Shoresy Brings Lowbrow Laughs and High-Energy Sports to the Rink

Five shirtless men, all missing teeth, in a hockey locker room

Crave‘s new original sports comedy series, Shoresy, revolves around a character from another Canadian sitcom who’s mostly known for using the toilet and insulting his teammates.

This may not sound like a promising setup for a series, but longtime fans of Letterkenny such as myself already know how much fun the titular Shoresy can be. He’s played by Letterkenny creator Jared Keeso, who also plays the series protagonist Wayne. Whenever Shoresy arrives on screen, we never see his face, but we hear his high-pitched and extremely Canadian voice as he delivers some of the most creative “I-slept-with-your-mom” jokes to ever grace the visual medium. (A favorite of mine: “F**k you, Jonesy! Tell your mum I drained the bank account she set up for me, top it off so I can get some f**king KFC!”)

So how can one turn a one-joke character—even if the joke is really, really funny—into the protagonist of his own series?

Three words: never lose again.

In Shoresy, the titular character (still played by Keeso) has transferred to the senior AAA-level NOSHO hockey league in Ontario, playing for the Sudbury Bulldogs. Things aren’t going great for the team, having just lost their 20th game five to nothing—or in hockey speak, having just “gotten pumped five-goose for the 20th loss of the campaign”. Shoresy’s presence isn’t helping, either; he’s a good player, but an awful teammate and a sore loser. But when team owner Nat informs Shoresy she’s planning on shutting down the Bulldogs entirely, Shoresy makes a high-stakes bet with her: let him take control of the team and they will never lose another game. If they do lose, he says, Nat can shut it down.

There’s a surprising emotional weight to this setup. Nat received ownership of the Bulldogs from her late mother, so she wants them to succeed. Shoresy’s backstory isn’t revealed until his foster family reunion in episode four, but even from the first episode you can see how much his hatred of losing comes from deep within. Can he use it to keep his promise to Nat and help the team make a name for themselves? You’ll have to watch Shoresy to find out. And you should, because it’s by turns crudely funny, sharply witty, and genuinely inspirational—sometimes all at the same time.

Jared Keeso has already proven himself to be a comedic powerhouse, having created, starred in, and mostly co-written all of Letterkenny. For Shoresy, he again stars and writes the series, and much of his signature rapid-fire wit still comes through. There’s a scene in the second episode, for example, where Shoresy and his teammates Sanger, Goody, Dolo, Hitch, and JJ Frankie JJ meet three other new players who are all named Jim. What begins as a simple setup—the Jims’ refusal to allow themselves to be referred to by anything other than their first names—somehow transforms into a series of puns and references to…musical theater. It’s got Letterkenny blood running through it, and yet it sets itself apart with the new and lovable (and hatable, but in a good way) cast.

Shoresy may be the focus of the series, but it would be nothing without its side characters. Tasya Teles makes Nat a razor-sharp foil to Shore, questioning every decision he makes. Harlan Blayne Kwtwayhat plays Sanger as a quiet, put-upon partner to the loudmouthed Shoresy, but he quickly grows from being told to shut up to taking charge as the Bulldogs’ new coach. Much of the cast is rounded out with real hockey players who flex their comedic chops as well; Andrew Antsanen as Goody, Jonathan-Ismael Diaby as Dolo, Terry Ryan as Hitch, and Max Bouffard (returning from Letterkenny) as JJ Frankie JJ all bring their own personalities and quirks to the table. Most surprising of all, however, is Quebec actress Laurence Leboeuf (who I recognize as Apple in the excellent Turbo Kid) playing herself in a role I thought would be a cameo, but turns into a recurring appearance. She’s hilarious, as are Blair Lamora and Keilani Rose as Nat’s foul-tempered assistants Ziig and Miig.

three women in Shoresy
Miig (Keilani Rose), Nat (Tasya Teles), and Ziig (Blair Lamora) handle the management side of the Bulldogs.

A show like this lives and dies by a compelling plot, though, and the simplistic setup gives room for a legitimately gripping sports story of a team coming together to fight their way out of last place. It never turns too hard into sentimentality—this is a comedy, after all, and the laughs hardly ever stop—but watching Shoresy’s ambitions translate into actual teamwork and having to confront the consequences of his bad behavior warmed my heart to no end. For all his insults and fights, he really wants to win, and he knows he can’t win on his own. He becomes a mentor to Sanger, a friend to his teammates, and even apologizes to a few people along the way. While he may not be the only dynamic character here, he is the protagonist, and his journey goes far beyond burping and talking trash.

I also need to shout out the show’s soundtrack, too, because it’s full of absolute bangers. When the hockey players hit the ice, you’ll be treated to the insistent drums of the Chemical Brothers’ “Elektrobank”, the deadly electro of Jawns’s “House of God”, and the furious bass-punk of Death from Above 1979’s “Turn it Out”, among many other jams. It goes a long way towards making every game for this underdog hockey team feel like an event, whether two or two hundred fans are in the stands.

Shoresy may be only six half-hour episodes, but it does so much in its short runtime. There’s lowbrow jokes you can’t help smiling at coupled with genuinely witty and punny wordplay. There’s high-octane sports action and low-key character moments. And at the core of it all, there’s just a really good story about an underdog team learning what it takes to rise to the top, and a terrible teammate learning how to bring them together and never lose again. You can blow through it all in an evening, and your day will be all the better for it.

You can stream Shoresy on Crave in Canada and on Hulu in the United States.

Written by Peter L.

Peter likes spooky things and noisy electronic music a lot. He makes movies and music and sometimes writes.

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