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Almost Heroes, “Terry and Peter vs. the Law” (1.06)

The cast of Almost Heroes.

A review of the Canadian comedy’s sixth episode, written by Dan Redican & Kyle Muir and directed by  Shawn Alex Thompson, after the jump…

Almost Heroes is a bizarre beast, because even when I run through an entire episode without laughing out loud more than a couple times, it always relaxes me. When watching my gang, all the day’s tension and stress melts away. This episode, the show’s best since “Girls” (1.03), wasn’t a laugh riot, but it was a great way to spend 20 minutes, and six episodes in may have supplnated Corner Gas as my favourite Canadian comedy.

This show isn’t as funny as the best Corner Gas, and the chemistry between both casts is spectacular. However, the thing about Conrer Gas was, unlike shows like Parks and Recreation or Raising Hope, I don’t miss it when it’s not around. If I stumble upon a rerun on TV I’ll enjoy watching it, but it’s not something I look forward to. Meanwhile, Almost Heroes is. It’s charming, and cute, and has a cast without a single weak link (though Athena Karkanis as Rayna is most  often stuck playing it straight and not getting to show off comedic chops).  I know, whe n I sit down to an episode, that I’m going to be smiling once it’s over.  And that is valuable.

And I’ll say it: the more Dan (Dave Hemstad) an episode has, the better the episode seems to be. While there’s conceivably a situation in which his character is overused, the show hasn’t come close to that point. His antagonist chemistry with the boys is fantastic, and Hemstad tears through every scene wonderfully. And getting to see him lose out for once, first out of the boys’ ridiculous scheme (piracy!) and then out of the natural result of three false break-ins, was beautiful. Hopefully Sportopalooza was so successful that Dan will continue to be a figurehead. Heck, this wipeout may have ruined his Lacrossapalooza spinoff hopes, though I hope that doesn’t get him off the boys’ back. He brings out a great energy in the show.

If you’d told me as of the series’ pilot that the writers’ favourite scene pair for Rayna would be Boyd (Colin Mochrie), I would have wondered how in hell that could have worked. And yet, by pairing the show’s most logical-minded and straitlaced character with its weirdest has actually developed a great dynamic between the two. I still like Rayna with Bernie (Lauren Ash) and Terry (Paul Campbell) a bit more, but this allows them to use the Rayna/Terry scenes sparingly, so we get one guaranteed laugh per episode. Boyd has also grown on my from the pilot, though I think he’s still one place where the show is still very comedically self-conscious.

One thing I loved about this episode was its realistic scale, a great departure from last week’s over-the-top antics. The show is developing some fun running jokes, like the utterly inept police, continued here with the cop who completely misses the false break-in, concludes the robber must have spontaneously combusted, and capped it off by losing a gun. For some reason, this felt a lot more natural than Peter losing hundreds of rats and a snake on the store premises. And the end of the episode,where three false ‘successful’ breakins leads to a natural escalation in crime, was brilliant in its simplicity.

Even Peter, whose ridiculous nature often rankles me, amused me here. Somehow the brothers seemed on similar ground in terms of silliness while retaining their different personalities, which is a look I like on them. Ultimately, the show is one of the things I most look forward to each week. Here’s hoping rising ratings have made it a lock for a second season.

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  1. […] Almost Heroes, “Terry and Peter vs. the Law” (1.06) Almost Heroes is a bizarre beast, because even when I run through an entire episode without laughing out loud more than a couple times, it always relaxes me. When watching my gang, all the day’s tension and stress melts away. This episode, the show’s best since “Girls” (1.03), wasn’t a laugh riot, but it was a great way to spend 20 minutes, and six episodes in may have supplnated Corner Gas as my favourite Canadian comedy. Read more. […]



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