Sarah E. Dunsworth

REVIEW: Trailer Park Boys – Season 10 (2016)

TRAILER PARK BOYS – Season 10 (2016 Netflix)

There is a reason we missed reviewing Season 10 of Trailer Park Boys when it came out last year.  A dark cloud hung over the season.  Mike Smith (Bubbles) was incorrectly arrested on domestic violence charges; charges that were swiftly dropped.  The damage was done, and this caused Lucy Decoutere to leave the show.  Even though Season 10 was quite great, we just couldn’t produce the gumption to write it up.  Better late than never.  With this long over and resolved, let’s take a fresh look at Season 10.

As usual, much has changed between seasons at Sunnyvale.  Julian now owns the park and is happy with his two girlfriends (Bambi and Dakota — shades of Charlie Sheen here), and his own casino/bar.  The house band:  Bubbles and the Shitrockers.  Ricky runs his Drugs Store, with all the weed and edibles you can imagine.  His daughter Trinity has been raising baby Mo with Jacob Collins, proud parents now ready to get married and make it official.  All this baby stuff has made Lucy itch for another one, so she’s been getting Ricky to bang her non-stop.  J-Roc is raising his son M.C. Flurry, and has brought back a new girlfriend from Mexico.  Randy’s supervising the park, and Lahey has left.  He’s living in a camper in a park next door, and “pacing” his drinking.  He’s using a breathalyzer to keep himself at a steady 0.120 blood alcohol level…but does he have the discipline to maintain that?

There’s a new three-headed nemesis in town.  Fresh out of jail is former park owner Barb Lahey, and she has backup.  Donna/Don (Leigh MacInness) has also been hardened by jail time.  And they’ve brought the tough-as-nails Candy (Candy Palmater), with her bright pink baseball bat to make sure they get their way.  They are determined to get the park back, and it looks like they have the legal means to do so.  So now the boys need lawyer money.

It’s illegal schemes again, one involving ripping off a former caveman, now “Denture King”.  This side-splitting sequence will leave you wondering how far they’re willing to go to save the park.  They need money bad.  Julian’s been letting everyone drink for free at his bar, and nobody’s paying the lot fees.  Finally Julian decides to turn Sunnyvale into a “all-inclusive” vacation resort.  Bubbles puts together an online ad, which goes viral and catches the attention of Jimmy Kimmel himself.

The first half of Season 10 is actually a little dull.  It’s a bit of the same old, same old.  Breaking the law, almost getting caught.  Bad luck and dumb fuck-ups.  Once the special guests arrive, the season takes on a whole new life.

 

A fleet of gangsta cars pulls into the park.  It’s Snoop Dogg, Doug Benson, and Tom fucking Arnold!  Snoop and Doug are there for the “all you can smoke” weed, but Tom has come for the superfan experience.  Turns out he’s a huge fan of the show (remember, Trailer Park Boys is a “documentary” on Julian!) and has a bucket list of things he wants to do at Sunnyvale:  driving the Shitmobile, sleeping in Bubbles’ shed, and banging Lucy!  “I can’t believe it!  We’re in Sunnyvale fucking Trailer Park!  I’ve seen every episode of your show, man!  It’s even shittier in real life!  I love it!”

As for Ricky, he’s happy just to “get high as fuck with Snoopy Doggy Dogg Dogg”!

As you can imagine, the presence of Snoop and his posse leads to many hilarious scenes and encounters.  Will J-Roc lose his shit completely upon meeting his idol?  Will Ricky be able to say Snoop’s name right?  The one thing fans would have expected out of a Snoop Dogg guest shot is seeing him rap with J-Roc or Bubbles, and you won’t be disappointed.  Episode 8 “The Super Bling Cowboy” has the musical scene you’ve been hoping for.  In fact it’s safe to say that Season 10 changes completely upon meeting Snoop.  The arc of the season takes a back seat to the guest stars, and some of that big star millionaire money might resolve a few plots.  However, at the same time, there is some ambitious writing going on.  Early on, we learn that Jim Lahey has a secret that he’s been hiding all along, that only Barb knows about.  This secret provides Barb some blackmail leverage, but it’s also setting up a storyline that will run for at least three seasons including this one.  Jim’s secret was explored in Season 11, but not fully resolved, presumably leaving it to also impact Season 12, coming in 2018.  (Post your fan theories in the comments!)  This kind of multi-season story arc has never been attempted on Trailer Park Boys before.

Keeping a show like the highly formulaic Trailer Park Boys fresh can’t be easy after 10 years.  Snoop, Doug Benson and Tom Arnold helped distinguish Season 10 as one of the most fun.  You can always count on Ricky, Julian and Bubbles to put themselves in some pretty ridiculous situations, and usually drag everybody else into their web of shit.  The guest stars offer a temporary pause to that, and allow our characters to have a bit more fun than usual.  And when they have fun, so does the audience.  However the ending has a sad note, accompanied by a familiar melancholy song.  It’s a strangely emotional denouement.  “There’s a voice, that keeps on calling me.  Down the road, where I always seem to be.  Every stop I make, I see my old friend…”

Maybe tomorrow, they’ll want to settle down…in the end, it’s about the characters, who are just a big family we’ve now known for 10 seasons.  Randy said it best:

“I love you Ricky!  I love you like a brother. I don’t like you at all, but I love you!”

4/5 stars

 

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REVIEW: Trailer Park Boys – Season 11 (2017)

TRAILER PARK BOYS – Season 11 (2017 Netflix)

Thank you Netflix for saving the Trailer Park Boys.  It hasn’t been smooth sailing, but ever since the Boys returned to Sunnyvale with the excellent Season 8 (remember Orangie?), the show has continued unhindered by cast defections.  Season 11 is the first without Lucy Decoutere (Lucy) and Jonathan Torrens (J-Roc).  After already losing such favourites as Trevor (Mike Jackson) and Ray (Barrie Dunn), I can understand why some fans may have said enough’s enough.  Every show has its peak.  For some that would be the first three seasons of Trailer Park Boys.  For others, we have rolled with the changes.  Not all fans were unanimous in the acceptance of newer characters such as Col. Dancer, Don/Donna, and Candy.  For this season, those characters have been dropped.  The core park residents are now Ricky, Julian and Bubbles accompanied by Randy, Lahey, Sarah, Cory, Jacob and Trinity.  Little baby Motel is around, as is Barb Lahey.

Continuing a storyline from Season 10, Julian has vanished.  Bubbles is doing well now, having gone legit selling his own brand of organic pizza sauce.  It’s a hit, and a restaurant owner is willing to pay wholesale.  He has the whole park working together growing vegetables, contributing to the well-being of Sunnyvale and its residents.  All is well, but Bubbles does miss Julian.  Jim Lahey is sober and supervising, having truly changed this time.  He and Randy are planning to get married, while Randy is vying to get on the police force.  The absence of Lucy and J-Roc is explained satisfactorily.

When Ricky and Bubbles (now mobile with his own little truck) discover that Julian is now a lobster fisherman (or is he?) living in a shipping container, they go to confront him.  Ultimately, Julian’s return brings what it always does:  crime back into the park.  Snoop Dogg calls and wants weed, and lots of it.  Julian decides to hijack Bubbles’ pizza sauce business and convert it to a grow op.  As usual, Bubbles is driven near to the breaking point as the stress builds.

In Season 10, there was a revelation that Lahey may in fact be Ricky’s real father.  This is fully addressed in Season 11, via a lightsaber dual (hockey sticks and brooms subbing in for laser swords) and dialogue taken directly from The Empire Strikes Back.  Director Bobby Farrelly (Bobby fucking Farrelly!) must be given credit for the perfect Star Wars homage in Episode 4, “Darth Lahey”, right down to the action beats.  Brilliant stuff — a highpoint episode for this show.

There are cameos by celebrities and past characters. Look for Susan Kent from 22 Minutes, and NHLer Nathan MacKinnon, first overall draft pick and rookie of the year.  A few old adversaries have returned as well, to cause problems for our three lovable idiots.  Speaking of idiots, Ricky and Julian manage to bring the stupidly to new levels, but simultaneously, Ricky has a Yoda-like ability to trick cops.    Meanwhile, they have also managed to keep up with modern technology.  Cell phones, cameras and GPS now figure into the plots.  There are references to the Walking Dead and changing times.  This manages to keep the series feeling fresh.

After 11 seasons, it is understood that a show rarely hits the highs it once did.  Season 11 is a worthy effort; not in the Top Five, but certainly good enough at this point.

4/5 stars

 

REVIEW: Trailer Park Boys – Season 9 (Netflix)

NEW RELEASE

TPB9 BOXTRAILER PARK BOYS – Season 9 (2015 Netflix)

It is with great sorrow that I have finally come to review Season 9 of the Trailer Park Boys, released earlier in the spring.  After the unexpectedly hilarious Season 8, I had only expected more from Season 9.  The 8th season left us with so much promise.  Not only had the show bounced back with one of its best years yet, but some fresh ideas and characters promised to rejuvenate it going forward.  Unfortunately the ball was fumbled.

Even though they had written in a bottomless supply of lookalike “Orangies”, Ricky’s pet goldfish and one of the highlights of the last season, Orangie was essentially dropped in Season 9.  On the bright side, Ricky replaced Orangie in his heart with a goat he found in a barn he spends some time living in.  He names the goat Willy.

Even though the character of Don/Donna was a major new introduction last year, Don has been dropped (supposedly travelling, according to the online-only Season 8.5).  This leaves Donna, unexplained and creepy, working in a rub-and-tizzug based out of Julian’s old trailer!  He/she works with T, who doesn’t particularly care for his job.  T much prefers driving his Tiz-axi.

Even though Sebastian Bach returned at the end of Season 8 for a rip-rolling close, there are no celebrity cameos in Season 9.  (Although with the recent announcement and photos of Snoop Dogg appearing in Season 10, all will be remedied soon!)

SNOOP DOGG WITH BUBBLES

The premise of the season goes thusly:  Julian and Ricky are out of jail again, to find the park has been turned into a senior’s residence called Sunnyvale Villas!  Jim Lahey, sober as a judge, has retired and hired ex-S.A.S. officer Col. Leslie Dancer, a “highly decorated war hero”, to run the park and enforce the rules.  Liquor is forbidden.  And so is Ricky.  And pointedly, only Ricky.

Bubbles runs a local business in the park, a food stand that serves Taco Tuesday pretty much all week, because the seniors don’t know what day it is most of the time.  Julian returns very disappointed, that Bubbles could let the park turn to shit so quickly.  It’s not really Bubs’ fault though, since Col. Dancer (a former alcoholic himself) runs the place like an army barracks.  But there’s something fishy about Col. Leslie Dancer.  His war stories don’t add up.  Was he really a Colonel?

The season takes a good number of episodes to get going.  Even the awaited birth of Trinity’s first child (Ricky’s first grandchild) was underwhelming.  While a good number of laughs comes from this situation, such as Ricky having to buy baby supplies, it ultimately just leads to more confrontations between Rick and industrial cock inhaler George Green, who is still banging Lucy.  Corey and Jacob remain a funny team, but J-Roc is sidelined by a son he never knew.  Unfortunately this too was an unfunny situation that didn’t do anything for the season or characters.  Only after the boys went hunting for a Sam-Squanch did I really have some belly-laughs.

HUNTING FOR SAMSQUANCH

Ricky’s best line:  “I’m in charge of fuckin’ over the park when it gets appraisaled today.   As luck would half it, it’s piss jug season.”

As usual, the ultimate stakes for the residents is control of the park.  This means getting Lahey back on the liquor, and subverting Col. Dancer.  Does Julian have a plan, and if so can he pull it off?   You’ll have to make it to the end of the season in order to find out.  Unfortunately this is something that some of my friends have failed to do.

While Season 9 ended better than it started, I was left confounded by the unfunny episodes and storylines.  I think Season 9 could actually be the first truly disappointing season.  Here’s hoping for better in the 10th.

3/5 stars

REVIEW: Trailer Park Boys – Season 8 (Netflix)

NEW RELEASE

TRAILER PARK BOYS – Season 8 (2014 Netflix)

Thank Santa’s tits! It was with tremendous joy that I watched the long-awaited Season 8 from the Trailer Park Boys this past weekend. I watched five episodes on Saturday night, and five more Sunday morning. Then on Monday, I re-watched my favourite episode, “Orangie’s Pretty Fuckin’ Tough”. As a long time fan, to say that I am pleased is an understatement. I am thrilled. Knowing in advance that a couple characters weren’t coming back (Ray and Trevor are no longer on the show), everything I wanted out of the show was there. There are even a couple new characters, who look like they may be important in the already finished Season 9.

TPB2

As if there was no pause at all, Season 8 feels like classic Trailer Park Boys, immediately. Some new characters are introduced, such as Don, who joins Randy as the new Assistant Supervisor. “Officer Highcock”, another new face, is no George Green. He’s smart. But fear not, George Green is back too, although Lahey is approaching retirement.

Trinity is tending bar at Julian’s new in-park club/gym, “The Dirty Dancer”. Bubbles is building his “Shed & Breakfast” for humans and cats. Julian and Ricky have numerous schemes on the go. Ricky’s growing dope at a mad rate, and refining it into honey oil, by special order of Sebastian Bach. He’s also realized that he can use hash as currency almost anywhere: on the bus, at the hardware store, or the dentist’s office. Seems just about everybody accepts Ricky’s $2 hash coins!

There’s also plenty of shady horsecockery. Cyrus and Sam Losco are working together again, and they want to buy the park and bulldoze it to the ground. The only solution is for Julian and Barb Lahey to work together to keep it. Needing capital, Julian sets into motion businesses and schemes galore. Steve Rogers returns for a hell of a bachelor party at Julian’s bar, attracting the attention of the cops.

ORANGIE

Ricky’s life is complicated by some unexpected news. The only thing holding him together is Orangie.  My buddy Chris and I agree on this:   the best element of Season 8 has to be Ricky’s goldfish, Orangie.  Ricky loves to party with him, and takes him everywhere in a bowl with ORANGIE scrawled on it in magic marker.  Ricky’s car now has a sun roof (of sorts), which functions as Orangie’s swimming pool after it rains.  Ricky wakes one morning to find Orangie unresponsive:  “Orangie, you finally passed out in the pool, did you buddy?”  When Bubbles asks what happened, Ricky explains: “We got fucked up on hash tokes and shooters.   Orangie’s pretty fucking tough.  Woke up this morning with my fucking pants down and my hands on my cock, thanks to Orangie.”  Now it’s up to Bubbles to replace Orangie before Ricky realizes the fish is dead.  As if minding a goldfish isn’t enough, Ricky also decides to turn his trailer into a hockey rink.

Bubbles’ doesn’t have it easy either. Due to a complex series of events regarding Steve Rogers, hookers, crabs, and Bubbles’ shed(s), he goes nucking futs at a drug store and is sentenced to community service. Where Ricky has Orangie for support, Bubbles turns to his new puppets…Bobby Turkelino, and little Ricky! And you know what happens when you mix Bubbles and puppets.

The story arc in this season was hilarious, with only one dud in the bunch (I’ll let you figure out which).  Some story points hint at what may be coming in Season 9, and that has me anticipating more hilarity.  Hopefully, Orangie will make an appearance in Season 9.  With a few more trips to the pet store, Bubbles should be able to make that happen.  Trailer Park Boys is off to a hell of a new start, and with the progress made in Season 8, I see no need to stop.

4.5/5 stars

Review by LeBrain with contributions from Chris Thuss.

My series of Trailer Park Boys TV reviews:

IMG_20140712_183919Part 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”