conky

DVD REVIEW: Trailer Park Boys – The Complete Seventh Season

Part six 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

TPB7_0001TRAILER PARK BOYS – The Complete Seventh Season (2007 Alliance Atlantis)

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.

5/5 stars

DVD REVIEW: Trailer Park Boys – The Complete Sixth Season

Part 5 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

TPB6_0001TRAILER PARK BOYS – The Complete Sixth Season (2006 Alliance Atlantis)

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:

“Piss jugs”.

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”.

TPB6_0004Things 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….

4/5 stars

DVD REVIEW: Trailer Park Boys – The Complete Fifth Season

Part 4 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”

TPB5_0001TRAILER PARK BOYS – The Complete Fifth Season (2005 Alliance Atlantis)

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.

5/5 stars

DVD REVIEW: Trailer Park Boys – The Complete Fourth Season

Part 3 in my series of Trailer Park Boys reviews! This one features BRIAN VOLLMER of HELIX!

Part one: Seasons 1 & 2
Part two: Season 3

TRAILER PARK BOYS – The Complete Fourth Season (2004 Alliance Atlantis)

Clattenberg and Co. decided to shake things up a little bit in season 4, and alter a successful formula. This is something they would not be afraid to do in later seasons, usually quite successfully. Season 4 features some of the Trailer Park Boys‘ all-time best episodes, included S04E05 aka “Conky”.

As revealed at the end of season 3, Lahey & Randy, as well as Julian, have ended up in jail. This is quite a switch from the way things usually go (Julian in jail with Ricky) at the end of a season.  Ricky (!) is now the Trailer Park Supervisor, and Bubbles his assistant. They spend their days playing hash hockey (which, according to Sarah, is all they do). Ricky also has been using his position for illegal credit card scams, stealing the park money, and other greasy deals.  He’s also been growing dope on an unprecedented scale.

Things for awry for Ricky when Julian, Randy and Lahey all get out early.  Ricky has quarantined several trailers (including Julian’s) behind a giant wall, where he is growing all his dope. J-Roc, T, and new addition DVS (aka “DVD”) are on board with Rick to help sell his dope at the Snoop Dogg concert. Lahey and Randy, now homeless, are powerless to do anything. That doesn’t stop them from trying….

While I won’t spoil all the twists and turns of this season, I will tell you some of the highlights.

1. Conky. The greatest character in the show’s history makes his debut (a goddamn puppet at that).  It might be the best episode of the show’s entire run.  It has certainly become a fan favourite.

2. The Green Bastard (from “parts unknown”). Bubbles gets to live his dream of being a wrestler, in a match over who gets to control the park!
3. Rita MacNeil. Sure, Ricky could have been nicer to Rita and her band, but harvesting dope is a stressful thing. Rita is obviously a good sport and a cool woman for appearing on the show as herself.
4. Bubbles gets extra credit for coining the word “Samsquantch” (Sasquatch).

GREEN BASTARD

Unfortunately this season contains one hiccup.  The episode “If You Love Something, Set It Free” (aka “Steve French”) isn’t that shithot.  In this one, Bubbles befriends a mountain cat addicted to dope.

DVD extras are your usual fare: deleted and alternate scenes galore. The most valuable cut scene was a cameo by Brian Vollmer of Helix. All Ricky wants is for Vollmer to give him an R!  This occurs near the beginning of the season, and it would have been damn cool had it remained in the aired episode.

Pick up season 4 of Trailer Park Boys and find out just what happens when you leave Ricky in charge of anything!

5/5 stars

Season 4 was followed by the 2004 Christmas Special “Dear Santa Claus, Go Fuck Yourself”.  Since I already reviewed this a while back, you can just clicky clicky to check out my review on that essential episode!

REVIEW: Trailer Park Boys Xmas Special w/ Conky Puppet, Dope and Liquor Editions! With Video! (DVD)

TRAILER PARK BOYS Xmas Special  (Conky Puppet, Dope and Liquor Editions)

Upon first release in 2004, I bought the Trailer Park Boys Xmas Special.  It was a compulsory purchase.  This excellent show, one of the funniest on TV, had yet to issue the special as a part of a box set.  Plus it came with a Conky puppet!  Fans of the show know Conky to be the evil but hilarious puppet who has a tendency to take over Bubbles’ brain.  Surely, “Conky” is one of the two best episodes of the show.  The other would be “Closer to the Heart” featuring Alex Lifeson.

See the video to check out LeBrain’s Conky puppet!

I remember Tom used to put the Conky puppet on top of his Christmas tree!

Then, in 2006, I found the reissued “Dope and Liquor Edition” at a store for $5, and re-bought it, even though I already own the version that came with the Conky puppet. Why?

1. Because I’m crazy like that and I love TPB.
2. Because it was cheap enough to warrant the second purchase.
3. Because the previously unreleased (on DVD) “Trailer Park Boys 101” special as hosted by Alex Lifeson was worth it to me.

This double-length episode (actually titled, “Dear Santa Claus, Go Fuck Yourself”) on its own is one of the best the series ever produced. Taking place in 1997, well before the fictional adventures of Ricky, Julian, and Bubbles were documented, this episode reveals a lot of Trailer Park Boys backstory and delivers a lot of laughs.

Ricky is bailed out of jail on Christmas Eve to help Julian with his present stealing racket. Ricky’s unhappy because Christmas is the best time to be in jail (“12 days of partying,” Ricky says). It doesn’t take long for Mr. Lahey to get wise to the theft scheme, and with his new friend Randall in tow, he promptly gets back on the liquor. In the meantime, sidekicks Jamie and Tyrone discover rap music and marijuana, while Ricky and Julian use “nerds” Corey and Trevor to help steal Christmas trees.

Some of the funniest dialogue in the show’s history was right here in the Christmas special. Ricky mistaking God for Santa Claus is priceless (if you’re not offended).

Ricky: Dad, I write letters every year, you know that. I mean, I’m sending a letter off to the big guy tomorrow. So, it’s taken care of. Done. No problem.

Ray: Huh?

Ricky: The letters… You and Mom got me to write them every year at Christmas. I’m sending one off tomorrow again.

Ray: To Santa Claus, Rick?!

Ricky: Yeah, the big guy.

Bubbles: The big guy?! The big guy? That’s God, Ricky.

Ricky: Yeah, God. That’s what I said. Santa.

Ray: Ricky, come on, you know Santa and God aren’t the same guy, right?

Ricky: Dad, you didn’t know that? I mean, think about it! How would he get around the world in one night? Of course he’s the same person. Right, Bubs?

Bubbles: No, Ricky. Santa and God, that’s two different things.

Ricky: What? Oh my fuck! You know, I did maybe think that I fucked that up. I wasn’t sure, and I didn’t want to say anything just in case Santa was God. Like, it would obviously, probably, wouldn’t it piss him off that I got that mixed up like that?

By the time you get to his big speech at the end, (“Christmas is about getting drunk and stoned with your family!”) you’ll be howling.

Like I said, this is hilarious if you’re not easily offended. If you are, I would advise you to stay far away from everything Trailer Park Boys. If you enjoy well delivered, largely improvised dialogue performed by the east coast’s favourites, then dig in for some Christmas dinner.

The special features here are the typical TPB fare. Alternate takes, extended takes, bloopers, and so on abound, making this worth your coin. As I mentioned before, to make up for the lack of the Conky puppet, the Dope and Liquor Edition has the Alex Lifeson documentary. As a Rush and TPB fan, this was worth the re-buy for me. You also get a preview for the first TPB movie, although this is well out of date now.

Merry Christmas, make sure mom is nowhere around when you watch this!

5/5 stars (for both)

Conky