Corner Gas is the best Canadian situation comedy ever. This CTV and Comedy Network must see show stars stand-up comic Brent Butt as gas station owner Brent Leroy. He lives in Dog River, Saskatchewan and has to contend with his parents Oscar and Emma (Eric Peterson and Janet Wright) as well as locals such as the clueless Hank and local café owner and sometimes flame Lacy (Gabrielle Miller). What makes Corner Gas original and so entertaining is the quirky characters and the bizarre situations they face. The comedy here lies in the very ordinary and mundane things that seem to make the residents of Dog River question each other's sanity. Corner Gas Season Three features the 19 episodes of the 2005-06 season on 3 comedy DVDs as well as a behind the scenes documentary.
Considering Canadian sitcom has included such dubious classics as Checking Out with Don Adams, Snow Job with Jack Creley, and the classic 19 episodes of Mosquito Lake with Mike MacDonald, best Canadian sitcom ever may sound like damning praise for Corner Gas. Though Corner Gas follows the recipe for a Canadian sitcom: small town, weird locals, and a Native actor in a supporting role (the only thing missing here is a weird French Canadian) it is very funny and family friendly. This is a sitcom the whole family, city mouse or country mouse, can enjoy.
Oscar and Emma are the long-married and so constantly bickering couple. Lacey is the girl from the big city who somehow ended up owning the local café and tries her best not to be perceived as eccentric in a town full of eccentric characters. There are people who believe a pothole is a local landmark and get uncomfortable when she changes the water pitchers or the color of the order pad at the café. The law in Dog River is the job of Karen Pelly, the lady cop who always feels she has to prove herself, and Native Canadian partner Davis (Lorne Cardinal) who takes his job very seriously in a Canadian kind of way. Brent's life is also complicated by the rather clueless Hank and employee Wanda.
It is very difficult to pick what are the best episodes in Corner Gas Season Three. Each features an original idea for a loose plot line and secondary plot line, each episode is well-written with at least two or three bits of classic comedy repartee, and each is totally different from the previous or next of the nineteen episodes on this 3 DVD set. Any personal favorite choice becomes exactly that, a personal favorite.
Though the episode where Hank believes he is a phycic is a bit predictable, the secondary story of Lacey (assisted sometimes but not always by Brent's father) trying to get the local pothole fixed while the local cops have both locked their keys in the cop car trunk more than make up for the main story line. Other stories include the town of Dog River stressing over a bulletin board, Brent's parents making their will, a musical DUI detector, a new two person Fire Department that gets under the cops' skin while Hank believes a local dog is really The Littlest Hobo (a staple of Canadian TV a while back), Brent taking a very weird vacation that makes the locals happy but drives Lacey nuts, email mania invades the lives of Brent's parents, Karen tries to get Davis to do the main course for potluck supper, and so on.
Corner Gas Season 3 is comedy about small things done by some very weird or eccentric people. Brent and Hank try to reconquer their old treehouse, Wanda drives Davis nuts by escaping from the backseat of the cop car. There are also episodes about a trivia game, garden gnomes, discovering you have spent your life under the wrong sign, getting stuff on the roof, or being too smart.
Though Corner Gas is a universally funny sitcom, the occasional guest star cameo by a who's who? (Ben Mulroney anyone?) of Canadian TV, radio, or politics will certainly be lost on anyone not currently living in Canada. Most, though, will recognize Jann Arden in the Run Club Episode and might remember former P.M. Paul Martin in a cameo that pokes fun at politicians addressing the nation when your favorite show, in this case Corner Gas, is scheduled.
This Brent Butt situation comedy is fun for the whole family, intelligent, witty, quirky, and most certainly worth adding to your home collection.