Netflix unveiled a brand new season of the Canadian mockumentary show Trailer Park Boys on March 28. The show, which is now in its 10th season, debuted on the Showcase network in 2001 and came to a close in 2007 at the end of the seventh season. The series was then revived in 2014, and Netflix started streaming it the same year. The show’s three leading actors, John Paul Tremblay, Robb Wells and Mike Smith along with their production company, Swearnet Pictures, were responsible for the reboot.
The show, which has built up a strong cult following over the last 15 years, follows three friends and frequent felons Ricky, Julian and Bubbles, respectively played by Wells, Tremblay and Smith. They live in a trailer park in Nova Scotia, Canada.
For the first nine seasons, the park is supervised by the very low-functioning drunk Jim Lahey and his rotund friend and lover Randy. While Lahey and Randy are the show’s main antagonists, Ricky, Julian and Bubbles often find themselves at odds with the police, other drug dealers, mall security guards, a crazy woman named Leslie Dancer, a caveman, a cougar and really anyone or anything that makes it difficult to commit all kinds of felonious acts. Alongside the three protagonists stands an ensemble cast of idiots, drunks, strippers and rappers that inhabits Sunnyvale, the world’s greatest fictional trailer park.
To be clear, this show is not for everyone. People tend to either love it or hate it. The humor is a mix of sophomoric and stoner with a healthy infusion of guns and crime. If you enjoy shows like The Big Bang Theory, you are probably not going to like Trailer Park Boys.
That being said, if the idea of three semi-literate minor felons coming up with zany plans to make money while being dogged by a balding alcoholic in khakis and dark aviators sounds good to you, look no further. If you have never seen it before, it is crucial to start with the first episode. For those who have seen an episode or two and are likely already diehard fans, the following is a review of the 10th season (with some spoilers).
Now that Julian owns the trailer park (after his long struggle with Barb — the park’s former owner — and Lahey), he, Bubbles and Ricky are seemingly set for life. If they really were, though, there would not be a new season. Barb returns from prison and begins a fight to get Sunnyvale back. He is supported by Don/Donna and a new character named Candy.
The three women force Lahey, who has mastered liquor, to help them in their endeavor. Bard holds a major secret over Lahey’s head, one which takes the tone of the show beyond its usual light-heartedness. As Julian scrambles to organize his latest schemes, Ricky struggles with his responsibilities as a father and grandfather while trying to sustain his dope-selling business. Bubbles finds himself caught between his two best friends as they butt heads, and he tries desperately to hold everything together.
The acting is what one might expect. One notable difference are that J-Roc, played by Jonathan Torrens, has somewhat given up his usual slang for a hilariously unconvincing Hispanic accent.
Also, there are cameos, a lot of cameos. Featured celebrities include Jimmy Kimmel, Snoop Dogg, Tom Arnold and Doug Benson. The presence of Snoop and Benson is hardly surprising since they are pretty popular in the stoner community. Tom Arnold, who shows up as a groupie for Ricky, is weird in the role. He wears track pants and yells a lot.
One thing about this new season stands out: the tone of sadness. One would not think it would be possible for a show with a plot this ridiculous to be sad, but it is. Many of the past scenes have dealt with surprisingly serious issues, focusing especially on relationships with family and friends.
Some of the twists in this newest season go beyond those morals thrown in amongst all the swearing, drugs and liquor. There are a few episodes which are upsetting, an emotion which many long time viewers of the show have not experienced yet.
Despite the unexpected, but welcome, infusion of drama, the 10th season still maintains the ridiculous tropes and running jokes that have made Trailer Park Boys such a cult hit.
However, there is still plenty of sex, drugs, liquor, swearing and crime to keep fans satisfied. Sticking with a trend set by the last seasons of the reboot, Randy has again altered his body in an unsettling way, Julian has opened another bar, Lahey has come up with another scheme to beat the liquor and Ricky is still doing his best to balance being high, selling weed and being a good parent.
The fundamental aspect of what makes a show like Trailer Park Boys so great is its resistance to change. Yes, things are a little different in the 10th season but none of the new plot points really distract from what fans like so much about the show. It’s the same characters in the same place doing the same thing with generally the same outcomes.
It’s a show for inebriated people about other inebriated people doing things while inebriated. At the same time, nobody is going to watch the 10th season of this show and be hooked. It isn’t meant for the uninitiated — it’s meant for the fans.