Corner Gas Season Three

The third series of Corner Gas has moments of self-reflexive promise, like when a microphone falls into view during a comment on the importance of high production values, or when former Prime Minister Paul Martin and series creator Brent Butt bicker over a CTV time slot. After all, award-winning comedies known for pushing the envelope, like French & Saunders or Little Britain, are constantly breaching the fourth wall. It’s too bad that the third season of Corner Gas quickly flat lines into something so risk-free and bland that even Canada’s stuffiest right-wingers would approve. Brent Leroy, alter ego to Butt, runs Corner Gas, a meeting place and gossip hub for residents of Dog River, Saskatchewan. Each episode runs like a kitchen sink drama playing on the idiosyncrasies of small town life, and though it’s impressive that Butt and his writers have enough original material to write 18 episodes, you can’t help but hope for something that would make the series more exciting when old chestnuts like fart jokes are trotted out. Since some critics have drawn the inevitable working class comparisons to Roseanne, perhaps Butt should take a page from her script to spice things up in Dog River, because most of the characters on Corner Gas are straight and white, and little has really changed in Dog River over the past three seasons. Dog River, like Corner Gas itself, is a comfortable and non-threatening place to spend time, and though you could argue small town life is like that, you can’t help but wonder if its ratings will eventually suffer. Even so, Corner Gas Season Three is still a bit better than the average sitcom. Extras include "Beyond Corner Gas: Tales From Dog River,” an episode of W5 highlighting the social effects of the show. (VSC)