Corner Gas: Season 004

Corner Gas: Season 004
Though it earns next to no respect, Corner Gas continues its run as a cute, folksy, Canadian show that’s well written for its endearing cast. There are many reasons why rural Saskatchewan doesn’t pop up on too many lists as a hub for edgy comedy. Indeed, Corner Gas really is a show about nothing that takes place in a town (the fictional "Dog River” in factual Saskatchewan) where nothing really happens. Comedian and show star/creator Brent Butt knows this, building the series by playing up the quaint plainness of the Prairies against the absurd extremes of this unique ensemble of characters. With no story arc between them, each of this season’s episodes enable every character to occupy the spotlight, though more often than not they’re all involved in each other’s business anyway. So, despite the James Bond motif of the DVD’s packaging and menu set-up, Season 004 has nothing to do with spies, or excitement at all, for that matter. Instead, conflicts arise from haircuts, thermostats, toilet installation, a windshield washer, phoney camping trips and whether Dog River should employ Prairie dogs or gophers as a statue mascot. The last scenario is drummed up as enough of a political issue that Prime Minister Stephen Harper appears on the show to sway voters. That one of the stiffest politicians in our country’s history saw fit to appear on Corner Gas speaks to its resonance with Canadians. The show is quick, witty and safe, with its likable characters mostly eschewing smugness for an underlying sense of superiority that works to great comic effect. Plus: bloopers, mobisodes. (VSC)