Trailer Park Boys: Vulgar, Raunchy, and Canadian

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  • Topic: Trailer Park Boys, Sunnyvale Trailer Park, Comedy
  • Pages : 5 (1871 words )
  • Download(s) : 65
  • Published : November 14, 2012
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Vulgar, Raunchy, and Canadian
The Showcase Television Network series, Trailer Park Boys, is a Canadian mockumentary created and directed by Mike Clattenburg. The show covers the shenanigans and crimes of the fictional Sunnyvale Trailer Park residents. Ricky, Julian, and Bubbles, the three protagonists, are constantly on the hunt for ways to make money, find liquor, and stay out of jail. All the while, their sworn enemies - the drunken trailer park supervisor Jim Lahey, and the perpetually shirtless Randy Bobandy - are coming up with schemes to catch the boys doing something illegal and send them back to the prison. Like other mockumentary shows, such as The Office and Modern Family, a portion of the show is dedicated to confessionals between the residents and the camera crew that not-so-subtly follows them around. Unlike other mockumentary shows, Trailer Park Boys prides itself on being vulgar and obscene. Throughout the series seven year run, the word “fuck” was said 1,284 times and the word “shit” was said 967 times. Despite being very successful in Canada, Australia, Spain, and Denmark, the show has never found success in the United States where it aired on BBC America (obviously it was censored heavily). The show’s success has led to two feature-length films that, despite positive critical reception, never reached the same success as the show from which they derived.

The documentary style filmmaking that the show uses provides story telling elements that a standard television show lacks. The one-on-one interviews with the camera that take about roughly a tenth of the airtime both allow the audience to understand the character’s thoughts without confusing internal diegetic inserts and understand the context of the story without monotonous and unrealistic dialogue. Throughout the series the film crew is frequently acknowledged as being present; this usually occurs when a character is upset with the crew for getting in the way. In the 7th season episode, “We Can’t Call People Without Wings Angels, So We Call Them Friends,” Ricky attempts to get into his car but is blocked by a crew member. In response Ricky yells “what the fuck is this shit, you guys are too close, I’m serious stay the fuck out of our way.” The humorous run-ins with the camera crew give the audience a sense that the show is unrehearsed and unscripted. Unlike other mockumentaries, especially Parks and Recreation, the show is filmed with a single camera and microphone, making it appear and sound more realistic. Often a character’s dialogue can barely be heard due to his or her distance away from the microphone. The cameraman also does not capture every event that occurs in its entirety and often is left chasing after the action. Scenes that are not left perfectly clear are either disregarded or later explained by a character through an interview. The ambiguousness of events not captured on tape allows the writers and actors to be creative with their descriptions of the event. While many comedies rely on multiple cameras in order to create an omniscient audience, Trailer Park Boys takes advantage of documentary style filmmaking.

The show’s comedic style is centered around each character’s unique qualities and their reactions to the situations they wind up in. Excluding minor changes, almost none of the show’s main characters achieve any personal growth throughout the series’ 56 episodes. The character Julian, who is the leader of the protagonists, wears the same black shirt and jeans in every episode, excluding when he is in prison. He also is holding a rum and coke in a drinking glass at all times, including when he is in fistfights and shoot-outs. Likewise, the assistant trailer park supervisor, Randy, never wears a shirt and dons the same tight white pants for the entire series. The consistency of each character’s personality disallows any possibility for an emotional or lesson-filled episode. Like the character’s who never seem to change, the...
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