Puppets Who Kill: The Complete Second Season

Thirteen more episodes of the cult Canuck cable sensation, a show that you should know isn’t very good but that you watch anyway for its sheer antisocial vibe. Featuring a quartet of puppets as convicted killers in a halfway house, it details the torments of Dan Barlow (ex-Frantic Dan Redican) as he attempts to mould them into responsible citizens. Needless to say, the moulding doesn’t take and they manage to flout every rule while mocking his sad record with the ladies. Dan would really like to put up a good front but he’s clearly repressing his own killer instincts and that leads us to the most interesting thing about the show, namely its total decimation of our country’s warm fuzzy government initiatives to make us better people. At any given time, Puppets Who Kill mocks both civic-minded buzz kill liberals and the institutional free ride that lets the puppets into their non-punishment panacea, making it a jolting change of pace from the pseudo-left shenanigans of official Canadian culture. I’m not crazy about the politics of the show, which are one step away from Howard Stern territory, but I’m strangely pleased to have a program that exposes the hypocrisy of smug Canadiana, long overdue as it is for the public dressing down it receives so brutally here. As comedy, the stuff is fair to middling, with some blah direction and a whole bunch of local supporting players overacting shamelessly, but though you’re aware of its shortcomings it’s oddly addictive junk food for the brain. Extras include ho-hum commentary from Redican and Rocko the Dog on two episodes, and a short, dialled down appearance with Redican and the puppets on Canada AM. (VSC)