Wednesday, July 9, 2014

And the Rest

Lovely to see you all again folks. Would've had an update for you last week but I encountered a bit of conflict in that regard. When this site began, I made it a general goal to always aim towards more positive elements to write about. However; when having a positive outlook proves to be a challenge, the blog gets left in a little rut.
The past month or so has just had me in a right old funk. The strangest thing about having a site like this is how much do you vent about personal issues when people around you can pop right on and read it? There's just one of those situations going on that shouldn't have grown to anywhere near the size it's at and it's just been allowed to fester ever since. I want to fix it. Make my piece and get life moving in a better direction but there's this hold up on it. With that chewing at my brain, I took the days around my birthday to retreat into a hermit hole and finish the remainder of the Trailer Park Boys franchise. Following are reports from the battlefield.
Season 7
Given my poor reception of season 6, I wasn't exactly eager to dive in for an even bigger batch of episodes. Imagine my surprise when I actually ended up enjoying the show again. While not up to the standard of earlier seasons, there was enough thought put into this year to make the show work. The overarching storyline of the boys using Patrick Swayze's model train to smuggle dope over the boarder was actually funny and developed naturally through each installment. Characters were much more balanced. Even Ray seemed kind of charming thanks to being paired with Bubbles early on. The whole thing wraps up with another happy ending and this one actually feels earned. Everyone mellows out and realizes the simple pleasures of life. In the finale scene, everybody has a barbecue together. It's a nice & simple, downright Canadian way to wrap things up. The downside is the absence of Cory & Trevor. Apparently some behind the scenes drama drove those actors away, leading to long time background character Jacob serving as their replacement. He's not a bad addition, he's just got the unfortunate role of filling two pairs of shoes without the time to be fully developed. All in all, not a bad way to send of the series......except it's not over.
Christmas Special
This special originally aired between seasons 4 and 5. I figured it was ok to hold off since it's placement is years before the show even begins. Yes sir; we're in both holiday and prequel modes here. Most of the special didn't do much for me as so many of the characters were just in extra cunty moods. It wasn't until they start to realize the error of their ways that things honest to god get a little touching. Ricky of all people figures out the joys of spending holidays with his people and helps Bubbles open his long dormant present that was left behind by absent parents. Not the best Christmas special around but I'd toss it on a holiday mixtape sandwiched somewhere between Tales from the Darkside and That 70's Show.

Say Goodnight to the Bad Guys
So you've ended a successful 7 season show. You wrapped up everything in plausible yet still uplifting fashion. What should be your next step? Flush all those good vibes down the toilet with plenty of unnecessary cynicism of course. The entire run-time of this things was spent wondering what the hell they were going for. It's not very funny, starts up sub-plots that it never finishes, and gives the show a new shitty ending. My only hope was that it would all serve as a lead-in for the second movie.....nope. Anything that didn't get fleshed out here was just left hanging. Why does this exist? I suppose if you're planing on going through the whole viewing experience then you're going to watch this anyway, but I wouldn't recommend it.
Trailer Park Boys (1999)
The sour taste of Say Goodnight still lingering, I decided to do some time traveling. Here we have the original indie flick that jump started the whole thing. Only five characters from the series appear and some of them are almost unrecognizable in their personality. Ricky for instance is a great deal more intelligent than his TV counterpart. Cory and Trevor carry that same distinction as well as being more mouthy and confident. It's a lot more straight faced with the humor coming more from the situations, such as the boys career choice as pet hitmen. Outside of a tiny snippet of the ending showing up the premier episode of the show, there's no continuity here and it serves more as an oddity. Think of it like being exposed to the first episode of The Simpsons after only seeing season 5. There's some merit to the production but it's more weird than anything.

Trailer Park Boys: The Movie (aka The Big Nasty)
Despite a release date that places this somewhere between seasons 6 and 7 there is no actual continuity with any point of the series. Think of it as an alternate universe remake of season 1 mixed with the feel of an SNL flick and you'll be on track. Events occur here that are never mentioned elsewhere (I.E. Ricky & Lucy getting married), some characters only exist in this adventure (looking at you Wanda), Even Ricky's daughter is played by a different girl for no real reason. It's an odd sight to behold. Lucky for us it's also really funny. After the last couple of entries it's nice to be reminded why this show makes for such good comfort viewing. Sure it isn't essential thanks to it's alternate universe take on things but it'd serve as a great intro to your friends. I honestly can't express how nice it was to watch something like this given the past few movies I've waded through.
Trailer Park Boys 2: Countdown to Liquor Day
In the very words of Ricky, “What the fuck is this shit?” Until just recently with the release of a third movie (which has yet to cross the boarder) this served as the end all be all for the franchise and it fucking stinks. Sorta picking things up from Say Goodnight, the boys are released from prison only to find that Lehay has demolished the old park and opened up a new semi-luxury park next door. Nothing is said of the events of the previous special other than it being Lehays fault that the boys were in jail. They don't set out to get revenge like they'd been planing. The subplot of Jacob and Sarah's relationship issues is forgotten (in fact I'm not even sure if they still have a thing going or if he got an actual line). Oh and Lucy's baby seems to have faded from existence along with J Roc's kids and personality. No clue what's going on there. J always walked a fine line between funny and irritating but here he jumps way over that line. He spends nearly every scene he's in just being a whiny bitch. Most of the gang follows suit. There's scene after scene of the guys just being flat out miserable, often times on the verge of a good cry. Likewise, Lahey's alcoholism gets played up for dramatics this time which makes it all the more uncomfortable when they try to make it funny. The more I think about it, the more I hate it. It's just a big ugly, misguided, depressing, mess. This is to TPB what “I Want to Believe” is to The X-Files. Kill it with fire.

And that's it. I'm all done with TPB until the third movie rolls over the crossing and new seasons pop up on netflix. My hope is that Liquor Day stays far behind us and that the crew has got their passion back for the material. As for cosmicsparky; we'll have some book reviews swinging in soon and you might be treated to an adventure story as I'm thinking of going camping. Which is to say I'll be getting drunk in a tent. Until then, you folks keep it classy.

Edit: Realized I've made it past the 1000 page views mark. This calls for a celebration. Seeing as the fair's in town, maybe some deep fried candy.