Trailer Park Boys
|Trailer Park Boys|
Trailer Park Boys cast, circa season 4
|Created by||Mike Clattenburg|
|Directed by||Mike Clattenburg (seasons 1-7)
Various (season 8-present)
|Country of origin||Canada|
|No. of seasons||7|
|No. of episodes||55 + specials (List of episodes)|
|Location(s)||Halifax Regional Municipality|
|Running time||22 minutes (regular episodes)
43 minutes (specials)
|Production company(s)||Showcase Television (seasons 1-7)
Trailer Park Productions
Swearnet (season 8-present)
|Distributor||DEX Distribution (seasons 1-7)
Entertainment One (season 8-present)
|Original channel||Showcase (seasons 1–7)
Netflix (season 8-present)
|Picture format||480i (SDTV) (seasons 1–6)
1080i (HDTV) (Season 7)
1080p (HDTV) (Seasons 8-present)
|Original run||Original series:
April 22, 2001 – December 7, 2008
2014 - present
Trailer Park Boys is a Canadian comedy mockumentary television series created and directed by Mike Clattenburg that focuses on the misadventures of a group of trailer park residents, some of whom are ex-convicts, living in the fictional Sunnyvale Trailer Park in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. The television series is a continuation of Clattenburg's 1999 film of the same name and premiered on the Showcase television network in 2001. The planned final season ended in 2007, and the planned final episode, "Say Goodnight to the Bad Guys," premiered as a special on Showcase on December 7, 2008, ending the initial run of the series. There have been 3 films released in the series—The Big Dirty released on October 6, 2006, Countdown to Liquor Day released on September 25, 2009, and Don't Legalize It released on April 18, 2014 after issues during production. With the films, stage shows and continued international interest in the original series, an eighth season started production July 2013 to air in 2014. In January 2014, pre-production had begun on a ninth season. In March 2014, Netflix announced plans to air seasons eight and nine, with three new specials, later this year exclusively on their streaming service.
- 1 History
- 2 Plot
- 3 Characters
- 4 Style
- 5 Popularity
- 6 Episodes
- 7 Feature films
- 8 DVD releases
- 9 Continuation of Trailer Park Boys
- 10 References
- 11 External links
In 1998, director Mike Clattenburg wrote and directed a film short titled "One Last Shot," which was shot in black and white. The film followed the exploits, in documentary style, of Ricky (Robb Wells) and Julian (John Paul Tremblay), two criminals doing what they did just about every day. In the following 1999 feature film "Trailer Park Boys," also in black and white, the character Julian states to the camera in the film that he wanted his life to be documented after receiving a telephone psychic's prediction that he would die soon. He hoped that the film would deter others from the life of crime he had chosen.
The feature film was shown at the Atlantic Film Festival in 1999, and it caught the attention of producer Barrie Dunn who saw potential for a TV series. Clattenburg and Dunn, along with Wells and Tremblay worked on a proposal for a 13-episode season of the show, and travelled to Toronto to pitch the show to The Comedy Network. After being turned down, they made a snap decision to pitch the show to Showcase before returning home to Nova Scotia.
They found that the network was receptive, and sent them back with a commitment to a first season, with the provision that a second experienced producer (which ended up being Michael Volpe) be brought on board to assist the team. The first six 30-minute episodes were then written and filmed. Some modifications were made to the characters and story line for the series, and more humour was added to the series in comparison to the film.
The biggest change from film to series was the addition of Mike Smith's "Bubbles" character, who was originally developed for the earlier short film "The Cart Boy;" a film that Smith, Wells, Tremblay, and Clattenburg worked on together in 1995. Smith's character was soon to grow from a recurring character to one of the show's primary protagonists (even though in the earlier film, "Bubbles" was the name of Smith's character's cat). Trailer Park Boys resided with Showcase for its first seven seasons. Beginning with the eighth season, the series will be released through Netflix.
Early seasons were shot in various trailer parks in Nova Scotia, but the crew were not welcomed to film again due to complaints from residents. A space was purchased and a functional trailer park set was built in Dartmouth for later seasons, giving the staff more freedom than at previous locations.
Episodes revolve around the protagonists (Ricky, Julian and Bubbles, plus, their misfit accomplices, Cory & Trevor) trying to make money through petty crimes, while avoiding being caught by the police. Their schemes are complicated by the interference of vindictive, trailer-park-supervisor Jim Lahey, and his shirtless assistant, Randy; Ricky & Julian's incompetence is rivaled by Lahey's drunken ineptitude. Throughout the series, Ricky & Julian end up in and out of jail, with most of their schemes collapsing into failure.
Later seasons of the show changed this formula: each season finale featured the boys' schemes succeeding, and their future looking optimistic; then, the next season's premiere episode would show them sheepishly explaining how everything had gone wrong for them in the interim, thus bringing the story back to square-one, re-setting the cycle to repeat.
Each of the characters has his/her own particular trademark mannerism or trait. Julian often takes a leadership role and devises schemes; also, he seems to always have a rum and Coke-on-the-rocks in his hand. Ricky thinks he is dumb, and looks to Julian for advice; his speech is often laced with malapropisms, and his chronically incompetent. Bubbles wears "Coke-bottle" eyeglasses, drives a go kart, lives in a shed with a bunch of cats, and gets upset and tears up when the boys fight. Trailer Park Supervisor Jim Lahey is normally intoxicated, and shoehorns the word "shit" into his cautionary metaphors. His assistant, Randy, is almost always shirtless, and taunted for his love of cheeseburgers. There are also four pairs of minor characters: Cory & Trevor (who assist and idolize Ricky & Julian); Mr. Lahey & Randy; Lucy & Sarah (Lucy is the mother of Ricky's daughter, and Sarah moved in after Ricky was imprisoned); and, J-Roc & T (J-Roc is a wannabe hip hop-style "thug", and the only white member of his peer group; the pair are also the park's drug dealers, and amateur rappers).
Main cast members
|Robb Wells||Ricky||Season 1–present|
|John Paul Tremblay||Julian||Season 1–present|
|Mike Smith||Bubbles||Season 1–present|
|John Dunsworth||James "Jim" Lahey||Season 1–present|
|Patrick Roach||Randy||Season 1–present|
|Lucy Decoutere||Lucy||Season 1–present|
|Sarah E. Dunsworth||Sarah||Season 1–present|
|Barrie Dunn||Ray||Season 1–present|
|Tyrone Parsons||Tyrone, a.k.a. "T"||Season 1–present|
|Jonathan Torrens||Jamie, a.k.a. "J-Roc"||Season 1–present|
|Cory Bowles||Cory||Season 1–6, 8-present|
|Michael Jackson||Trevor||Season 1–6|
|Jeanna Harrison-Steinhart||Trinity||Season 1, 3–present|
|Shelley Thompson||Barbara Lahey||Season 1–present|
|Garry James||Detroit Velvet Smooth||Season 3–5|
|Ellen Page||Treena Lahey||Season 2|
Recurring cast members
|George Green||Officer George Green||Season 1–present|
|Jacob Rolfe||Jacob Collins||Season 1–present|
|Jim Swansburg||Detective Ted Johnston||Season 1, 5–7|
|Bernard Robichaud||Cyrus||Season 1–2, 4–5, 8|
|Sam Tarasco||Sam "Caveman" Losco||Season 1–2, 4–present|
|Richard Collins||Philadelphia "Phil" Collins||Season 4–7|
|Mio Adilman||Terry||Season 5|
|Nobu Adilman||Dennis||Season 5|
|Sebastian Bach||Himself||Season 7–present|
|Brian Huggins||"Shitty" Bill||Season 5–7|
|Linda Busby||Linda (J-Roc's mom)||Season 1–3|
Cory and Trevor's departure
In addition to his role as Trevor, Michael Jackson was also a production assistant behind the scenes for seasons 2–6. During this time, Jackson and many of the other actors on the show were paid minimum scale (wage) despite the show's growing success. Tension grew between the producers (Barrie Dunn and Mike Volpe) and Jackson due to working conditions and creative disagreements. Jackson gave notice that he would fulfill his contract up to and including season 6, as he was close friends with the series' creator Mike Clattenburg. The producers and writers did not directly address the issue of Cory and Trevor leaving the show at the end of season 6 even though they knew of their impending departure for some time beforehand. However, the characters' departure from Sunnyvale was addressed in season 7 and their names have been part of the continuing Trailer Park Boys storyline. Cory Bowles did return for Seasons 8 and 9.
The series is consistently shot in a mockumentary style (including the use of long takes), but often the camera crew became engrossed in the plot. On several occasions, the camera and boom mic operators are spoken to by the characters, and often end up becoming directly involved in the action. In one episode, a crew member is shot, and they are also enlisted several times to help the characters when a pair of extra hands is needed. All of this is intended to produce the feeling that these are real events that are happening to real people, when in reality, the show is loosely scripted, with much of the dialog ad-libbed from very basic plot points laid out beforehand.
Furthering the myth that Trailer Park Boys is nonfiction, many of the actors (particularly Robb Wells, John Paul Tremblay, Mike Smith and John Dunsworth) often make public appearances without breaking character.
The cinematographic style of the show is split between rough handheld camera work and clearly planned camera work; the latter sometimes involves crane shots and quite clearly pre-arranged fixed-camera shots.
The show became very successful in many countries. The show's lead trio formerly toured with Our Lady Peace, and with Guns N' Roses, with whom Bubbles sings his trademark song "Liquor and Whores." The Trailer Park Boys have also appeared in music videos with The Tragically Hip, while Bubbles has appeared with George Canyon and Snow, and they have been presenters at numerous award shows – always in character. Several famous artists appear on the show, such as Alex Lifeson from Rush in "Closer to the Heart," singer Rita MacNeil in the season four finale "Working Man," Brian Vollmer from Helix, Sebastian Bach from Skid Row, and the late singer/songwriter Denny Doherty of The Mamas and the Papas in the season seven finale "A Shitriver Runs Through It."
The show is a great success for the cable network Showcase, where it is the network's highest-rated Canadian series. It airs in Australia on The Comedy Channel, in the United Kingdom and Spain on Paramount Comedy, in the Republic of Ireland on 3e, in Iceland on SkjárEinn, in New Zealand on TV 2, in Israel on Xtra Hot, in the Netherlands on Comedy Central Netherlands, in Denmark on DR2, in Portugal on SIC Radical, in Germany on Comedy Central Germany, in Finland on Nelonen, in Bulgaria on Nova Television, and in Poland on Comedy Central Polska. In the United States, BBC America formerly aired a censored version of the show, but it is no longer part of their lineup. On February 5, 2009, satellite provider DirecTV began airing the series in the United States on its channel The 101 Network, uncensored, at the rate of two episodes per week. DirecTV aired the entire seven-season run of Trailer Park Boys, plus both specials. All episodes aired on DirecTV are in 16:9 widescreen format (although not in High Definition resolution), as opposed to the standard definition 4:3 aspect DVD releases of the first five seasons. It is also available on Netflix.
Actors John Dunsworth, John Paul Tremblay, and Robb Wells can be seen in the MGM 2002 movie Virginia's Run starring Gabriel Byrne and Joanne Whalley. John Dunsworth plays a local cop while John Paul Tremblay and Robb Wells play active and verbal townsmen similar to their Trailer Park Boys characters. Actors are credited as cop for John Dunsworth, J.P. for John Paul Tremblay (credits as J.P. Tremblay), and Robb Wells as Rob. The movie was filmed in Shelburne, Nova Scotia.
Most ratings for show when originally aired are unknown, but season 3 had an average of 300,000 viewers per episode.
The second Trailer Park Boys movie to be produced (the first being the original black and white production that sparked the series), Trailer Park Boys: The Movie (also known as The Big Dirty) was released on October 6, 2006, and distributed by Alliance Atlantis. Ivan Reitman produced the movie, Mike Clattenburg directed it, and Clattenburg and Robb Wells co-wrote it. It was nominated for a Genie Award for Best Motion Picture, but did not win. This movie and later on the second one, also paved the way for its popularity in the U.S.
Countdown to Liquor Day
The franchise's second feature film, Trailer Park Boys: Countdown to Liquor Day, was released in Canada on September 25, 2009. The movie serves as sequel to the last televised episode, "Say Goodnight to the Bad Guys".
Don't Legalize It
In May 2012, Mike Clattenberg announced on his Twitter page that a third film in the Trailer Park Boys franchise was in development. Principal photography for the third installment was scheduled to begin in October 2012, but was pushed back to March 2013; filming began on March 17, 2013. On April 20, 2013, the production moved to Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, where filming took place at Parliament Hill during the 4/20 weekend.  Entertainment One announced that the third film, titled Trailer Park Boys 3: Don't Legalize It, would be released in Canada on April 18, 2014. The film picks up shortly after where Season 7 of the TV show left off, and centres around Ricky's concerns that if the Canadian government legalized and controlled marijuana sale, it would put his grow-op out of business.
Live in Fuckin' Dublin
While touring the Ricky, Julian and Bubbles Community Service Variety Show, footage from the trio's May 9, 2013 performance at the Olympia Theatre in Dublin, Ireland was collected for a concert film. The live show contains an introduction and epilogue shot in the format of a Trailer Park Boys episode, with the premise that the boys are arrested in Dublin and forced to serve community service by throwing a puppet show discouraging drug and alcohol use. Some elements from the television series return in Live in Fuckin' Dublin, such as Alex Lifeson's feud with Ricky, Ricky's inadvertently gluing objects to his nose and Conky's many resurrections. The film was released as a Netflix Original program on June 1, 2014.
Alliance Home Entertainment has released all seven seasons of Trailer Park Boys on DVD in Region 1.
|DVD Name||Episodes||Release date|
|The Complete First and Second Seasons||13||May 27, 2003|
|The Complete Third Season||8||April 6, 2004|
|The Complete Fourth Season||8||April 12, 2005|
|Christmas Special||1||November 15, 2005|
|The Complete Fifth Season||10||May 9, 2006|
|The Complete Sixth Season||6||May 8, 2007|
|The Complete Seventh Season||10||May 6, 2008|
|The Complete Series||55||June 16, 2009|
|The Complete Collection||55||October 11, 2011|
Continuation of Trailer Park Boys
The Trailer Park Boys franchise has continued past the original run of the television series, almost without interruption. The cast and crew took the summer of 2008 off, but a new special one-hour episode titled "Say Goodnight to the Bad Guys" aired in Canada on December 7, 2008. Series creator Mike Clattenburg announced on November 12, 2008 that the special would be followed by a sequel movie scheduled for Canadian release on September 25, 2009 (Countdown to Liquor Day), which would be "the end of Trailer Park Boys," and that no additional seasons will be made.
In January 2009, the boys were in character at select venues nationally including Massey Hall in Toronto. They performed the Ricky, Julian and Bubbles Community Service Variety Show. The premise was that they were fulfilling court order community service and must put on a puppet show aimed at demonstrating the dangers of using alcohol and drugs.
In November 2009, Wells, Tremblay and Smith announced that they would be starring in a new television series called The Drunk and On Drugs Happy Fun Time Hour, which aired on Action in 2010. The series was given an order of six episodes. The actors also served as writers and executive producers for the series.
In March 2010, the boys did a show in character at Massey Hall in Toronto called "The Ricky, Julian and Bubbles, Drunk, High and Unemployed Tour". The tour expanded throughout 2010 and 2011 with live theatre performances worldwide including the U.S., Canada, UK and Ireland, with further performances in Australia and New Zealand in 2012.
In February 2012, Wells, Tremblay, and Smith played guest roles on the FX animated series, Archer, as a radical Nova Scotian separatist terrorist, a compatriot disguised as a Mountie, and a real Mountie, respectively.
In October 2012, Barrie Dunn officially announced a third Trailer Park Boys film. Filming began in March 2013 and ended in late April. The film is set to be released in Canadian theaters on April 18th, 2014.
On July 4, 2013, it was announced that Tremblay, Wells and Smith acquired the rights to Trailer Park Boys and confirmed it would return with an eighth season. Principal production took place from July-September 2013, back on location in an existing mobile home community in Truro, Nova Scotia. In late September 2013, Mike Smith announced on the SwearNet Facebook page that the cast and crew had also returned to the location in September to shoot content for two new specials, that Season 8 had been "rough cut" into ten episodes, and that SwearNet was seeking network deals in addition to its plans to webcast the new material.
On December 27th 2013, Smith confirmed on Twitter that a ninth season will go into production in Spring 2014.
On March 5th, 2014, Netflix announced that the two new seasons of Trailer Park Boys will air exclusively on their streaming service later this year. In addition to season 8 and 9, the network will also air three specials, Community Service Special, Swearnet Special, Trailer Park Boys Xmas and two new films, Trailer Park Boys 3: Don't Legalize It and Swearnet, after their theatrical release.
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