Can ‘The Lake’ continue Canada’s golden sitcom streak?

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In 2012, an antagonist vanity lounge The article titled “Of Moose and Men” asserted that Canadian comedy production would never have a global reach (“Because no one outside of Canada feels the urgent need to read or hear about, or even ‘knowing about Canada’). Since, Schitt’s Creek achieved an Emmy-record sweep, Kim’s Convenience helped launch a Marvel superstar, and all of Letterkenny and working moms at Kind of have found audiences on international streaming platforms. Turns out the Great White North isn’t so insular after all.

Now, Amazon is jumping into the boom with its first original Canadian sitcom (although To download is shot in Vancouver, it’s an American production). And Lakewhich comes just after the comedy game show LOL: The Last Laughing Canada and the revival of sketches The children in the roomis perhaps the proudest Canuck to date.

Created by Julien Doucet (spoiler, Hudson and Rex), the eight-part series is set entirely amidst the idyllic countryside of Northern Ontario on the one hand and promises to reflect “one of the quintessential Canadian experiences” on the other. Only natives privileged enough to spend their summers in a lakeside retreat will know if it really involves drunken canoe jousting, taxidermy ventriloquists, and festivals named Tiltapalooza. But the rest of us can still enjoy the scenery and performance, if not always the central plot without involvement.

The Amazon Prime Lake Video Review
Photo: Peter H. Stranks

Lake stars Jordan Gavaris as Justin, a newly single gay man who returns to the childhood lair (known simply as The Lake) to spend time with the 16-year-old girl he and his best friend from high school gave up for adoption as a teenager. . The eccentric group of locals, including a dork who always says “Wassup” (Jon Dore) and his realtor wife (Natalie Lisinksa), who loves puns, are surprised to see the former talking about the town of back to town. But none more so than Julia Stiles’ Maisy-May, the “evil stepsister” who, unbeknownst to Justin, received her father’s family cabin. And she is now planning to have it completely renovated.

Unsurprisingly, Justin isn’t taking this news down. Still, given the current economic climate, it’s hard to get too invested in a bratty feud over a vacation home between two stepbrothers stuck in arrested development (they’re still very prone to smack each other). Fortunately, Lake has more to offer than this first world problem.

Stiles seems to enjoy flipping his teenage rom-com persona with a fabulously bitchy twist as the winebox-drinking mean girl is determined to hold on to her legacy at all costs. And Gavaris, best known for playing Tatiana Maslany’s adoptive brother in black orphanalso offers an equal amount of sass as mean girls obsessive whose jealousy threatens to consume his entire stay.

Like with Schitt’s Creek, with whom he shares similar fish-out-of-water vibes, there’s a romance between his young male outsider and a slightly more grounded local. Checkered handyman Riley (Travis Nelson) and Justin’s relationship isn’t as healthy as Patrick and David’s – their first sexual encounter ends in a disastrous threesome with the only other Grindr user in range ten thousand (Jerry O’Connell sleazing like a corrupt candidate for mayor). But you’ll still be rooting for them to go the distance in another small town that shows no signs of homophobia: Maisy-May and her husband Victor (Terry Chen) also have a sexist child named Opal (Declan Whaley).

In fact, the only frowned upon relationship is the heterosexual relationship between eco-warrior offspring Justin Billie (Madison Shamoun) and torn teenager Killian (Jared Scott), the latter’s uptight mother Maisy-May constantly reminding them of their cousin ( although non-biological status). Despite this semi-incestuous tension, however, is/isn’t their willpower your average soapy YA fare. Even their magic mushroom trip lacks excitement.

Billie and Killian however get the chance in episode six to star in their own mini horror movie, a fun movie. cabin in the woods homage that initially suggests Lake plays with its format. And the former often gets the best lines, especially when fighting the man who is obviously ill-equipped to play the father figure. “For a black girl, breaking and entering is more When they see us adventure that hot and humid american summer shenanigans,” she tells Justin of the plan to sneak into his old family home.

Their complex reunion, facilitated by Billie’s globetrotting parents, is certainly more interesting than the whole petty war of ownership, the conclusion of which suggests that the inter-family feuds will only escalate. If a second season is ordered, the writers may want to focus elsewhere. Much hotter than the recent string of local hits, Lake has already proven vanity lounge that Canadian humor is not always “relentlessly kind” and “non-confrontational”. But maybe the show needs a less whiny premise if it’s going to travel the world.

Jon O’Brien (@jonobrien81) is a freelance entertainment and sports journalist from the North West of England. His work has appeared in the likes of Vulture, Esquire, Billboard, Paste, iD and The Guardian.

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