Letterkenny is being praised as the most Canadian show since Trailer Park Boys or Hockey Night in Canada. The comedy follows the daily events in “Small-Town Ontario” and the hicks, skids, hockey players, and Christians that live in it.
It’s interesting to talk about the digital strategy and transmedia nature of the program considering Letterkenny is among the new wave of television shows that actually gained its start on the internet. Much like the hit American comedies such as Workaholics, Idiot Sitter, Broad City, and Rick and Morty; The creators Jared Kesso and Jacob Tierney got their show on the air because of YouTube. Instead of having an established television audience and being tasked with creating an online fan base, the show comes to television with a leg-up on the competition. The show already employs popular Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube accounts as well as being the first ever original series ordered by Bell Media’s streaming service CraveTV.
Although the show debuted on Comedy Network early February, the six episode first season would typically need late-night reruns and a couple seasons in order to gain traditional viewers. Instead of the slow multi-year rise it took for Trailer Park Boys to go from cult favourite to mainstream, Letterkenny comes to television already having a cult-level following. The five short videos entitled Letterkenny Problems on YouTube served as the pilot and the channel itself has over 14 Million views. With many traditional television programs worrying about how they were going to get fans to interact with each other and the show, it was actually the large amount of interaction already happening that got the show made. The fact the internet content had such a high number of views and fans talking about it, it gained the attention of Bell Media who green-lit the show.
Even though having all the episodes available to binge at once is great, I’m now just faced with the task of waiting for more but sure as God’s got sandals, it beats fightin’ dudes with treasure trails.