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A Love Letter to the Trailer Park Boys

What's the premise of Trailer Park Boys?

Featuring John Paul Tremblay (Julian) Robb Wells (Ricky), and Mike Smith (Bubbles) - These are the creators of this brilliant show. Julian is a tall, black-haired muscle man while Ricky is also tall, red-haired and rocks a slick beard. Bubbles is a near-sighted kitten lover with the brains to brag. Julian exists as the Leader of the boys, constantly planning schemes to make some money and keep their home safe. Ricky is the guy you turn to when something needs to be taken care of in a "criminally professional" way. Bubbles is the only stable constant in this group as he always discourages the boys from living a life of crime and poverty. All he wants is a stable environment where the three can work as the team they were born to be.

The basic setup of every season begins like this: It starts with the boys either being released from jail or continuing to live in the Sunnyvale Trailer Park (a fictional location in Nova Scotia). When they're not in prison, the boys are seemingly always cooking up amateur schemes that involve petty crime. At other times, they find themselves in complete disaster as a result of their actions. Some of these ridiculous mishaps include stealing meat packages from a store to resell, taking barbeques from inside of the park and auctioning them, or creating a bar out of a trailer to distribute alcohol. In several occurrences, they end up growing marijuana while under high-risk situations. The police play a big part in the show as well, always blocking the boys from their sweet goal of Freedom 45, a concept of retiring dreamt up by Julian where one major crime can lead to the perfect and final sell. Among the chaos, the boys will begin committing other minor crimes when finances are looking bleak. However, for the three Trailer Park Boys, this is usually a vain attempt to save and own their home: Sunnyvale Trailer Park. They do eventually gain territory of the market shares. Through all the pain they've put themselves through to manage this, they can at least be allowed to succeed sometime or another.

Jim Lahey (John Dunsworth), the "Trailer Park Supervisor" and his romantic partner Randy (Pat Roach) who bares the title of "Assistant Trailer Park Supervisor" are always spying on the boys and their behavior. Jim Lahey, once a prestigious police officer has been reduced to an alcoholic who obsesses over Julian, Ricky, and Bubbles as if he never put down the badge. Together, Jim and Randy work to collect evidence in an attempt to outsmart the boys. However, due to Jim Lahey being a severe drunk, he often tends to make chaotic decisions that bring about even more trouble for the three boys. They continue to constantly remain on their toes when Lahey or Randy comes around.

At the end of the day, the boys either prevail in their criminal ways, or they're sent back to jail to do time. No matter how the boys plan their crime, there will always exist the obvious legal setbacks that can catch you in a trap beneath the police. Despite this, they continue to risk their lives just to save their childhood home. It sounds noble, even heroic. However, this show honestly reminds me of a Shakespearean Tragedy. They never do seem to pull off the perfect crime, so it's back to the drawing boards once again.

What makes the characters relatable?

The reason this show is such a hit is due to how relatable the situations can be. When an individual has nothing, a poor education, and an affinity for crime; some must wonder what one would do to keep his freedom and his home safe. Ricky, one of the main three characters, has a family that he is constantly trying to keep under control and in his grasp. His romantic partner Lucy is tired of living a poor life with a criminal. However due to their child Trinity together, they force their relationship to work. Even if it means taking place in crimes to gather money, furniture, or anything else he can find to make their lives easier. Mostly known for growing weed, which they call "dope" is nearly Ricky's only outlet to making money. Julian, a broke friend who is desperate to acquire his dream to collect "retirement funds" (money from crimes) before he hits the age of 45, conceives of criminal plans for him and Ricky to do together. Bubbles, the only honest man with a good conscience pleads with his friends to stop their fiendish ways--but to no avail. In most instances, Bubbles winds up with them in jail.

We relate to these characters because they represent an archetype of the not-so-average criminal. The boys constantly encounter obstacles, just as we do in our own lives. Who hasn't ever been desperate in a situation before? What if the options given in life are limited and the ones that are available question your morality? How far does someone go when they have so little to lose? That's what makes these characters feel so alive and connects with the audience on a different kind of level. One can see the desperation of their situations, but on a pleasant note, they intertwine comedy into the mix. Ricky's blunders are always over the edge and wild. Nevertheless, he keeps his spirit up and simply does what he does for the love of his family. A notion everyone can relate to.

Jim Lahey, a man who lost his position on the force due to the three boys will at times compromise his desire to take them down if it benefits the park--which is the number one thing he cares about most. Randy and Barb, both lovers of Jim eventually come together and agree that their feelings for Jim shouldn't compromise their friendship, and so they partake in polygamy. We can acknowledge sacrifice within these people of the park to live their best lives and overcome trouble at any cost. No matter if they're a criminal or not.

In the end, the characters of the story connect with us as individuals. When we're at our worst, we see the light these characters bring despite their pain. Some of us aren't always dealt the best circumstances in the game of life, and at times, we need to do things we're not proud of to keep us from falling apart. Let morale guide you as much as possible, but in shifty instances with limited choices, remember to live life on the edge.


Julian, Bubbles, Ricky. (Right to Left)

Julian, Bubbles, Ricky. (Right to Left)

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© 2023 Bailey Davidson

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