TV: Letterkenny (Seasons 11 & 12)

Welp, Letterkenny finally hung up its skates in December. While as recently as season ten I was hoping it would live forever, ending it was likely the right move for a series that was quickly running out of rope.

At its best a fast, clever, funny, and surprisingly heartfelt show, Letterkenny’s eclectic slice-of-life sketch comedy separated a fictional Canadian town into four groups: hicks, skids, hockey players, and Christians. In season eleven, which blew past so disposably I forgot to review it, the series lost one of its key attributes: an ability to conjure humor out of the ether, even when it didn’t have anything to talk about. Season twelve rights the ship somewhat by refocusing on our primary point-of-view characters: Wayne (creator/co-writer Jared Keeso), Daryl (Nathan Dales), Katie (Michelle Mylett), and Squirrely Dan (K. Trevor Wilson). The crew is at a crossroads. Wayne’s girlfriend Rosie (Clark Backo) may be moving to Vancouver, prompting him to consider whether to join her; Katie comes back from a trip to Mexico wondering if it’s time to relocate; Daryl falls in with “degens” he and his crew have long disparaged; and Squirrely Dan finds increasing appeal in the Menonite lifestyle espoused by his girlfriend. Is the gang breaking up and moving on to greener pastures?

These minor personal quandaries give an “ending” shape to a season that doesn’t exactly stand out, but does the most important thing: says goodbye, with one last brawl and one last unlikely party to send off its unforgettable community. Letterkenny had plenty of silly misfires durings its run and was tainted with oogly male gaze, but in its finest moments it practically created its own language and leveraged it to surprising, hilarious, and even moving effect. It was definitely time to wrap things up, but it will also most definitely be missed, a unique creation that made an inventive mark on language-driven comedy.

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