It’s Saturday night and you need something to watch. Never fear, Hidden Netflix Gems is a new weekly feature designed to help you decide just what it should be, and all without having to scroll through endless pages of crap or even leave the house. Each choice will be streaming on Netflix Instant, and the link below will take you to its page on the site. Look for a new suggestion here every Saturday.
This week’s Hidden Netflix Gem: “Trailer Park Boys” (2001-2008)
“Trailer Park Boys” is a Canadian mockumentary series following the exploits of Julian (John Paul Tremblay), Ricky (Robb Wells), and Bubbles (Mike Smith), lifelong friends and serial criminals living in a Nova Scotia trailer park—when they aren’t in jail that is. The three pals run petty scams and dream up get rich quick schemes. They grow pot, act in homemade pornos, run bars out of trailers and sell counterfeit CDs. Most of the time, their plans are so ludicrous they need no help getting caught. Nonetheless, the boys live under the watchful eye of cop turned Trailer Park Supervisor Jim Lahey (John Dunsworth), who’s constantly working to derail their plans. The series might just be the best thing ever to come out of America’s hat, and all seven seasons (55 episodes) are currently available on Netflix Instant.
Ricky, Julian, and Bubbles are surrounded by a colorful cast of characters, the residents of Sunnyvale Trailer Park, each with their own trademark mannerisms and personalities. There’s wannabe rapper J-Roc (Jonathan Torrens), who honestly believes he’s black (he’s not), and Mr. Lahey’s perpetually shirtless, cheeseburger-loving sidekick, Randy (Patrick Roach). There’s Ricky’s on again, off again girlfriend, Lucy (Lucy Decoutere), his father, Ray (Barrie Dunn), a former trucker pretending to need a wheelchair for a disability check, and his fall-guy sidekicks, Cory (Cory Bowles) and Trevor (Michael Jackson), who are never seen without each other, and many more. A young Ellen Page (“Inception,” “Juno”) appears a few times in the first two seasons, playing Mr. Lahey’s daughter. Silly and stupid as they may be, all the characters are incredibly lovable and relatable.
The first season begins with Ricky and Julian returning to Sunnyvale after an 18-month prison stint. Julian wants to go straight and stay out of jail, so he tries to cut ties with Ricky. But that’s not as easy as it sounds. The situation is further complicated when the boys discover a thug named Cyrus (Bernard Robichaud) has taken over the park in their absence.
“Trailer Park Boys” isn’t exactly cerebral, but it’s as hilarious as it is lewd, crude, and ridiculous. The boys are constantly drinking, smoking, and cursing, and I mean constantly. Julian’s movements are ever-accompanied by the clink of ice on glass. He is quite literally never shown without a rum and coke in his hand. In season three, Ricky asks the judge for special permission to smoke and swear while defending himself in court, because “if I can’t smoke and swear, I’m fucked” (check out the clip below).
Because it’s from north of the border, far too few have heard of “Trailer Park Boys.” Half-improv, half-scripted but all hilarious, it might not be thinking-man’s comedy, but it is one of the funniest shows of all time. Give this one a shot, you won’t be disappointed.
Follow the writer on Twitter @NateKreichman.
Tags: Barrie Dunn, Bernard Robichaud, Bubbles, Cory, Cory Bowles, Cyrus, Ellen Page, Hidden Netflix Gems, J-Roc, Jim Lahey, John Dunsworth, John Paul Tremblay, Jonathan Torrens, Julian, Lucy, Lucy Decoutere, Michael Jackson, Mike Smith, Nate Kreichman, Patrick Roach, Randy, Ray, Ricky, Robb Wells, Trailer Park Boys, Trevor