3.08.2010

a lament for canadian comedy

It's been damned nice out here in the tee ohh the past few days, so this weekend despite a cranky sinus cavity I cracked the windows wide open and did some tidying up.  Among the various artifacts unearthed in this excavation I found my beat up old copy of jPod and decided to revisit the fantastic yet short lived CBC TV adaptation of same. Thirteen short episodes be all that remains of this edgy Canadian made young comedy.  Do you remember the last time a Canadian comedy series was edgy?  Shows like SCTV and Kids In The Hall showed that we could be funny but only while being quirky, self deprecating, and of course polite.

Certainly modern comedy shows North of the border have evolved yes?  Right. Sure they have.

Okay so I don't wanna complain too hard.  I have a friend who writes for Little Mosque who has a fantastic sense of humour and I know works hard to push innovative comedy into the Canadian mainstream and no doubt he is not alone in that effort.  But jPod was built that way from the ground up and somehow couldn't hang on.  Maybe it's because our viewers simply are quirky, self deprecating and too polite to put their weight behind a show where a June Cleaver housewife grows dope and whacks bad guys while her adulterous husband, smashed by ten am, is off ballroom dancing with a Chinese crime boss.  A show that delivers some of the shiniest gems of dialog I've heard outside of a Tarantino flick.

Take this riff between a sex addicted chain smoking game engine developer who's just met a woman he doesn't know for casual bang-bang at a fast food joint.  She's arrived wearing remote control vibrating panties and texted him the location of the remote which he wields judiciously before seeing her face and discovers her to be his own sister.

Him: "Our family is a disaster!"

Her: "What do you expect when our parents die in a murder suicide pact?"

Him: "It was the worst Christmas ever" 

He takes a long pull from a bottle of Robitussin, then offers it across the table.

Him: "You wanna get tussed up with me?"

Her: "Y'know what?  Yes."

Ah jPod, we hardly knew ye.  The good news is that CBC knows how to monetize a deceased property and has made the entire series freely available to Canadians via the magic of video stream and internet pixies, so if you're looking for the funny point yer mouse yonder.
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