If you’re not up-to-date with Sunnyvale’s finest, you’re really missing out.
Trailer Park Boys is a mockumentary series created and directed by Mike Clattenburg which originally aired on Showcase, later to be picked up by Netflix as an original series. The dramedy focuses on the trials and tribulations of a tight-knit group of trailer park residents, most of whom are either criminals or degenerates, dwelling in the fictional Sunnyvale trailer community of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
Each episode revolves around park residents Ricky, Julian, and Bubbles trying to hustle money by committing various crimes while narrowly avoiding the law. As you might have guessed, each scheme is obstructed by none other than the drunken park supervisor Jim Lahey and his loverboy assistant Randall. As each season escalates, both Ricky and Julian’s obvious incompetences are rivaled by the equally blunderous ineptitude of team Lahey.
Throughout the arc of the series, it is expected that Ricky and Julian will wind up in (or out of) jail, which is a common recurring theme with each continuing season, albeit Ricky attempts to make good with his family. Even though their half-baked plans tend to unravel at warp speed, the Boys do eventually wise up and begin succeeding in the endeavors, as the seasons progress. With a positive outlook, lots of hash, and bright future ahead of them, in or out of jail, the Boys recap and explain to the cameramen what went down while they weren’t “available” for filming.
They’ve been given the green light for more seasons on Netflix and continue creating hilarious videos on Swearnet. If you haven’t checked out Trailer Park Boys yet, here’s what you’ve been missing out on. Some spoilers ahead.
One of the most hilarious things about Trailer Park Boys, hands down, is the main character, Ricky, who without fail, garners the love and trust of park residents while still somehow managing to f*ck things up big time. He’s persuasive, slick, and at the same time, a complete idiot. His buddies Julian and Bubbles give him the benefit of the doubt (most of the time) because they probably don’t know any better either, thus creating even more hysterical moments.
What makes Ricky so epic are his failed attempts at correctly citing commonly known phrases and expressions, better known by the rest of us as malapropisms. Ricky is fearless and smoothly navigates confrontations with the police with pizazz. Ignorance is bliss, they say, but we might argue that Ricky’s overall lack of general knowledge actually puts him several steps above the game in the Trailer Park Boys universe. Throughout the show we witness Ricky’s greatest struggle of all, which isn’t sobriety or staying out of jail, it’s keeping his long-time girlfriend, Lucy, happy.
One of the greatest challenges from the initial film to TV series was the addition of Mike Smith’s character, Bubbles, who was developed with the intention of starring in a different short film called The Cart Boy. Smith, Wells, Tremblay, and Clattenburg worked on that particular short film just years prior, in 1995. Bubbles soon grew from simply being a recurring character to one of the show’s primary front runners.
A fun fact about Bubbles: “Bubbles” was originally the name of Smith’s character’s cat.
What we love about Bubbles: he is the voice of reason every show needs. The other characters know he’s right, but they still go against his better judgment only for Bubbles to tell them “I told you so.” What’s not to love about Bubbles? He’s down to party, lives in a shed, and hoards kitties. Bubbles is also a hardcore fan of the Canadian prog-rock band Rush as well as Sebastian Bach, and eventually becomes homies with Snoop Dogg. Bubbles is the man!
J to the R.O.C. is “up in this mah” and without a doubt one of the funniest characters to watch on the show. We love him because we know he’s a good guy, too good in fact, for the gangster persona he puts on. J-Roc is a white aspiring rapper who, without question, truly believes that he is black.
What makes J-Roc and his “Roc Mob” so hilarious is that he is hardly ever seen without his best friend T, who is actually a black guy who puts up with his whack and wanksta ways. Throughout the series, J-Roc claims to have connections with only the hardest rappers and record labels, despite having to scrounge milk money to shoot a porno in his mom’s trailer. Even though he’s a big softie when it comes down to it, J-Roc never hesitates to call anyone out on their bull and cut jokes at others’ expenses, usually in the form of a subpar freestyle rap.
Jonathan Torrens, the actor behind J-Roc, left the show with a tweet announcing, “Playing J-Roc has truly been one of the greatest pleasures & privileges of my life. But it’s time to hang up the ol’ do-rag.” Fans reacted with insurmountable love for the actor, to which he then tweeted, “Truly moved & humbled by all your best wishes and kind words. The real legacy of Trailer Park Boys will always be the loyalty of its fans.”
12. Jim Lahey: The Liquor
Jim Lahey is everything a park supervisor should be and more: drunk AF. Lahey’s fixation for the booze has gotten him into more scandals and trouble than we can count. Normal for most people is sober, but for Jim Lahey normal is sh*t-wasted. Speaking of which, Lahey is also known for nearly always inserting the word “sh*t” into his metaphors and vocabulary in general, which fans have lovingly dubbed “Sh*tisms.”
Early in the show, Canadian actress Ellen Page (Juno) is featured with a brief role as Jim and his estranged ex-wife Barb’s mischievous daughter, Treena. While trying to remain a positive role model for the park, his daughter, sometimes Barb, and usually Randy-Bo-Bandy, Jim takes his title of park supervisor very seriously.
Even though Jim has gotten close to taking the Boys down time and time again, his self-indulgent sexual debauchery and liquor-induced tirades tend to make for some of the funniest moments of the show. Like a train wreck, you can’t look away.
Nicknamed “Randers,” “Bo-Bandy,” “Banders,” and so on by Mr. Lahey, Randy is just as pivotal a character as he is a moving target in the show. Big bellied, on the prowl, and ready to strip his pants off to get into fisticuffs at a moment’s notice, Randy is the assistant park supervisor and just another reason you should be watching TPB.
Randy is most always shirtless unless coerced into wearing a shirt. Because of Randy’s shirtless escapades, he is pretty much always taunted for his bulging gut and semi-serious addiction to cheeseburgers. Randy is also the gay love interest of park supervisor Jim Lahey, who will do anything to keep his position but also move up the ranks. Randy, the polar opposite of Jim, is sane and sober yet more thin-skinned and easily bothered by the likes of Julian, Ricky, and Bubbles. Doing his due diligence to clean up the park, Randy does as he’s told and goes the extra mile.
10. Cory and Trevor
Chips, smokes. Let’s go!
Cory (that is his real name, by the way, Cory Bowles) and Trevor (Michael Jackson), are the guys we sort of feel bad for, but at the same time, they’re too dumb to know otherwise.
As implied, Cory and Trevor tend to be the go-to guys who do all the grunt work for Ricky and Julian, which gets them into trouble so that Ricky and Julian can continue making moves. Cory and Trevor are most often regarded as a single entity throughout the show, and they are never seen too far apart from one another. If and when separated, the two seem even more confused and unable to function without their other half.
At the end of the day, Cory and Trevor are just two wide-eyed and happy-go-lucky best friends ’til the end, completely unaware of their roles as scapegoats, that is, until Trevor mysteriously vanishes from the park.
9. Lucy and Sarah
Lucy and Sarah are hands down the hottest babes in the park. Lucy is the mother of Ricky’s only daughter (that we know of) Trinity, while Sarah, played by Sarah Elizabeth Dunsworth-Nickerson, became roommates with Luce after Ricky was imprisoned. The two have a sisterly bond that tends to border something a little more at times, often with the intention of getting rid of or getting back at Ricky.
Lucy, a former stripper, has even made an appearance in one of J-Roc’s adult videos to Sarah’s dismay. With Ricky’s frequent trips to the big house, Lucy is often left alone to care for their daughter, that is, until Sarah steps into the picture. Together, Sarah supports Lucy in never taking Ricky back and does everything in her power to keep him away unless he pays.
In April of 2016, Lucy’s real life publicist Sheila Roberts stated that DeCoutere had informed the show’s producers that she would not be returning for another season. Perhaps Lucy was truly fed up with Ricky, after all.
8. The Realistic (And Hilarious) Relationships
Over the course of 11 seasons (so far), we see so many relationships come and go, ups and downs, and the trials and tribulations for relationships – romantic, platonic, and antagonistic – all within a trailer park setting. The relationships, however doomed, are still solid bonds between two people you might expect from any other decent show or movie and it’s because the characters are so well written.
The most notable relationship is Lucy and Ricky, oddly similar to I Love Lucy, the pair are the prom king and queen of the series. They would be high school sweethearts if they had both passed grade 10. With Ricky’s criminal ways and Lucy’s desire to have a family, the two are often at odds throughout the course of the show, only to eventually kiss and make up.
That being said, Ricky has his share of rocky relationships across the board from Jim Lahey, his mortal enemy, to his own father Ray who claims to be disabled and wheelchair bound… even though he is often seen leaving the chair. A lot of Ricky’s motivation in the show, however opposing it may seem, is to care and provide for his family no matter what it takes.
Trailer Park Boys is comedic, but it is also loaded with drama much like binge watching Jersey Shore or Jerry Springer. Other relationships to watch out for in the show are: Mr. Lahey and Randy, Bubbles and his kitties, Julian and Ricky, and J-Roc’s few-and-far-between romantic encounters.
7. The Idiosyncrasies We All Grow To Love
Every episode of TPB features idiosyncrasies that you’ll come to know and love. For example, Julian is never seen without his rum and coke, and Ricky always has a pack of smokes. Jim Lahey, unless “sober” (pretending or otherwise), is pretty much always a f*ckin’ drunk and always will be. As the relationships are consistent, so are the things we love about every character on the show.
The experiences they have and the personal changes they go through create for a solid delivery one season after another. From the initial film to their pilot episode and on, Trailer Park Boys continues to build on the characters they’ve created in subtle yet realistic ways that we can easily find humor in.
Even though it has been said that for the first 5 or 6 seasons the actual trailer park itself was not the same, we wouldn’t have really noticed otherwise. One of their trademark styles to filming the show is to incorporate the use of handicam to give the mockumentary look and feel, overall.
6. Don And Donna
Before romancing gender-fluid stereotypes with shows like Transparent, South Park pioneered experimenting with Mr. Garrison’s changes as he transitioned into becoming a woman, a lesbian, and then back into a heterosexual man again. Those were good times. Then, there was the flesh and blood Trailer Park Boys’ version: Don and Donna.
Don makes his first appearance in season 8 as the new assistant park supervisor, a position that seems to always need filled. We soon learn that Don has a twin sister named Donna, and well, the rest is history. Don aka Donna, played by Leigh MacInnis, doesn’t end up getting the assistant job with Jim Lahey, and instead goes on a spiritual journey. Coincidentally, Donna, Don’s “twin sister” miraculously shows up in season 9 and makes alliance with the trailer park girl squad.
5. The Three Amigos
Even though it seems that jail is only a moment’s notice away at any given time, the boys all stick together through thick and thin. They have their hardships, but don’t we all? Ricky, Julian, and Bubbles, despite their hustle-troubles, significant others (or lack of), and otherwise sociopathic behavior, always have each others’ backs.
Ever since the original 1999 movie, it is established that Ricky and Julian are partners in thieving, but that’s just the beginning of their blossoming relationship. As the show grows, so do the characters. We later learn that the two actually grew up together in Sunnyvale trailer park and have done just about everything together which is made apparent in the “Halloween 1977″ episode.
Awesomely enough, Rob Wells, John-Paul Tremblay, and Mike Smith also all contribute to writing episodes. Julian is considered the main protagonist of the show, with Ricky coming in as the second most central character to the show. To our surprise, Bubbles wasn’t even initially on the roster for the show, but what matters is he’s here to stay. What we do know is that the three have had their share of rough times and always make it through no matter what.
4. Art Eliminates Life Or Whatever The Saying is
As Rickey might say, “Art Eliminates Life.”
Even though we know he meant “Art Imitates Life,” he would still be correct either way. Trailer Park Boys is known for being meta AF, meaning, whatever happens in the show tends to happen in real life too. Reports say that Trevor actually quit the show because they refused to pay him more.
Earlier seasons of the show were shot in and around a variety of trailer parks in Nova Scotia, only to arouse some serious complaints with the residents in real life. They were asked not to return for further filming. For later seasons, they were able to eventually purchase space in Dartmouth which served as a working set for the park location.
3. Trailer Park World
Trailer Park Boys has successfully created 11 awesome seasons of binge-worthy laugh out loud shenanigans, but in addition to the Netflix original show and movies, the boys have also been known to hit the road for stand-up comedy tours and specials. In their stand-up performances, the boys keep their personas consistent with the show to bring audiences to roaring laughter around the world.
SwearNet is another extension of that world, a comedy network that dives even deeper into the characters we know and love from Trailer Park Boys. They even have a SwearNet feature film.
Aside from their claim to fame, SwearNet, and all of their comedy specials, the boys also have a board game. They even somehow managed to get tech savvy and launch a really fun phone app called Grea$y Money. Probably Julian’s idea. There have been 3 films released by the Boys as well: The Movie, released in October 2006, Countdown to Liquor Day, released in September 2009, and Don’t Legalize It, released in April 2014.
2. A Different Kind Of Funny
If you start from season one, you might not get the laughs you’d expect out of a typical comedy. But why? The show is about a bunch of f*ck ups getting drunk and trying to avoid jail time, what’s not to enjoy? Well folks, therein lies the dilemma. Trailer Park Boys is not your average comedy.
The humor seen throughout the show is spot on and played up to full capacity, yes, but before diving in as you would any other show, keep in mind that TPB is more of a dramedy. What that means is that the show is equal parts drama and comedy; drama sets the arc of the show, the comedy keeps us coming back for more. Getting to know the characters is what makes it so fun, and laughing at their greasy behavior becomes more comfortable once the storylines have been established.
In true mockumentary fashion, this show attempts to resemble real life as much as a television show can and uber fans of the show love this about Trailer Park Boys. Additionally, we must warn you that it’s not what you might expect from Canadians. They are far from polite, although, if you were to approach them about it, they might just kindly ask you to f*ck off.
1. 11 Seasons And Counting
11 seasons is a big deal for any show, and from what we know, the Boys are already hard at work on their next season. It all started for the mockumentary series with a black and white feature film by Mike Clattenberg called One Last Shot that caught the attention of Showcase, a Canadian television network, in 1999. While the characters in the show have experienced a wealth of bad luck (and no actual wealth), the production itself encountered many hurdles and roadblocks along the way, too.
Still, through thick and thin, the core TPB crew have stayed together and isn’t that what teamwork’s all about? In June 2017, it was confirmed that Trailer Park Boys had officially been renewed for a twelfth season. A video posted on their comedy network, SwearNet, confirmed that they would begin shooting in 4 weeks. Since then, a behind the scenes video teasing season 12 was made available.
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