10 Reasons to Watch: “Trailer Park Boys”
As an admitted Netflix addict, I have watched dozens of televisions series that I normally wouldn’t have come across in my everyday life. Every month or two I put my trust in the almighty Netflix algorithm and test a few episodes of whatever series it thinks I will like best. Plenty of these shows have been a complete waste of time, while others have become some of my all-time favorites…but the one that stands head and shoulders above the rest is Trailer Park Boys. Trailer Park Boys is a mockumentary comedy series out of Canada that follows the everyday life of several residents in the Sunnyvale Trailer Park in Nova Scotia. The show introduces you to some of the most outrageous characters you will ever see and never fails to deliver more laughs than you could ask for. There are about a hundred reasons to check out this show on Netflix (which currently has the first seven seasons and two full-length movies), but I’m going to get you started with the best ten.
1. The Dynamic Duo: Ricky and Julian
The core of the show follows the misadventures of Ricky and Julian, two life-long friends and ex-cons who are continuously in and out of prison throughout the series. Ricky and Julian’s main focus in life is to get rich so they can retire, although they rarely ever hold traditional jobs from which to do so. Instead, they cheat, lie, steal, and grow weed, all in hopes of getting rich as quick as possible. Talk about the American (er…Canadian) dream. Julian is dubbed the “brains” of most of these operations, mainly because he has actually received his grade 10. Ricky, on the other hand, has famous struggles with “book learning” throughout the series, and tries to go back to school in several of the seasons. Ricky’s quick temper is on display in nearly every episode as he throws around his un-official catchphrase: “fuck off”. Julian’s calm nature is often the only thing that delays – even if only slightly – Ricky’s explosions. The two main characters are also easily identified by their rarely changing outfits. Julian almost always wears the same tight black t-shirt and jeans, and he is never far from his glass of rum and coke. Ricky is nearly as predictable with his snap-off track pants and houndstooth button up shirt. These two friends never fail to deliver with their half-baked plans and varying levels of success throughout the series.
2. The Third Musketeer: Bubbles
Ricky and Julian are the main characters from the first episode, but the man who often steals the show is their closest friend, Bubbles (together the three are usually referred to as “the boys”). Bubbles (his real name is never revealed) is a kind-hearted individual who often acts as the conscience for Ricky and Julian. He usually has little success in this role and ends up partaking in the shenanigans anyway. Bubbles was abandoned in the park at age 6 and has grown up living in a shed on Julian’s property with his true loves: kittens! Bubbles takes care of, and has named, every stray cat in Sunnyvale Trailer Park. He makes a living by stealing broken shopping carts from the mall, repairing them, and then selling them to a rival mall. Requiring little money to support himself and his modest “home”, Bubbles spends most of his money on food for his kitties. In addition to carts and kitties, Bubbles shows off his knowledge of philosophy, guitar skills, and a wrestling alter-ego, the “Green Bastard”, throughout the series.
3. The Love Story: Mr. Lahey and Randy
A show is not complete without an antagonist, and viewers need look no further than Mr. Lahey. Jim Lahey is an ex-cop who was kicked off the force only to become an alcoholic and the Trailer Park Supervisor of Sunnyvale. His sidekick is Randy, an ex-male prostitute who is the Assistant Trailer Park Supervisor and his companion. Lahey and Randy spend their days riding around the park and trying to catch the boys doing illegal activities in hopes of sending them back to prison. Lahey often travels with his trusty bottle of rye, while Randy is always trying to get his hands on his next cheeseburger. The couple is often on the receiving end of Ricky’s verbal attacks, where he criticizes Lahey for being a drunk and Randy for having a gut and never wearing a shirt.
4. The Scapegoats: Cory and Trevor
Never far behind Ricky, Julian, and Bubbles are Cory and Trevor. Cory and Trevor are roommates and best friends that are almost always by each other’s side. They worship Ricky and Julian, so much so that they put up with the fact that they are treated poorly and are really just used for jail cover in the event that the cops arrive. Ricky often refers to Cory and Trevor as his property, even claiming once that he’s “owned them since they were six”. Cory and Trevor commit small crimes on their own, but their eagerness to help the boys with their schemes or growing dope rarely fades. They are constantly seeking the approval of Ricky and Julian. A re-occurring scene throughout the series has Cory and Trevor raising their hands for a high five from the boys only to be left hanging nearly every time. Cory and Trevor did not appear in the 7th season (although they were frequently mentioned), and that is one of the reasons why I found it to be less enjoyable than the previous six.
5. Gangsta’s Paradise: J-Roc and the Roc Pile
My favorite character in the series has to be J-Roc, a white rapper who truly believes that he is black. J-Roc leads the Sunnyvale gang called the “Roc Pile”, and partakes in a good amount of greasy business himself. Along with his aspirations of becoming a famous rapper, J-Roc sells weed, flips car stereos, and produces/directs a handful of straight-to-video pornos. Some of his works include “From Russia with the Love Bone”, “The Bare Pimp Project”, and “Greasy Trailer Park Girls Gone Wild” (each of which star characters from the park). J-Roc is most famous for his slang, often using the phrase “ma-fuckas” (“mother fuckers”) and over-using his catchphrase “know what I’m sayin’” (often blended to “knowmsayin”).
Other than growing dope and going to jail, Ricky is most famous for botching well known sayings and pronouncing words incorrectly. He does it so frequently that fans of the show have dubbed these sayings “Rickyisms”. Ricky often blames his verbal shortcomings on his lack of schooling, but to be honest, he doesn’t even notice he is doing anything wrong half the time. Some of the top “Rickyisms” include “Do you have a search warranty?”, “I’m not a pessimist, I’m an optometrist”, “Catch-23 situation”, and “Worst case Ontario”. His list of mispronunciation includes “rake-uns” instead of “raccoons”, “mating name” instead of “maiden name”, and “a-toad-a-so” instead of “I told you so”. I could go on for another two pages, but it’s easier for you to just take five minutes and enjoy the clip of “Rickyisms” below.
7. Lahey’s “Shit” Talk
Second to only “Rickyisms” are the “Shit Analogies” that Mr. Lahey uses in almost every episode. They stem from the language he used on the police force and are only made more bizarre by his almost constant state of inebriation. Mr. Lahey takes regular sayings or concepts and throws the word “shit” into them to make them his own. Once again, I could go on and on with examples, but I’ll only take a second to highlight some of my favorites.
“We are in the eye of a shit-icane!”
“The shitliner is coming to port!”
“He’s about to enter the shit tornado to Oz!”
“Birds of a shit-feather flock together!”
“When you plant shit seeds you get shit weeds!”
“A shit-barometer measures the shit-pressure in the air!”
Lahey also refers to other characters as “shit-flint”, “shit stormtroopers”, “shit puppets”, and countless other “shit” names. The amount of times that Lahey uses these “shit analogies” is an easy way to tell how drunk he really is.
8. “Is That Who I Think It Is?” – a.k.a., The Ellen Page Sighting
Trailer Park Boys is full of actors that you have likely never seen before, but one of the young actresses from Season 2 has grown up to have a very successful career. Ellen Page was a supporting character in quite a few episodes during that early season when she showed up as Mr. Lahey’s daughter, Treena. It is always interesting to come across stars before they hit it big, and this role gives a look at Ellen Page six years before Juno and almost ten years before Inception.
9. Sing Along Songs – Musical Guests
After Ellen Page, there are a handful of other famous people (mainly from the music arena) who appear throughout the series.
- In the Season 3 episode “Closer to the Heart”, Alex Lifeson (from the band Rush) plays himself. The episode follows the boys as they try and get tickets for Bubbles to see his favorite band when they make a tour stop in Nova Scotia. This is one of the great times when Bubbles treats us to one of his guitar solos.
- In the Season 4 episode “Working Man”, Rita MacNeil (a now deceased Canadian singer-songwriter) plays herself and gets caught up in one of the boys’ schemes. Ricky, Julian and Bubbles take Rita and her tour bus hostage in an attempt to get them to assist in harvesting weed. The exchanges between a flustered Ricky and the always calm Rita make for a great comedic moment.
- Season 7 is dominated by the guest role of Sebastian Bach (from the band Skid Row). Sebastian Bach plays himself, and is introduced as a huge fan of model trains. Bubbles is also a model train enthusiast, and their paths cross when the boys travel to a large train show where Sebastian is making an appearance. Sebastian takes an interest in the boys after Bubbles stands up for him at the train show, and he becomes even more interested after enjoying some of Ricky’s weed, which he says is the best he’s had since 1988.
10. Preparation – Looking forward to the third movie and Season 8
Trailer Park Boys originally lasted 7 seasons (plus a few specials and one movie), with the last episode airing in June 2007. The gang got back together for a special in 2008 and a second movie, Trailer Park Boys: Countdown to Liquor Day, in 2009, but they have been largely silent since then. 2013 was a big year for the Trailer Park Boys gang though as they got back to filming. The crew not only filmed a third movie, Trailer Park Boys 3: Don’t Legalize It, but they released a live performance video, “Live in Fuckin’ Dublin” (on Netflix), and acquired the rights to film an 8th season. Trailer Park Boys 3: Don’t Legalize It was released in Canada on April 18th, 2014 and the 8th season will premiere on Netflix on September 5th, 2014. My advice to anyone who doesn’t have Netflix is to pony up the $10/month and check out all the new footage…and my advice to anyone who already has Netflix is to call out sick and marathon Season 8!