What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Trailer Park Boys focuses on a pair of mobile home-dwelling buddies with prison records and a history of iffy behavior -- from armed robbery to bootlegging to selling drugs. They're often seen drinking hard liquor from open containers, and they run an illegal "grow-op" selling pot for most of the series. Unbleeped language flows freely in the form of "f--k" and "s--t," and violence includes gun-toting and some gang activity. There's sexual content, too, including amateur porn with blurred-out nudity.
What's the story?
Julian (John Paul Tremblay) and Ricky (Robb Wells) are TRAILER PARK BOYS, longtime friends who can't seem to escape the cycle of crime that keeps them stuck in the Sunnyvale Trailer Park. And, although they're constantly trying to figure out their lives, their string of shady business deals -- from bootlegging to drug-pushing -- always leads them back to the same place: home. Other residents include Bubbles (Mike Smith), a bespectacled loner who repairs shopping carts for a living, and trailer park supervisor Jim Lahey (John Dunsworth), a former police officer who's the boys' biggest nemesis.
Is it any good?
Inspired by creator Mike Clattenburg's 1999 film of the same name, Trailer Park Boys is a cult comedy that originally aired on Canadian television and, in later seasons, found its way to streaming providers. It's an acquired taste for sure, but the show's success attracted Canadian stars such as Ellen Page, Sebastian Bach of Skid Row, and Alex Lifeson of Rush and at one point even saw the show's central trio sharing a stage -- in character, of course -- with Guns N' Roses.
Older teens might well be drawn to the show's outlandish plot lines and quirky characters, particularly Bubbles, who proved to be the breakout star. (Also, the ability to stream the series will make binging awfully tempting.) But parents should be aware that, if their kids watch, they'll be cheering on two serial mess-ups who make terrible role models.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about Trailer Park Boys' use of stereotypes. When does a caricature go from being funny to being offensive? Where do you draw the line?
What are the risks of using crime, drug use, and socioeconomic stereotypes as a punch line? Does poking fun at people who make iffy choices downplay the consequences of their behavior?
How does Trailer Park Boys compare with other mockumentaries? What does it do differently, and does it work?