RECORD STORE TALES
Music, Movies, and more
The final part in my series of Trailer Park Boys reviews, as we gear up for the debut of Seasons 8 & 9!
Part one: Seasons 1 & 2
Part two: Season 3
Part three: Season 4
Supplimental: “Dear Santa Claus, Go Fuck Yourself”
Part four: Season 5
Part five: Season 6
Part six: Season 7
Part seven: “Say Goodnight to the Bad Guys”
“Say Goodnight to the Bad Guys”, the “final” Trailer Park Boys episode before the big movie Countdown to Liquor Day, is actually one of my least favourite episodes (right down there with “Steve French” and “Oscar Goldman”). A one hour special tacked on after Season 7, “Say Goodnight to the Bad Guys” follows Ricky, Julian and Bubbles after their big haul at the end of the last season. It took two years to finally do a DVD/Blu-ray release. To date, this is the only Trailer Park Boys episode released to Blu-ray. The movies, of course, are available on Blu.
Thought that the boys had finally made it rich, and everything was sweet? You’d certainly think so after seeing the hunky-dory last episode in Season 7. This is not the case! Turns out Julian has hidden the money, until such time as he feels it’s safe to distribute it. Ricky’s Shitmobile does have some sweet new rims, but it is now missing a tire. Old recurring nemesis Sam Losco knows about the cash, and with the help of Barb Lahey, finds out where it’s hidden. Before you can say “shit tides”, Ricky, Julian and Bubbles are broke once again, and Lahey is back on the liquor.
Another scheme is hatched, this time revolving around a Country & Western dance. Can the boys make a little cash, or will Lahey win yet again? One thing for certain: you can count on some dirty dancing, backstabbing schemes, and Philadelphia Collins eating balogna sandwiches. That I promise you.
Look for cameos by The Tragically Hip (specifically Gordon Downie and Bob Baker). Blu-ray bonus features are sparse either way, just some behind-the-scenes stuff. It does come with a cool Bubbles-as-Scarface mini poster though. That would look cool in your man-cave.
Unfortunately “Say Goodnight to the Bad Guys” did not feel like a proper episode. It felt like an afterthought. It was revealed that a full season was intended, but all those ideas were distilled down into one episode. Good thing the boys will be back on TV this fall.
Part six in my series of Trailer Park Boys reviews, as we gear up for the debut of Seasons 8 & 9!
Even though it’s the most different from the classic, early seasons, the 7th and final season of Trailer Park Boys may be my favourite. It featured a lot of changes, buit the show seemed revitalized by them.
Gone are Cory and Trevor, never to return (well, Trevor at least). In their stead are some new chracters: Tom Collins, the two “alien Trevors”, and expanded roles for Philadelphia and Jacob Collins. (Yes, apparently they are related! Nice ret-con.)
Ricky and Julian have roped Bubbles into helping them with their meat stealing business. Things go bad for Bubbles when he’s left in a freezing meat locker. (“Just pretend it’s winter,” says Rick. “Pretend you’re making snowmen out of meat.”) Bubbles decides never to work with the boys again, and then heads down to the United States with Ray (who is back on the road) selling scrap metal. Things go bad yet again when Ray is arrested for picking up two prostitutes (“friends of the road”), with Bubbles left hanging without a ride.
True friends Ricky and Julian head down to Maine to rescue Bubs, and to cheer him up, take him to a model train convention. There they meet Sebastian Bach (Skid Row) who wants to buy some of Ricky’s dope. A plan is set in motion, combining Bubbles’ skill with model trains and the Bach plan.
In other twists, Randy’s been messing around, and Lahey is still a cop, albeit things didn’t exactly work out for him the way he wanted them to. Jacob is obsessed with Julian, who realizes that he and his two “alien Trevor” buddies will make perfect “jail cover”. When Conky shows up, things get fucky.
Beefed up to 10 episodes, the 7th season was a change of pace. A fresh direction was much needed after the 6th season, when it seemed Clattenberg and Co. were just treading water a bit. Having Sebastian Bach appear in multiple episodes was a stroke of genius, trumping the previous one-off with Alex Lifeson. Bach is hilarious.
The Rickyisms, amazingly, might be even more clever and off the wall this time. Another well written season, the absurdity of this show has been taken to an entirely new level. Smuggling dope across the border via a model train? It’s so stupid that you can’t help but laugh. All this leads up to a hilarious cross-border confrontation.
Sometimes a show suffers when new characters are needlessly added. I don’t think that happened here. Beefing up the characters of Jacob and Phil, as well as introducing Tom Collins, was exactly what this show needed before it seemed like it was on repeat. Sometimes a show needs a shot of new blood after this many seasons, and Trailer Park Boys was very lucky to have the entire original cast intact for 6 whole seasons plus a feature film. In addition, this season wraps up in a nice neat little package like never before. You may even get warm fuzzies. But will it last?
No, it wasn’t to last. One last episode was tacked on (“Say Goodnight To The Bad Guys”) which we will talk about next time. The jail-freedom-jail-freedom cycle never ends!
Yeah, season 7 is probably my favourite. Not a weak episode in the bunch, and a great story arc.
Part 5 in my series of Trailer Park Boys reviews, as we gear up for the debut of Seasons 8 & 9!
Season 6 of Trailer Park Boys, that Canadian “mockumentary” program about three lovable ex-cons who can’t stay out of trouble, shall forever be remembered for two simple words:
Yes, piss jugs. Seems that Ricky’s father Ray (Barrie Dunn) is still living in his old truck cab, and can’t break the old trucker habit of peeing in jugs. “Way of the road boys,” he says, even though his truck cab doesn’t move an inch.
Piss jugs of varying hues of yellow and orange inhabit every episode of the brief but hilarious season 6. There are only six episodes once again, but five of those six are classic. (The only one I didn’t enjoy as much was “Where in the Fuck is Oscar Goldman”.)
As for this season’s story arc: Randy has finally dumped Mr. Lahey for his out of control drinking. Randy then finds a new love in a surprising place, while Lahey straightens himself out. But now he pretends to be drunk, to ensnare Ricky, Julian and Bubbles. His plan? Send them back to prison again, of course. His logic is that if the Boys see him constantly blasted out of his tree, their guard will be down. It will be easier to catch them committing crimes, which is an inevitability. In the meantime, the Boys have started some businesses of their own: “Kittyland Lovecenter” for Bubs, “Garbageland” for Ricky (basically selling stolen goods and garbage), and “Cory and Trevor’s Convenients Store”.
Things get fucky by the fifth (and best) episode: “Halloween 1977″. Seems Halloween of ’77 was the night that Lahey got fired from the police force, kicking off his drinking problem. And he’s just found an old home movie from that night, proving he did nothing wrong and didn’t deserve to be kicked off the force. I’m sure it won’t surprise you that very young versions of Ricky, Julian and Bubbles may have had something to do with it.
Season 6 is more of what you love about Trailer Park Boys. After the somewhat darker Season 5, the 6th season takes you back to a more familiar setting. In a way, this season was treading water a bit, with many familiar story elements returning (Lahey quitting drinking, Randy leaving him again). By the end of the season however, things have been drastically shaken up, which will lead right into Season 7. Stay tuned….
Part 4 in my series of Trailer Park Boys reviews, as we gear up for the debut of Seasons 8 & 9!
Just when they made enough money to buy the park and retire for life, Ricky, Julian and Bubbles are in for some nasty surprises in Season 5. Yes, the boys are down on their luck a bit in season 5, but it is no less funny or well written than the rest of the series.
Corey and Trevor, as revealed at the end of Season 4, ripped off the boys. Freshly released from jail and expecting to be rich beyond dreams of avarice, Ricky’s none too happy about the double-cross. Worse, it doesn’t take long for them to end up homeless. And if that wasn’t enough, Cyrus is back in town. And he’s sitting on a lot of hash that is just too tempting to Julian.
New characters include Terry & Dennis or “the flappy bird brothers”, according to Bubbles, due to their, errr…birds hanging out of their bathrobes all the time. Terry & Dennis have teamed up with Cyrus, and now the boys have three foes to deal with. If that wasn’t enough, Lahey’s drunker than ever. This time he doesn’t want Ricky to go back to jail — he wants Ricky dead.
Like previous seasons, Season 5 is loaded with hilarious dialogue and absurd situations. The ever quotable Ricky has almost been topped by his dad, Ray, who plays a bigger role than ever. As Ray might say, “that’s the way she fucking goes, boys.” Which is pretty much the theme of this season. You win some, you lose some. The way she fuckiing goes.
“Holy fuck! A space suit! Dee-cent!”
My favourite moment is in the episode called “Jim Lahey Is A Fuckin’ Drunk And He Always Will Be”. In this one, Bubbles gets a toy rocket, and the boys try to cheer him up by playing “space”. Didn’t you place “space” when you were kids? I know you did! Maybe without the space weed, but still.
Clocking in at a generous 10 episodes (which is the most ever for a season of TPB…so far), Season 5 adds lots of new wrinkles. Some fans didn’t like the way season 5 went, and my response to that is that if you don’t change up the formula on a show like this, your show is doomed to jump the shark. Instead, Mike Clattenburg and Co. have chosen to make things less comfortable for the boys and see how things pan out. Funnier than ever, is how!
Five stars, as always. Not a dud episode in the bunch, and actually some of the series’ best.
RECORD STORE TALES Part 306: Happy Birthday to Me
Today is my birthday!
20 years ago…20 YEARS AGO!…I was hired at the old Record Store. It wasn’t 20 years ago today; I don’t remember the exact date. But it was mere days before my birthday, two weeks at best. I was given some money for my birthday, and I remember the exact CD that I bought on July 19, 1994. It was Rush. Chronicles.
So here’s a confession, something I’ve never admitted to here before. Privately yes, but not publicly. That Rush Chronicles that I bought 20 years ago today was my first Rush album. Ever.
I was pretty late to the Rush party. I didn’t really start to pay attention to them until the 1990′s. Growing up in the late 1980′s, in my age group, none of my friends liked Rush. As far as I could tell, nobody liked Rush. They simply were not in my hemispheres. I had seen their music videos on Much, but for the most part I didn’t like what I saw. A funny looking guy, keyboards, a guitar player wearing a tie…I overlooked Rush.
I did like one song. “Subdivisions”. That song was undeniably cool, with that slick synth part as the main hook. This song, I dug. Way more than “Tom Sawyer”. Way more than “Red Barchetta”. Definitely more than “Time Stand Still”, which I considered an embarrassment at the time. “Subdivisions” stuck with me, through highschool, through university. I decided I needed to get it, so I finally started exploring the Rush repertoire. And I started with Chronicles.
I would have got it sooner, but I didn’t have the money. Now I had money, a staff discount, and access to hundreds of used CDs in great condition. I had arrived in my own musical paradise!
I was soon enthralled with Chronicles. Many songs that were new to me were quickly becoming favourites: the new-to-CD live version of “What You’re Doing”. The silly but instantly likable “The Trees”. Most of all though, “Red Sector A” from Grace Under Pressure. For a brief while, this song unseated “Subdivisions” as my favourite Rush track.
On this day, I’m going to extend a hearty virtual handshake to the man who gave me a chance at that job, the owner-founder of the store. He did it just because he knew my dad, and my dad asked him to help me out. He didn’t have to, he didn’t even ask for a resume. He just asked me to come down one afternoon and talk. That one talk irreversibly changed my life, and I look at that moment as the end of one life and the beginning of another. It was one of those proverbial turning points.
Thank you. Now, I’m off to party!