Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Midweek Blues

Being that it's Wednesday, I find myself looking forward to Friday. Yeah, I know that Thursday is still in between Wednesday and Friday, but Thursday is pretty much already here, so I'm not even going to pretend that Thursday is in the way. As it stands, I have to find ways to satisfy my hockey needs until September rolls around, and I believe I may have found it. Rent-A-Goalie, found on the Canadian network known as Showcase, has provided me with some great laughs as I wait for the summer to turn to fall.

The Canadian television show is a half-hour sitcom about a guy named Cake, played by Christopher Bolton, who runs a goalie rental service out of the Café Primo in the heart of Toronto's Little Italy. Cake is joined by a group of individuals who are as tragically flawed as he is. Some of them are affectionately known as "Goth Girl", "Looch", "Puker", "Short Bus", and "Joey Almost".

Bolton, who is also the show's creator, executive producer, and co-writer, feels the show is more than just hockey, and I am inclined to agree.

"It is a character-based workplace comedy," Bolton said to Sun Media's Bruce Kirkland in April after the show was picked up for a third season. "We hang all of the comedy on the hook of what the workplace is, which is a rent-a-goalie service at an Italian coffee shop. So part of this show's charm is how well it knows its world - and our love for hockey doesn't harm that at all - and we are able to convey that pretty well."

Some of the show's topics range from the mild to the absurd.

"We have these ridiculous conversations," Bolton says, "about our characters getting rabies or our characters getting testicular fungus from a bench in a dressing room. And we're having these serious thoughts about the plausibility of it.

"Ultimately what happens when you play with the ridiculous is that, when your characters believe it and speak to it with authority, you can get away with it."

Rarely am I one to promote television shows on this blog outside of regular hockey programming, but I feel this is one show that all hockey fans can appreciate because it isn't a dedicated hockey comedy. Rather, as Bolton explained, it's more like The Office where situations arise from the workplace.

Of course, there have been some pretty impressive cameos from NHL stars and personalities. Tie Domi, Darryl Sittler, "Tiger" Williams, Mike Palmateer, Paul Coffey, Tony Esposito, and Phil Esposito have all appeared on the show. Being set in Toronto lends to the Toronto Maple Leafs being there, but getting the Espositos and Coffey to appear only goes to show the headway this television show is making.

If you'd like to read a little about the episodes from either Season One or Season Two, click on the appropriate season to read up on what the Rent-A-Goalie gang has been up to. You can download Rent-A-Goalie wallpapers for free for your desktop. And the best part of Showcase's website is that it allows you to watch the entire second season of Rent-A-Goalie for free!

This truly Canadian television show might be one of the best hockey-related television shows to ever be produced, and Christopher Bolton deserves some credit for producing a highly-enjoyable program!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

1 comment:

Steph said...

I absolutely love Rent-A-Goalie! I heard about it during its first season and I had to find and download it somewhere because stupid American television isn't cool enough to show a sitcom about comedy and stupid American internet isn't cool enough to let the streaming episodes work.

But I'm so glad more people are seeing it now - it never seemed like it got the credit it deserved :)