December has come at last. The houses are decorated, shitty candy fills the aisles of every supermarket in the world, and the radio blares irritating songs about Santa Christ.
Every year, I dust off my box of holiday shows, and every year without fail I watch me some Trailer Park Boys.
Those of you who have seen Trailer Park Boys before are probably wondering what a show about dope, liquor, and guns has to do with Christmas. Our American readers are probably wondering “What the hell is a trailer park boy?”
If you don’t know, Trailer Park Boys was a very successful Canadian television series that ran for 7 seasons, 2 films, and 2 specials. It’s a fake-documentary comedy with no laugh track, wherein Julian, a petty criminal, hires a camera crew to make a documentary about him and his friends’ life in a shitty trailer park. Think Reno 911 from the criminal’s perspective.
If you’re wondering why criminals would want a camera crew following them around, in the 1999 black and white pilot movie, Julian hires the camera crew because a 900-number psychic told him he was going to die soon, and he wanted to film his final days. Of course, this explanation doesn’t really hold up, since when all is said and done, the documentary team had been filming them for a full decade.
Anyway, by fall of 2004, four seasons of Trailer Park Boys had aired, and due to its low budget, Showcase was making profit hand over fist. Season 5 wouldn’t begin airing until the following summer, so what was the next logical step for the franchise? Why, a holiday special, of course!
Dear Santa Claus, Go Fuck Yourself pulls double duty as both a Christmas special and a prequel to the entire series, taking us back to Christmas 1997. That’s all well and good, but does cause a continuity problem because the documentary crew is there, when in fact Julian wouldn’t hire them for another two years.
I would have been fine with this if they’d just ditched the documentary conceit, but, no, they still have the characters address the camera in interview-style segments.
The special begins on December 23rd, with Bubbles knitting in his shed, explaining that his parents abandoned him as a child around Christmas, so the holiday has always been a sad time for him. All these years, he’s hung on to the last Christmas gift his parents ever left him, refusing to open it until they returned.Meanwhile, Julian decides to bail Ricky out of jail so he can spend Christmas with his family. In truth, Julian just wants him home sp Ricky’s ex-girlfriend Lucy will stop trying to get in his pants.
Ricky, however, doesn’t want to go home because apparently Christmas in jail is awesome, and the prisoners and guards get drunk and stoned together for twelve days straight. He’s less than pleased about returning home.The trailer park supervisor, Mr Lahey, who at this point is still married to Barb, is also unhappy with Ricky’s release. Christmas is the one day a year Barb lets him indulge his love of liquor and drink his face off, but only if he behaves himself. His hatred of Ricky makes that no easy task.
Julian bequeaths his grandmother’s old car to Ricky, so he can live in it and impress Lucy. Long time fans of the show will immediately know what’s in store for this poor fucking car, as under Ricky’s care, it’s destined to become the infamous Shitmobile. It’s fun to see it degrade into a total wreck over the course of the special.
Ricky tries to get back together with Lucy, but being the materialistic bitch she is, she says she’ll only take him back if he comes up with a bunch of presents for their daughter and a fur coat for herself.
Ricky thinks this will be no problem at all, and that Santa will take care of everything. Lucy assumes by “Santa” he means himself, but no, Ricky really does still believe in Santa Claus and still writes him letters every year.
It’s only later, drinking with his father and Bubbles, he is told some unfortunate truths: Santa and God aren’t the same person, Santa isn’t real, and Ricky will have to procure the gifts himself if he wants to get back together with Lucy.Lucky for him, Julian is running his annual “Christmas re-marketing” scheme. He steals trees, lights, and gifts, and sells them to the residents of the park. He holds a contest for the best-decorated trailer, with the prize of a big screen TV.
Ricky agrees to work for Julian to get the gifts for stupid Lucy who is a skank and also sucks.Fans of the series will notice we get to meet J-Roc, called Jamie in this episode, before he became Sunnyvale’s very own vanilla ice.
We also get to see the genesis of the Lahey/Randy relationship. Randy propositions Barb outside of a fast food restaurant while working as a male prostitute. She takes pity on him, and brings him home, offering a place to stay in exchange for helping Mr Lahey around the park. Unfortunately, the audience already knows what this decision will do to her marriage.Lost in all of the usual Trailer Park Boys madness is Bubbles, who just wants to have a Christmas Eve bonfire with his friends, but Ricky and Julian are too busy with their criminal endeavours to pay him much attention.
Lahey discovers that the majority of the Christmas decorations in the park are stolen goods, and calls the police. They come and raid all the trailers, but have to let the boys go since they have no hard evidence as to who actually stole the shit in the first place.
So after yet another failure to get rid of Ricky for good, Lahey goes home and does what he does best: Get absolutely, hilariously shitfaced. It’s here we see the origin of Randy’s hideous tight pants after Lahey spills eggnog all over the two of them.
They return to Sunnyvale to regroup, but Ray forces them all to come to midnight mass with him. They reluctantly agree, but not without trying to sell weed and stolen presents during the service.Ricky also interrupts the sermon to have Cory and Trevor bring in Lucy’s gift so she can open it in front of everyone. Unfortunately, Cory and Trevor are stupid and have gotten her an arc welder instead. Needless to say, Lucy is not pleased.
Lahey shows up spectacularly drunk dressed like some sort of a shitty Santa and acts like an enormous tool. Barb demands a divorce and leaves the church in a huff.Ricky has a Christmas revelation, and throws the pastor out of the pulpit to address the congregation.
So, Ricky and Julian go home and have their bonfire with Bubbles. In an unusually heartwarming scene, Bubbles realizes that Ricky and Julian are his family, and he decides to finally open that present.
His parents left him a letter I won’t describe here. Watch it for yourselves; it’s heartbreaking. Ricky then ruins the Christmas Eve mood by suggesting a trip to the gas station for microwavable subs.
The special ends with interviews with all the characters making New Year’s resolutions to turn their lives around. They’re deliciously unfulfilled by the rest of the series, of course.
This episode is pretty average as far as Trailer Park Boys goes. It’s fun to watch, but there really aren’t any laugh out loud moments until the last ten minutes or so. It’s clearly intended for people who have already seen the previous film and 4 seasons. While you can watch it by itself, it’s not the greatest starting point for the show (maybe try season 3?) and isn’t really the best showing for such a brilliantly funny series.
John Dunsworth’s performance as Lahey is by far the standout of this special. His progression from a somewhat grumpy authority figure into an utterly insane drunk is absolutely wonderful. He even looks like the goddamn Grinch some of the time.
As far as Christmas specials go, it’s definitely one of the better “adult” specials with just the right mix of warmth and drunken anarchy. Click the DVD cover up top for the Amazon link, and yes, Americans, Canadian DVDs will work in your machines.