Those slang examples betray some of the show’s bad habits: Like a lot of dirtbag comedies, Letterkenny can too often over-rely on immature jokes about sexuality, particularly with pastor Glen (who’s played by the show’s director, Jacob Tierney, and I’m not sure what that says).
It also has something of an inconsistent track record on gender stereotypes: While much of the show’s comedy is rooted in finding the softness in overblown masculinity, it tends to draw women broadly, especially as sexpots. Gail, the local bartender and one of Letterkenny’s few characters of color, basically has only one characteristic — that she’s horny. To the show’s credit, later seasons make a point to calm down some of the yowling caricatures, showing the live-and-let-live tolerance that exists in this small town.
Oh, boy. It seems the brain trust at Vox has discovered the Canadian indie comedy series Letterkenny and decided to issue one of their customary explainers. I would say the point escapes her, but that would imply it was at risk of being captured in the first place, and I fear that notion won’t bear scrutiny. Let me interrupt with a little ‘splaining of my own: The show is set in rural Ontario, in the fictional town of Letterkenny, population 5,000. We here at the hermitage enjoy it for its absurd, rapid-fire dialogue, and, as one of us also hails from rural Canuckistan, we appreciate the little details for being a true-to-life representation of small-town life there. It’s not what I would call hilarious, but it’s clever and notably quotable.
Now, to be fair (to be faihrrr) to Ms. Donnelly, the show’s often-raunchy humor is largely by, and for, twenty-somethings. Lots of drinking, fighting, swearing and fornicating. Gail is indeed the most tedious character. But experienced Voxspotters could have probably already guessed the source of this excerpt because of that telltale tic—there. Did you catch it? It’s as predictable as a knee jerking under a doctor’s reflex hammer. Progressives just can’t let their gaze rest on any scene populated by more than three people without doing a quick diversity head-count and pronouncing something to be problematic. I find it especially amusing to see her fume about Glen, the barely-closeted gay pastor (and probably my favorite character). She knows he’s somehow problematic, even if she can’t quite prove it, but oh, when she does, you better believe charges will be brought. Yuk it up while you can, Glen. You can only hide behind the writer/director shield for so long.
But yes, Gail is one of the show’s few “characters of color,” though I expect Donnelly to soon be seen in public with a placard around her neck denouncing her for the wokecrime of “erasing” the substantial native population who feature in the show, led by Wayne’s sometime-girlfriend Tanis. But again, to be fair (to be faihrrr) to our intersectionality inspectors, they might not have recognized the actors as natives (or First Nations inhabitants, as they say up there), since the closest they’ve ever gotten to one is that time they scribbled Racist!!! on a Washington Redskins decal on the bumper of a truck in the parking garage. But I digress. My point is, as an American of pallor who just so happens to have spent several days in rural Canada just a couple weeks ago, I can say that one of the first things you notice when out in public is, well, the lack of black people. It’s like suddenly becoming aware of a background hum that isn’t there anymore. You walk through a big-box store and think, what seems so different here? Oh, right, it’s very, very white. There are no African-Americans, or, I suppose, African-Canadians. The ones you do meet are mostly medical students directly from Africa. What are the writers supposed to do about this? Is the show supposed to be “representative” of rural Ontario or Brooklyn? How typically Ameri-centric for our Voxling to project her country’s myopic obsession with perfectly-proportioned racial pie charts onto foreign communities, irrespective of their unique histories! Shall we add colonialism to the epithets on her placard?
Actually, wait, hold on a minute. We’ve already seen how racial separatism has become acceptable again under a progressive aegis — segregated university graduation ceremonies, “cultural appropriation” (separatism rebranded under a new name), etc. Is it time for forced resettlement to make a comeback? No, no, hear me out. If progressives march people out of the inner cities in order to repopulate and diversify rural communities, would that be for the greater good? We could call it “reverse gentrification,” which would actually make it doubleplusgood. As we know, when you change the word (or the branding), you change the reality. (I can’t believe I give away such good advice for free.)
Anyway, enough of that foolishness. Back to chorin’.