It’s a hard yes, devoted Letterkenny (Hulu) fans: this is irregardlessly the final season for the Hicks, the Jocks, the Skids, and everybody else with problems in the little Ontario burg of Letterkenny. With creator and star Jared Keeso at its center, the comedy’s popularity in Canada and America has spawned entire Reddit pages devoted to emulating its flair for unique discourse and rousing, sometimes explicit in-universe slang, much of which carries over to Keeso’s other show, the ongoing, hockey-obsessive Letterkenny spinoff Shoresy. But with only six episodes left, things are pert near over for this fictional town full of factional back-and-forth bickering as well as the moments of community that so often resonate in small places. So grab yourself a Puppers lager, get into some all dressed chips, and pull up a chair at MoDean’s, because Letterkenny’s back in the barn for a final bit of ice time.
LETTERKENNY – SEASON 12: STREAM IT OR SKIP IT?
Opening Shot: Non sequitur-crammed Letterkenny cold opens are what YouTube supercuts were made for, and for its final season, the series gets basically every character into the act for an alphabetical and alliterative riff on what life’s like way up north. “Deeds, duties, doings, and dealings…hoots and hollers, hardy hee hees, and howlin’ ha ha’s…Have a hernia, heck…turn off Twitter and take the time to enjoy town…”
The Gist: There will be continued static with the “degens” (degenerates) from upcountry this season on Letterkenny, and some new wrinkles in the little town’s always thriving nightlife. And of course the Hicks, Wayne (Keeso), Squirrelly Dan (K. Trevor Wilson), and Daryl (Nathan Dales), will still be sitting by their vegetable stand, watching the world go by. Wayne’s sister Katy might join them, too, now that she’s returned from an enjoyable trip to Mexico. The black-clad Skids, represented mostly by Stewart (Tyler Johnston) and his near constant companion Roald (Evan Stern), will still be drawing dicks on the mirror where they cut lines of schneef. And hockey bros Reilly (Dylan Playfair) and Jonesy (Andrew Herr) will still be a bumbling two-headed monster of testosterone, cartoonish come-ons, and gym rat behaviors. Things never really change in Letterkenny, even when they do. And that steadiness is a big part of its off-kilter charm.
Checking in on MoDean’s, we find Gail (Lisa Codrington) behind the bar and Bonnie McMurray (Kamilla Kowal) still working as a server. But it’s also comedy night, hosted by Alex (Allie Pearse) and Olive (Olivia Stadler), and all of the usual suspects have gathered for some hilarity. Inspired to participate for various reasons, most of the locals also start writing their own jokes. Dan for one, a big fan of observational humor, doesn’t see why it’s so difficult. “Greats to bes here guys. Diiiiiiiiiiiids you ever notice…” and the crowd erupts. Katy also gets a reaction by roasting most everyone in the room, but particularly Stewart (“Stu-Rat”) and Daryl. And Wayne, introduced by Olive as the “next king of crowdwork,” proceeds to spend his allotted time shooting the breeze with townsfolk in the front row.
Wayne hoisted the banner as toughest dude in Letterkenny a long time ago. But will his title belt hold as Letterkenny faces off with its final period on the ice? What other conclusions will the series reach, and what characters might make new or more lasting connections? Letterkenny loves randomness and left turns into jokemaking more than it does standard storytelling. But the series is also considering its own end as the final six episodes unfold.
What Shows Will It Remind You Of? Shoresy, Jared Keeso’s semi-pro hockey player and legendary trash talker, was first a character on Letterkenny before being featured in his own spinoff. And since they share a TV universe and a precedent for character crossovers, it’s quite possible that we could see faves from Letterkenny resurface in the town of Sudbury.
Our Take: As the lead episode of Letterkenny’s final season ambles to a close, it spends a considerable amount of time with a sequence that’s basically just shots of people drinking, dancing, and partying in a bar. Yes, the entire ep has already taken place in MoDean’s. But seeing everyone carrying on and grooving with each other – characters you’ve come to know, hanging at their local, simply having a wonderful Canadian time – does feel like a start to the inevitable farewells. It’s a sentiment expressed by dedicated Letterkenny stans on social media, too. They would wish to watch these characters grow old in their little town, watch them continue to engage with the no end and no beginning-ness of the circular bits and convos that form the show’s narrative. It could become self-perpetuating. Just a group of people in a heated debate over potato chip flavors that doubles as commentary on racial identity and social justice, or any of the show’s other seemingly minor obsessions that wink at bigger issues.
Nothing lasts forever, of course, and especially not in today’s TV landscape. (Those stans do have Shoresy to fall back on.) But it’s notable that Letterkenny is acknowledging its finite existence even as it continues its nonstop patter of jokey bickering seasoned with bits of homegrown slang. With its end in sight, it feels like one of these shows that should be allowed to live forever in streaming. So anyone can check back in and become a regular. Letterkenny: it’s not just ferda boys. It’s for everyone.
Sex and Skin: “When I die, I want my future husband to snort my ashes off his new girlfriend’s tits, right? So I can go out of this world like I came into it – in a weird threesome.”
Parting Shot: Wayne seems willing to consider the point of view of his girlfriend Rosie (Clark Backo), that he doesn’t have to become a one man donnybrook every time some drunk dude brushes by her at the bar. But he still goes back inside, throws the most recent culprit out bodily, and prepares to kick his ass.
Sleeper Star: Alex and Olive, your hosts for the “Lafterkenny” comedy night at MoDean’s, completely steal the show in the early going of Letterkenny season 12. (See Olive’s absolutely tasteless, totally hilarious line in the Sex & Skin section above.) The characters are played by Allie Pearse and Olivia Stadler, respectively, who are both comics and Letterkenny/Shoresy writers.
Most Pilot-y Line: With an affectionate pat on his rear end, Rosie gives Wayne something to think about before she heads out of town on a puppy rescue mission. “I wonder how important being the toughest guy in Letterkenny needs to be to you anymore?”
Our Call: STREAM IT. The rhythms of speech and comedy in Letterkenny have become familiar, tried and true. But that’s never made the series anything less than a funny, quirky, occasionally raunchy place to visit. Alas, after 12 seasons, it’s time to give its own balls one last tug.