Deeper Dive: The Cult Hulu Hit Letterkenny
“Pitter patter. Let’s get at’er.”
Have you ever watched the first episode of a series and thought to yourself, “What the eff did I just watch?!” Yes? Did you then proceed to watch another, then another, then all of the sudden you’re left alone and uncomfortable because you’ve finished the series? Nowhere to turn, no comfort left in the world? That’s how I felt the first time I watched Letterkenny, a Hulu series. I then proceeded to get all of my people addicted to it as well. Dig deep, my friends. There is a lot out there that is waiting to be watched.
Letterkenny was originally a series of YouTube videos before it's release in 2016 on Crave TV in Canada, later to be picked up by Hulu in 2018. The series recently released its 9th season on Hulu in December 2020, coming to a total of 54 episodes. This Canadian cult hit was created by and stars Jared Keeso (Elysium) and developed by and stars Jacob Tierney (The Trotsky). Creator Jared Keeso loosely based the show on his own small-town of 7000 people.
Letterkenny is a series that is based in a rural Canadian town that initially seems to be mocking "hicks", “degens”, “skids”, fighting, drinks, religion (that includes a didgeridoo), dating, hockey, and community. That is merely skimming the surface of this series so PAY ATTENTION! There is a lot of backstory lurking in the beginning. Resist the urge to stop the stream after 10 minutes or reach for your phone. Letterkenny touches on subjects like feminism, homophobia, sexism, and anti-bullying in a progressive and almost slapstick form. It can be uncomfortable at times, but in a palatable way that actually makes you think.
The characters are all over the place in a perfect sort of menagerie of diversity. Season One is so very different from Season Nine, you will feel ALL of the feelings through this journey that I’m encouraging you to take. There are some moments that you will absolutely relate to and others that will make you so cringingly uncomfortable that you can only laugh. This will happen over and over again.
I mentioned that since I’ve been hooked on Letterkenny, I’ve managed to get other people stuck on it as well. It’s an interesting sort of compatibility test -- “Are you friend/boyfriend/girlfriend material?” I’d recommend this method to anyone, but you HAVE to find that unknown series that resonates with you first. Again, dig deep.
“I look forward to seeing Wayne and the guys beat up whatever degen happens to cross their path.” said Zachary B. The fight scenes only get better as the series evolves. I think these scenes are when I first started to notice the patterns and reticulation that makes this series so addicting. You’ll start saying them. You’ll start doing them. You won’t be able to help yourself. And with these sayings and mannerisms, you’ll find your people.
My friends moved from Los Angeles to Austin and noticed an Ontario license plate at their apartment building. They left a note saying “If you like Letterkenny, knock on our door." They now have a new friend. You find your people.
“Any show with that many puns and alliteration catches my attention. It’s a combination of smart, silly, and crass that just works.” said David F. This right here is also key to the catchiness of this series. The conversations can definitely be uncomfortable, but there is a level of wholesomeness that makes it less cringy. Right off the bat, you understand that these characters are extreme examples of humanity which allows you to breathe during the moments of, “OMG WTF?!” Ultimately, this small town is morally driven -- they support and protect each other no matter what they’re categorized as.
“Every time I re-watch an episode I notice things I didn’t catch the first time around. You can be laughing your a@# off at the first joke and totally miss the joke that follows it.” said Ashley K.
“To be fair…” It does take a moment to zone into the vernacular -- but once you do, it’s almost impossible to stop watching. Not to mention RE-watching. You’ll catch things the second time around that you didn’t at the first watch. I reiterate - PAY ATTENTION!
Pandemic aside, this is a show you want to tune-in to. Season Nine was recently released on Hulu December 26th, so now is the time to binge if you haven't already. Personally, I’ve watched all eight seasons a few times over now. I just finished re-watching AGAIN and I’m about to watch S9:E5.
If you like smart, fast-paced, hilarious, weirdly diversely scripted shows -- this is your jam. Sometimes you just have to go back to what feels right and “wholesome” these days… and bring your people along for the ride as well.