We both stay busy with our art and other projects that seem to consume our time in a most constructive and lucrative way. The time we allow for leisure is spent chilling with friends and reading or watching a movie or getting lost in a VR game.
We are big fans of foreign films, film noir, documentaries, and daily newspapers. I seldom read fiction books unless they border on the lines of Truman Capote, John Steinbeck, or my favorite - Jack Kerouac . I like my words real. I do enjoy poetry. Hubby likes a good war novel, natural for a Vietnam Marine door gunner.
I am a student of the Great Depression and the early Wobbly unions. My hubby and I both enjoy live theater and musicals. Death of a Salesman and Miss Saigon are examples. We both hate reality TV, news TV (if you want to call CNN, FOX News, and MSNBC news) anything with commercials, and so-called 'entertainment' shows.
Our TV viewing is restricted to Game of Thrones (it will be missed), Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, and PBS specials, including shows like Frontline. We do indulge in PBS shows like Miranda and reruns of Keeping up Appearances. We have Netflix on our Roku if we want to watch a movie or documentary. Netflix has some great docs and foreign films. And of course, we watch TPB.
Hubby enjoys college football. Thankfully he can Tivo a game, begin watching 45 minutes into it, push through the commercials and watch the live ending. Oh, and call me insane but I Tivo SNL. It is a forty-one year habit I can't break. I think I keep hoping the ghosts of the likes of Chase, Aykroyd, Belushi' and Radner will be resurrected. I am always disappointed, though their openers are usually spot-on in mimicking current affairs. Thankfully, I can watch the opener and fast-forward to the skits that look funny and trash the rest without loosing valuable time.
I seem to be making excuses here for the above photo. Why would two picky people who can't wait for Hamilton to play in Atlanta go see the Trailer Park Boys? Our fondness for the TPB is something I can't explain, really.
Sometimes in 2005, our son, a sci-fi fan and computer geek, and another picky person when it comes to his TV shows, told us to watch Trailer Park Boys on BBCA. Even though we had a Tivo at the time, commercials made us reluctant to tune in. I can't emphasize how much we hate commercials.
"Just watch the show," our son appealed to us. We did.
The 'show' consisted of re-runs of the popular Canadian show that had won comedy awards. At first, it was hard to watch because every other word was bleeped out and we came in on the middle of the run, but "the boys" soon won us over. It was sad to see them leave BBC but in 2009 or 2010 Direct TV ran the entire series without the bleeps. Again, we came in on the middle of the run but we enjoyed the boys just as much as we had the first time. They left us once more but were born again with Netflix not only giving them several more seasons, but running the entire series.
At first, TPB may seems like it appeals to the pot smoking, binge drinking, youth of the world. And maybe they do, but we found something not too many people see, and if they do, they don't realize it - I like to think of it as simplicity, so rare in today's living.
Each season has the boys going about doing petty crime, growing and smoking pot, getting drunk, eating chicken fingers, and trying to avoid the alcoholic trailer park supervisor and his shirtless big-bellied assistant, who it turns out, are gay. We both get a kick out of watching Supervisor Lahey perform his 'drunk' act. Few people know he is a trained Shakespearean actor. At the end of each series, the boys end up going back to jail for petty crimes, enjoying jail, but vowing to change their lives when they get out. It is kind of like watching the movie Groundhog Day.
In fairness, I have to say, the first few seasons were the best. The old trailer park scenes were classic, nothing seemed rushed, and no one was in a hurry. It seems that fame has projected a try-too-hard atmosphere on the newer shows. Some of the characters we loved have either died or moved on, but the boys are still the boys and Mr. Lahey and Randy are still out to get them.
The boys may have reached too far in too short a time with their own channel Swearnet and a movie that broke the Guinness Book of World Records for the most swear words (not fans of that because the boys were out of character) and of course, they are now touring and even have a new show running on Netflix - Out of the Park (not fans of that because they are outta the park, but in character, so still funny to those of us who know them).
Anyone tuning into TPB on Netflix should start with the early shows and not get discouraged if the first few episodes seem a little strange. It is a mockumentary. Bubbles does not really catch on well until the second season, and by season 3, if you are still around, you will be hooked, so hooked, in fact, when you finish all the seasons, you may feel compelled to start over. Sometimes, at the end of a busy day, when we don't want to invest time in a movie, or don't feel like reading, it is nice to turn on Netflix and catch the next episode of TPB for a good twenty-something minute laugh. Just listening to Ricky 'pur-nounce' his words is a hoot; and just how does Julian keep that glass of rum, always in his hand, from spilling, even when they topple in a vehicle?
Once you get to season 8, you start seeing the trying-too-hard, but by then, you are hooked and just look for the familiar in the characters. By season 10, you only want it to be over, so you can go back to the way things were. Tom Arnold? Really?
So, for the sake of the viewers and long-time fans, I hope the boys get back to the basics of doing the little things that made us laugh and love them. We don't need tacos or senior citizens (of which I am one), or new park supervisors, or even motels out of the park.
The park, boys. Fixing carts, ganking groceries, keeping the 'rakens' out of the weed, drinking salad dressing, playing street hockey, carting a lifeless Ricky on the back of the go-cart. That's why we love you. And bring back Conky. I think Bubbles said it best in an early episode, "If it ain't broke..."
And please, give us another Christmas special.