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Trailer Park Boys Xmas Special (2004)

by on 2012/12/25

Trailer Park Boys Xmas Special (2004)

“All right, all right, I’m going to be a nice guy and give you a second chance but — let me make myself clear, Rick — I am running a business here.”

* * *

Ricky is not the easiest anti-hero to side with. The depths to which Duct Tape Forever took the Red Green characters would be a moral high ground for him. That detail, coupled with Gru’s scathing indictment, had me concerned for the Trailer Park Boys Xmas Special video (originally aired as Dear Santa Claus Go Fuck Yourself).

I feared it might taint the, er, standard I’d become accustomed to, as the “Christmas Party” (Yankee Swap) episode did for the American Office. But now, as I sit in my cozy home, sipping a drink of egg-free nog, I’m inclined to be generous or, at least, to review it with an open mind.

I suppose everything is relative though, for I managed to adjust my expectations here in a way I couldn’t do for, say, the twits of FUBAR or Hobo with a Shotgun.

In this faux-reality misadventure, Julian (John Paul Tremblay) has a multi-pronged scheme: steal gifts, lights, trees, and a TV; have a bonfire and a contest; and escape the attentions of Lucy (Lucy DeCoutere), all by Christmas day. To these ends, he enlists the help of the local boys — including a seasonally affected Bubbles (Mike Smith) — and springs his frenemy Ricky (Robb Wells) from jail.

I wanted to let the familiar environment, characters, and situations wash over me. However, I felt it was tougher than usual. Geek that I am, and a nitpicker too, I kept thinking back over the canon (such as it is). Where did this story fit in? Some details seemed inconsistent. Things didn’t add up, they didn’t fit in, and I wondered if it was a standalone tale like the TPB feature film.

It was helpful when Gru pointed out it was a prequel, though it’s not entirely that either. It’s clearly set between the original black-and-white film and the beginning of the television series . . . yet it incorporates developments from later on, not least the greater attention paid to Bubbles.

Still, it’s great fun to see creator Mike Clattenburg go back and provide explanations for not-all-but-many of the show’s numerous conventions. Plus, the one-off holiday touches are cool: Sunnyvale covered with snow and decorations, Jim Lahey (John Dunsworth) sporting a mustache, and the theme as a Hawaiian carol.

Granted, I found this Xmas Special more interesting than entertaining, though not exactly intellectual. I can well understand how coming to it cold might seem jarring, obscure, even awful.

If you already know what to expect, you may get a kick out of this. For anyone else, you should probably just steer clear.

As Ricky might say, it’s basically one of those snatched-when-you-do situations.

* * *

Rated 18A

47 minutes (Dope and Liquor Edition)

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