What Spaced did for geek subculture in Britain, Letterkenny does for Canadian small-town folk subculture. The quintessential crash course in Canadian small-town humour and rural wisdom.
What Spaced did for geek subculture in Britain, Letterkenny does for Canadian small-town folk subculture.
Since I recently talked about Posthuman: Sanctuary and why it is awesome and needs your attention, I’ve been feeling in the mood to spotlight some other current media that should be more popular than it is.
Today I’ll be talking about Letterkenny.
What the fuck is Letterkenny?
I somehow hear you asking yourselves.
The short of it is that Letterkenny is the quintessential crash course in Canadian small-town comedy and rural wisdom. But I’ll let the show introduce itself with the first episode’s opening.
If the cold open doesn’t make you want to see more of this, then Letterkenny may simply not be your particular brand of Canadian vodka.
For those whose interest I have piqued but have not been completely convinced by the video, hang around for a few more paragraphs.
The show mainly follows the goings-on of a brother and sister and their closest friends. Granted, since everything happens in a town with a population of 5000, everybody tends to know everybody else and this means that we get a wider cast of characters that interact with our protagonists. There’s a Goth/Emo group who manufactures and sells meth, a sex-crazed bartender, a church official who is so closeted he’s having adventures in Narnia and two, really dopey, moronic, “bro” hockey players. Hockey is HUGE in Canada, it’s basically a religion.
Each episode has a central plot-driven story-line but this is just there so that we can be regaled with glances into the wondrous world of Letterkenny. A place where chewing tobacco and homoerotic sexual tension reign.
That filling – NOT filler mind you – is made up of all manner of anecdotes relating to dubious misadventures, whether personal or of other known parties. Ranging from stories about the guy who ALLEGEDLY fucked an ostrich to a rather detailed discussion relating to human scrotal anatomy spurred on by the story of an unlucky skateboarder. Most of which being delivered in such a deadpan way that it can only be endearing. If they were to “act out” or exaggerate the telling of their stories, we wouldn’t believe them half as much.
Then there’s also Fartbook’s (the 3rd episode) semi-absurdist commentary on social media doing one of the best jobs in terms of illustrating the weird ways in which Facebook has changed society, for the worst. You don’t need a degree in literature to see the comparisons there.
In the lulls between the overall story-line of each episode and the upper mentioned anecdotes – which tend to make up a large portion of the run-time, the episodes are topped off with folksy words of wisdom as well as apparent non sequiturs. “That’s why you never give a sword to a hooker”.
Not to mention a crap-tonne of rural Canadian colloquialisms and hockey jargon that you really don’t know what most of it means, but can kinda get the gist of, as the episodes go on.
I could talk more about it but any of my further explanations will pale in comparison to the subject discussed. Oh yeah, just one other thing, there’s always a post-credit outro scene, completely unrelated to the episode’s proceedings. Make sure you don’t miss them.