‘Letterkenny’ crew goes for twofer with great new hockey series, Shorsey

The story relocates the titular Shoresy to Sudbury, with no real mention or story arch coming over from Letterkenny.

Where: Crave
What: Miniseries, 6 episodes, 30 mins.
When: May 13, new episode every Friday
Genre: Comedy
Why you should watch: The team that explains Canada to the planet through Letterkenny takes a deeper dive into the world of small-town hockey with hilarious spinoff series that’s both brilliant and brainless at the same time. Strong female and Indigenous characters hint at bigger ideas here.

The Kids In the Hall’s new series is not the only huge news in Canadian comedy today. The brilliant folks behind Letterkenny are also launching a new show. The new spinoff series, titled Shoresy, lands on on Crave on Friday the 13, and it’s at least as smart and funny as its predecessor.

The Letterkenny team has created a hilarious spinoff that digs deep into the world of small-town hockey but provides great Indigenous and female characters along the way. The show manages to be super smart and dumb as fuck all at the same time.

The story relocates the titular Shoresy to Sudbury, with no real mention or story arch coming over from Letterkenny. Shoresy was a character whose face remained unseen, played by the series creator, Jered Keeso, who also played Letterkenny lead Wayne on camera.

But Shoresy really stands on its own, a fast-paced show that also just lopes along like an aimless dude looking for fun. While many films and shows have attempted to authentically depict hockey and its culture, they often seem stiff, awkward and too polite. Shoresy is none of these, with its bro-lovin’ vibe, smart-assed chirps, inherent violence and contrasting grace all resonating with me, a committed Beer league hockey player.

Kesso as Shoresy is both charming and oafish: he tears up at “O Canada” but will say horrendous things about an unfortunate’s mother to his face. I can’t determine which of my Black Stokes teammates — my rec team — he reminds me of most, Casino, Big Country, Shorty, probably pieces of all of them. There’s something Canadian about the self-effacing comedy, nobody is immune to getting chirped and everyone is taken down a peg, one of the fundamental roles of humour.

The female characters on the show don’t take any shit and are uniformly strong, smart, independent and credible. Buried under the laughs and sometimes crude jokes is a refreshing story of female empowerment.

Indigenous characters are equally strong, even revelatory for some Canadians not used to multi-dimensional depictions of First Nations roles. Look for the repeated line from the show, “Tough Native is redundant” on T-shirts this summer. Jordan and Brandon Nolan — the hockey-playing sons of former NHL coach Ted Nolan, the only Indigenous person to ever coach in the league — are among the solid Indigenous cast members.

Harlan Blayne Kytwayhat subtly plays Shoresy’s best buddy, though he too is not immune to cutting quips from his pal.

Shoresy is one of the best new shows on television, a solid comedy offering more than its sometime crude jokes might, at first, suggest. The Letterkenny crew just got back from a tour of sold-out shows in the U.S., there’s no reason to believe the Shorsey cast won’t be at least as successful with their new take on life in Canada.

Look for an upcoming feature interview with Shoresy stars Harlan Blayne Kytwayhat and Tasya Teles in the June print issue of NEXT Magazine and online here.

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