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Shoresy Season 3 Keeps the Laughs Rolling on and off the Ice

The Letterkenny spin-off emerges fully from the original series's shadow.
  • Shoresy (Photo: Hulu)
    Shoresy (Photo: Hulu)

    Spun off from Letterkenny, Shoresy is built around a single, faceless character from that famed Canadian tribute to dry humor and traditional gender roles. The Hulu series gave Shoresy (played by series creator Jared Keeso) a face, character development beyond sharp verbal attacks, and plenty of heart. With Letterkenny having ended for good last December, Shoresy must now stand entirely on its own. Luckily, it is up to the task. 

    Shoresy Season 3 starts much like the two previous seasons: by talking about the next challenge facing the Sudbury Blueberry Bulldogs. What was first pieced together as a ragtag team in Season 1, and then established as the team with the best record in Sudbury history in Season 2, is now a well-oiled but weary group who will face the national championship tournament for senior AAA hockey in Canada. It’s nothing these boys haven’t seen before, which adds a bedrock of familiarity to the new season. But they are tired and injured, though they’d never let the other team see them limp. 

    While Shoresy is nearly entirely focused on the players and the game, it’s still capable of engaging viewers who don’t care about sports. Hockey rules, skills, and technique all take a back seat to the comedy and fist fights on the ice. When rivalries or context are needed, they are laid out clearly by characters in a matter-of-fact way that always becomes relevant later. 

    That particular quirkiness of Shoresy, following Letterkenny’s lead, puts the series just outside the realm of reality. Shoresy is a world of absolutes and no gray areas. People are straight shooters and fast talkers. The jokes come dry and quick, and then they come back again and again until the repetition of the joke becomes the joke itself. People are caricatures, and their lives are quick-cut together, rather than taking time to build tension or heavy atmosphere. The stylized language of Shoresy is not reflective of boring, everyday lives, and it is not trying to be either. 

    Keeso, as always, knows how to identify a character’s mannerisms and stick to them unfailingly. Shoresy is always with his spittin’ cup, asking more questions before his previous question gets answered, and spending a lot of time yelling on the toilet. His skills on the ice are respected, though he might not be the kind of guy you take home to meet Mom. Keeso disappears into this odd fellow just as seamlessly as he disappeared into Wayne in Letterkenny. His fleeting moments of humanity and vulnerability are just as weighty as they need to be, and Season 3 wields that emotional power carefully. 

    Along with Keeso, all of the series regulars on and off the ice are back to their previous positions. Everyone, that is, except Jacob Tierney. Tierney is best-known for playing Letterkenny’s Glen, the excitable and flirty pastor who seemed to juggle five jobs at any given time made Letterkenny residents uneasy and confused — but in a fun way. Tierney was also on-screen briefly in Shoresy Season 1 as one of a pair of Quebecoise sports announcers who followed JJ Frankie JJ (Max Bouffard) to cover his new home ice. That part was silly and brief, and nothing that would leave a void in the series if forgotten. 

    But more importantly, Tierney directed every single episode of the previous two seasons of Shoresy. Heck, he directed all 81 episodes of Letterkenny and is credited as the co-creator of that series. He helped develop the visual and verbal lightning, fast jokes, and lovable weirdos of both shows. Not having Tierney on screen or behind the camera for this latest season of Shoresy disrupts that consistency of production. 

    Luckily, Dan and Sean Skene have taken over directing duties for Season 3. The brothers have a strong history of stunt coordination; Shoresy is just one credit on a long list of film and television productions. In fact, just weeks ago, Dan received the 2024 Canadian Screen Award for stunt coordination on Shoresy Season 2. 

    Even with this on-ice experience, it is a relief to see that Shoresy Season 3 remains consistent with the tone, pace, and name-calling it is so well known for. The focus is still on the players, their relationships, and their teamwork. The fourth episode, “Brooks Barrelmen,” is easily the best episode of the series to date. Throughout the first three episodes of the season, a single unfortunate night is hinted at but never shown. Strange haircuts, a swimming pool, and too much liquor is shown in quick flashbacks, but never in full. Well, this episode reveals all, and it absolutely pays off. 

    Three seasons in, Shoresy has risen above the doomed potential of a one-hit-wonder or sophomore slump, and now it stands on its own as a damn fine comedy. 

    Shoresy Season 3 premieres June 21 on Hulu. Join the discussion about the show in our forums.

    Deirdre Crimmins has been a critic for over a decade and is always hopeful the next thing she watches will be her new favorite. You can find her on Twitter at @dedecrim.

    TOPICS: Shoresy