Daily Archives: July 1, 2011

TGIF Canada Day Special: Trailer Park Boys


Ricky provides what is probably the best cold open of the entire series

Trailer Park Boys may be the funniest show to come out of Canada, and maybe even the most innovative. It, along with Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, was one of the first improvised comedy series (a story outline with ad-libbed dialogue rather than a script). Thanks to this innovation, situation comedy has changed for the better over the last decade — made smarter, more daring, more naturalistic — and the trend promises to get stronger.

On a Friday that’s also Canada Day, we deserve no less than the best.

Canada Day

Frye on Canadian culture and identity in relation to Great Britain and the U.S. in the “Conclusion to the First Edition of Literary History of Canada“:

The simultaneous influence of two larger nations speaking the same language has been practically beneficial to English Canada, but theoretically confusing. It is often suggested that Canada’s identity is to be found in some via media, or via mediocris, between the other two. This has the disadvantage that the British and American cultures have to be defined as extremes. Haliburton seems to have believed that the ideal for Nova Scotia would be a combination of American energy and British social structure, but such a chimera, or synthetic monster, is hard to achieve in practice. It is simpler merely to notice the alternating current in the Canadian mind, as reflected in its writing, between two moods, one romantic, traditional, and idealistic, the other shrewd, observant, and humorous. Canada in its attitude to Britain tends to be more royalist than the Queen, in the sense that it is more attracted to it as a symbol of tradition than as a fellow nation. The Canadian attitude to the United States is typically that of a smaller country to a much bigger neighbour, sharing in its material civilization but anxious to keep clear of the huge mass movements that drive a great imperial power. The United States, being founded on a revolution and a written constitution, has introduced a deductive or a priori pattern into its cultural life that tends to define an American way of life and mark it off from anti-American heresies. Canada, having a seat on the sidelines of the American Revolution, adheres more to the inductive and expedient. The Canadian genius for compromise is reflected in the existence of Canada itself. (CW 12, 344-5)