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Trailer Park Boys fight corporate censorship

Liv Ingram, September 4, 2014 —

The shit winds are a-comin’, folks. It’s been seven years since Ricky, Julian and Bubbles cursed, grew dope and ran amuck on network TV. But with a new movie in theatres and seasons 8 and 9 of their cult classic Trailer Park Boys coming to Netflix, the Boys are back — and they’re as foul-mouthed as ever.

“When the show ended, the demand didn’t go away. It actually got bigger,” says actor Mike Smith, who plays Bubbles in the show. Continued fan interest in the series led him, along with actors Robb Wells and John Paul Tremblay, who play Ricky and Julian, to buy the rights to the Trailer Park Boys franchise last year.

The trio have been busy rebooting the brand since acquiring the franchise. In 2013 they started Swearnet.com, an online network where they can do — and say — whatever they want. Smith says Swearnet.com stems from the network pushback and tightened censorship they received in the past.

“It just didn’t make sense for us to write the stuff we’re
writing and then going in and fighting to get it made the way we envisioned it,” says Smith. “It just made a lot more sense to try and start our own thing and do it without networks involved.”

This led to the creation of Swearnet: The Movie, in which Smith, Wells and Tremblay step out of their Trailer Park Boys characters and produce TV on their own terms.

Although the film has “76 shits, 79 cocks and 935 fucks,” Wells insists that not everything in the film is for shock value.

“Surprisingly, a lot of it was actually pretty much true to what really happened to us,” says Wells. “Certain scenes  are very true to reality.”

The mockumentary-style film follows the guys as they start their own network, Swearnet, which Smith says is in the works. 

“We bought a couple of buildings in Halifax that we’re putting studios in. We’re really going to focus on making Swearnet into a real, functioning network of sorts,” says Smith, adding that the website features a reality show segment of the day-to-day operations involved with launching  the network.

Although Swearnet and Trailer Park Boys are separate projects, they will overlap. Between seasons 8 and 9 there will be special webisodes on Swearnet.com that bridge the gap between seasons and continue the story of the Sunnyvale residents. 

The new seasons were intended to be released directly onto Swearnet.com, but since Netflix picked up the series the new episodes will only be available from them.

Contrary to push-back from TV networks, Wells says Netflix has been supportive and their budget has helped the Boys create a higher quality show.

And with a show known to push the boundaries of network TV and good taste, Smith is naturally not a fan of censoring content.

“I think censorship is bullshit,” says Smith. “Everybody talks the way they talk. People all over the world swear in their everyday language, but for some reason when you go on television you’re not allowed to talk that way.”

Swearnet: The Movie is in theatres now. All episodes of Trailer Park Boys season 8 are available Sept. 5 on Netflix.

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