DVD Review – The Red Green Show: The Midlife Crisis Years

DVD Review – The Red Green Show: The Midlife Crisis YearsYou don’t really know what to expect when you see the cover of The Red Green Show: The Midlife Crisis Years (from Acorn Media, out 5/31). Is it some zany Cheech and Chong-esque comedy series? Is it a sixties-set peace-and-love comedy starring Jeff Bridges? The possibilities are endless, though the cover turns out to give you all the wrong hints completely. The show is actually about Canadian rednecks.

Yeah, I didn’t really see it coming either.

The strange thing about the Red Green breed of rednecks, aside from the fact that they’re Canadian, is that there’s a very noticeable lack of malcontent. In American culture, rednecks are usually portrayed as bigoted angry people. Red and his friends just aren’t — in fact, there’s a surprising lack of any of the negative aspects of redneck culture. Steve Smith (star and creator of the show) seems to have left all of that out in favor of witty and generally nice guys who just happen to repair everything with duct tape and get excited over the prospects of new garbage being dumped in their yard (“Think of all the half-assembled Ikea furniture!” Red muses).

Women are the only ones who get the short end of the Red shtick, with essentially all of the main characters’ wives being presented as shrews (also, there are hardly any female characters shown at all). At the end of every episode, Red leads his friends in a “Man’s Prayer:” “I’m a man and I can change… If I have to. I guess,” as though placating an angry wife. Of course, conversely, men’s inability to say “I don’t know” is also lampooned on a regular basis, so I don’t think the show would come off as terribly offensive to women at all.

In fact, it should come off as not only funny but darn funny, as Red might say. There are some hilariously botched home improvement-style sketches that always, without fail, turn out to be successful, no matter how far-fetched they are or how much duct tape Red uses. The fact that the characters are all pretty smart — they use good grammar and have fairly quick wit — is another bonus for them — and the show.

It’s undeniably superior to shows centering around characters like Larry the Cable Guy, but fans of those shows will likely love Red Green too. If they have to. I guess.

Get it if you like: Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Blue Collar Comedy Tour

The Red Green Show: The Midlife Crisis Years hits DVD on Tuesday, May 31. Get it on Amazon. DVD Review – The Red Green Show: The Midlife Crisis Years

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