NOT approach this as Canada’s answer to “The Office”. If you do, you are likely to hate it. Take it as an original work in its own right however, and you’ll take great pleasure in watching this pair’s antics and be left wanting more..
"

Tone E


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